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My Girlfriend has very low self confidence.


parkesaaron

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Hi new here, I would like to just say thank you in advance to all who read and reply.

 

My girlfriend has incredibly low self-confidence, we got together recently and I learned that she has trust issues and doesn’t feel very good about herself at all. The factors I’m aware of are.

 

She tells me she has always had thoughts in her head every now and then and can be happy 1 min but then depressed the next, she has never seen anyone about it. Her X lied to her a lot, controlled her and treated her as if she couldn’t do any better. Her family has never helped her with these issues.

Every time I give her a compliment or tell her how I feel she responds in ways like “really” “how can you mean that” “I just can’t believe someone could feel that way about me” “I don’t see how anyone could be happy if they were with me”

 

She is very paranoid and worries about me hanging out with female friends as well as takes offence to what I say (takes most of what I say the wrong way). I can’t be cryptic or joke around and she thinks I’m hiding something if I’m being vague.

 

I believe everything above is linked to low self-confidence I think if she was happy with herself and who she is the above issues would not be an issue.

I’m in love with this girl it’s the best relationship I’ve ever had and it’s very upsetting when I say that too her and her first reaction is “really?” She does say it back and when we are together its mostly good it’s when we are apart she texts me about bad thoughts in her head.

 

I think she should see someone, a professional because it’s not healthy to think so badly of yourself. Other than that I really don’t know what I can do other than keep saying how I feel and showing it but I want her to feel good about herself on her own when I’m not there.

 

If anyone can help or offer advice I’d really appreciate it.

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It sounds to me like your girlfriend suffers from depression or a similar mental illness of some variation, perhaps anxiety. Its important for you to understand and sympathize with this, which it sounds like you are trying to. From personal experience, I know that I say a lot of those sorts of things when people compliment me, particularly a boyfriend. It can be hard to accept/believe when your own thought patterns argue against it. Again, speaking from personal experience, it is of utmost importance that your girlfriend knows that you are there for her. It will take time. It will take effort, but you love this girl and she needs help. You may want to encourage her to try speaking to you about her thoughts or to see a professional (be careful, this may insult her but tell her it is because you worry about her being unhappy and you want to see her smile). Also be aware that things like medications do NOT always work. I was diagnosed with manic and bipolar depression and have been on several different form and dosages of drugs, all of which have stopped working in a matter of months, and so it is best to let her choose this path in her own time if that's what she wishes to try.

It may help you to research as much as you can into what may cause her to feel these ways. Anxiety and depression can be difficult to deal with but it is possible. She WILL learn to trust you, she WILL learn to open up to you, she only needs the time and proof to see that she can. If you can learn exactly what sort of things set her off, you can avoid them. And please, PLEASE never ever use these things against her, no matter how angry you are. I had a boyfriend who would get downright abusive about my depression every time he got angry... It will take time but if she is anything like me, your girlfriend wants to make you happy and only needs a helping hand.

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Thank you for your advice Scarlett, I will continue to try my best to help her and I will never use such a thing against her. I think you are right about medication and will try to avoid that altogether. In regards to seeing someone we have already talked about it, it is something she has wanted to do and I'm going to take her myself, as her family when she has asked in the past have not been supportive.

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Aaron, I agree with you and Scarlett that encouraging her to see a professional would be prudent. But the behaviors you describe -- e.g., apparent inability to trust, rapid flips between "being happy 1 minute but then depressed the next," controlling behavior (complaining about your female friends), and frequently taking offense from innocent statements -- seem to go far beyond "low self confidence." I therefore have several questions: How old are you two and how long have you been dating? Has she been verbally abusive or punished you with passive aggressive behavior? Do you know for certain that her Ex really did abuse and control her or, rather, is that simply what she told you? Finally, was she abandoned or abused in early childhood?

 

Hi Poppa, certainly...

 

How old are you two?
I am 24 she is 22 (23 in march)

 

How long have you been dating?
Since December 13

 

Has she been verbally abusive or punished you with passive aggressive behaviour?
No, not at all

 

Do you know for certain that her Ex really did abuse and control her or, rather, is that simply what she told you?
Everything I have heard about him has been from her yes, I do believe her and her behaviour, to me, supports such information. I am strongly convicted by one big thing however, which I will try to keep short...

