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Building Self-Esteem for Healthy Relationships: A Self Help Guide

We all need a healthy dose of self-esteem before getting into a serious relationship. Young adults who enter a relationship feeling down about themselves too often look to the other person to make them feel better. This puts a strain on the relationship by:

  • Placing a burden on the other person to make you feel better about yourself.
  • Shifting power in the relationship so that you do what it takes to please the other person; you should not have to lose a sense of your values or self in a relationship.
  • Accepting poor treatment because you feel you do not deserve better.
  • Becoming upset every time the other person rejects you because your sense of self-worth is tied to how the other person feels about you.

If you feel you may have low self-esteem, this guide will give you ideas on what you can do to feel better about yourself, starting now. The ideas come from people like you; those working to improve their self-esteem so they can have healthy and positive relationships in their lives.

Adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) publication, Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide. Available at

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