Friday, November 18, 2011
Do You Underestimate or Overestimate Yourself?
Having had my share of "self-esteem" issues over the years, I can distinctly recall periods of my life when I simply didn't believe I had much to offer someone. Or that whatever I did have to offer wasn't "good enough." Dating dry spells have tended to bring this kind of thing enforce, a few times to the point where I found myself choosing to date someone who was a poor match, simply because she showed some interest. While I can honestly say that I don't sink into long periods of being controlled by these kind of thoughts today, they still do occur from time to time. However, I have learned to cut them off much quicker by simply not believing the "I'm not good enough or worthy" storyline.
On the other hand, I can recall at least as few times while in a relationship where I over-estimated my effort, and/or my contribution to the relationship upkeep. Where I thought, for example, that I truly was doing my best to listen, take care, be honest, etc, and yet after some reflection, recognized how much I was avoiding or withholding. Furthermore, in a few cases, I can recall times when I thought I was able to handle the challenges we faced as a couple, when the reality was that I didn't have the energy and/or insight to do so at that particular time.
I bring these examples from my own life up because I believe that each of us has elements of both underestimating and overestimating within us. One pattern might be dominant, but the other is often somewhere in there, lurking in the shadows. Over-confident player types sometimes underestimate their natural attractiveness, while people with a serious lack of self-esteem sometimes overestimate things like their intelligence, thinking they're smarter than most everyone else.
It's important to consider how these two poles might be playing out in your life, whether you are currently single or in a relationship. The first step being figuring out what pattern is dominant, and/or whether or not it's controlling how you relate to others.
So, what about you? Which side do you tend to fall on? Can you see the opposite extreme influencing you as well in any form?