 

When we got together, her X said he would hack my computer Facebook etc. to "dig up dirt on me". Now I immediately knew this was nonsense and didn't care. However... she was convicted he could do it, she told me he could hack stuff and all these times when he has said his gotten into something. When I asked more about these times he has apparently hacked into something, I began to realise that, she knows little about computer systems and he used that to appear smarter and make her think he could do anything. It took a while to convince her anyone with a little bit of knowledge could these things and his not a hacker.

 

Finally, was she abandoned or abused in early childhood?
She has told me, that she was abused as a child, did not remember it until a late age and did not tell anyone, the abuser died some time ago. I admit, I believe her but am confused as to why she would tell me so soon into the relationship.

 

We are planning on seeing someone. She has wanted to go before but her family have not been supportive. I asked her to make an appointment and I’m taking her.

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I think you need to run the other way. It is not your job to be her shrink and two months in you should focus on determining if she is ready for a healthy relationship/if you two are compatible. Obviously, you are neither compatible nor is she healthy.

 

The best advice is to get into healthy relationships by being with people who are healthy to begin with.

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I agree with Ms. Darcy.

 

You are really stepping into dangerous territory here and if you don't have to be, you shouldn't. Speaking from experience, it's very hard to get a handle on someone who suffers from anxiety and depression. There's a lot of rollercoaster, up & down, sideways sort of action. You never can predict which direction things are going to go. You have to be so calcuated and measured in your approach in everything you say, do or even gesture because the littlest thing will set them off and set you both back. I'm in a similiar situation now except I didn't know about this until seven months into it; now we're in love and it's not as easy to just pull the plug. But to be quite honest, had I known about this beforehand, I would've ran like hell. Then what makes things worse is when she doesn't take her meds like she's supposed to and has been flapping about going to see someone for sometime but hasn't. Just like your girlfriend, very low self-confidence and that affects our relationship tremendously. Our communication, our sex life and her abilities to want to hangout, do things together... everything is starting to succumb to her condition. I find myself building up this wall of resentment. Our relationship is starting to become more a friendship than an actual exclusive, romantic relationship. When she gets upset, everything takes a backseat and our relationship is on hold. It's a very difficult situation and to be honest I sometimes ponder about someday in the near future having to let this go if things don't get any better.....

 

 

Don't let it happen to you.

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I appreciate everyone’s input I just think there is too big a gap of information for a well thought out response.

 

Yes these thoughts happen but they only worry me because they are negative and get her feeling down and paranoid. Thoughts like…

 

I’ll cheat, my friends and family won’t like her, her family issues, friend issues, bad people will come after her [people have stalked and harassed her online]).

 

This is because she has never ever spoken to anyone about them before and no one has been there for reassurance. So I believe seeing someone will do a world of good, it’s something she wanted to do before I came along but no one would support her, so we’re doing it.

 

I have just spent with this girl, the most romantic weekend of my life; I have never felt a connection this strong with anyone before. There were a couple of moments where had some bad thoughts but I brought her out of it. This was something that was worrying me because I didn’t and still do not fully understand it, however I don’t think for a second it is cause for breaking it off.

 

I think people are jumping to conclusions about the backstory, I won’t mention any to avoid singling someone out, but I feel they are over the top. Perhaps that is my fault with the accuracy of my words. Also, perhaps the internet is not the best place for me to discuss a complex issue like this. Everyone has baggage and I’m not going to break up with this girl just because of low self-confidence.

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I do agree that the comment about your gf probably having a personality disorder was too much. But I think 2-sided gave you some very sage advice.

 

I find it disturbing though that you said this: "There were a couple of moments where had some bad thoughts but I brought her out of it." You are making it your job to make her feel better and that is odd. And you are treating a 2-month relationship like a 2-year one, not being deliberate about testing compatibility and running on "connection."

 

It's your life, of course, but while everyone has baggage, everyone doesn't have baggage like this. And you need to take responsibility for what you are jumping into. No, probably not the advice you want to hear. But what you need to hear.

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MsDarcy, nobody on this thread made such an absurd claim. Please note that I'm quoting your exact text so readers can see I am responding to a statement you actually made, not one I imagined. I ask that you extend me the same courtesy in the future.

 

I think you are being overly sensitive.

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