Low self-esteem after a break is very common.
Let’s face it: Breakups stink! Wondering how long low self-esteem after a breakup last is one of many emotions you will be looking to get over. Even if you are the one to initiate the split, you are still likely to experience a complicated range of emotions — sadness, confusion, self-doubt, anger — and to ask yourself, at some point, “How long am I going to feel this way?”
The end of a relationship can initiate lowered self-esteem and even the onset of depression. On the positive side, it can also provide a powerful learning experience that may benefit your future relationships.
But while you are waiting to “feel” that great learning opportunity, you are probably more likely to be feeling bad about yourself and wondering how long your low-self-esteem will last after your break up.
While six to eight weeks is the average length of time spent recovering from a break-up, a variety of factors will play a role in just how long it takes for you.
Researchers at the University of Berkeley say that the brain in love is the same as the brain wired for reward (in this case, interaction with your ex). Your brain still wants the reward (your ex, not necessarily “love”), so the symptoms of a break-up are essentially the symptoms of withdrawal.
There are three major factors that influence how long it takes to get over a break up:
1. What you tell yourself about the breakup.
2. What you tell yourself about your future.
3. What you tell yourself about yourself.
And what you tell yourself about each and all of these topics will reflect both how you feel about yourself and the speed with which you recover from low self-esteem after a breakup.
Playing the victim will always make getting over your break up take longer. Instead of indulging all-or-nothing negative thoughts about your ex, take ownership of your own role in the breakup. It always takes two, and healthy relationships don’t just end suddenly. A realistic assessment of your relationship can actually be a source of empowerment for you.
Low self-esteem after a break-up is naturally going to rear its ugly head and tell you that you will never find love or be loved again. Instead of believing that you will never find someone (or someone as good as your ex), empower yourself with the belief that you are on a path of learning how to love better.
The wounded, post-break-up heart tends to process painful statements and dynamics from the severed relationship:
“The person who I thought knew me best and loved me the most now thinks I’m worthless, so it must be true.”
Self-loathing, however natural, doesn’t help. The time it takes to heal a lowered self-esteem after a breakup will be predicated, in large part, on your ability to realize that you are not the negative things your ex said about you (or the negative things you think about yourself).
Even if it seems awkward, take time every day to engage in the practice of self-love — meditation, sleep, nutrition, exercise, socializing, getting a change of scenery, having a good cry…
…and getting off social media!
Take heart in the fact that extreme emotions, both good and bad, don’t linger. We couldn’t survive if we lived 24/7 in the extreme highs and lows of the emotional gamut.
Instead of focusing on the physical manifestation of your ex, which likely stirs up feelings of negativity and anger, you can choose to focus on the positive feelings you had about him or her.
While that may seem counter-intuitive, this practice will remind you that you had the opportunity to experience your own selflessness and capacity to love. It will also help you to silence your inner critic and to process your emotions in an appropriate way — two important steps in mending lowered self-esteem and self-worth.
Valuing your own ability to love will empower and strengthen you to move on, low self-esteem after a breakup can disappear by reminding you that you are the only one who gets to define YOU.
If we can help you on your journey, reach out to us. We are here to serve you.