Self-Esteem and Relationships

This was a thread from an old Christian Mirror board I was on.  I thought it exceptionally good, and wanted to keep it.  So now I will add it to my devotionals:
Ok Ladies I need your help
As sisters in christ, what are some things that keep us from developing loving relationships? What are some barriers that separate us? Have fun with this one. Thanks

Angie
Hmmm... my number one obstacle would be great expectations!
I often get a picture in my head of how I think things should be or how people should be and I forget that I can't live up to my expectations, much less anyone else.
Then resentment and hurt crowd in and then my heart starts to turn to stone. Hmm... I think they call that bitterness...
Being content with what I have and realizing that only God knows how everything will turn out (realizing this helps me let go a little easier) and a big, huge dose of forgiveness and the reality of who I really am (big, ugly warts and all), remembering what God had done for me helps the love to sink through and soften the stone.
It really seems to be key for me to honestly see myself as I am... that long, hard look in the mirror really hurts, but when I see how God loves me regardless of how messed up and stubborn I am... it makes it so much easier to love those around me.
Not easy... but easier.
Amanda
Hello! I think one of the major barriers is time. So many christian woman are trying to juggle church, work and home. Woman have a tendency to be more relationship oriented but everything now seems to make our lives task oriented. We need to get beyond the, "hi, how are you," which becomes so superficial. I wish we would just see that all of us have struggles and need to bear one another's burdens. One of the many wonderful rewards in Heaven will be the fellowship we will all enjoy.

Mary
I see many have read, but few answers. Here are my thoughts.
Great expectations- a good one and well put, Angie.
Pride- the prideful and haughty heart says that no one is worthy of my relationship for no one can do or say things like I can say or do them. This can show up in many, many “little” ways that is so subtle in our lives, but hard-hits the one that is recipient to the barbs.Selfishness- nothing like selfishness can keep one’s world small. One usually chooses the “small clique” to associate with for strong relationships, and someone else seeking a relationship with them is so easily pushed out. And those accepted are the ones that praise and agree, so that one’s self-esteem can be supported all the time.Fear- keeps one from feeling worthy to have friends or relationships. Frustration and resentment- feeling like one is a failure in this world can ruin the integrity, and the more we “deal” with other people the greater this burden can become.Revenge (and bitterness) One of my favorite sayings …Revenge is a huge stone that cannot be moved, and forgiveness is the hammer that reduces it to pebbles.
Lack of Trust
(Leah)
 There are so many women that have a hard time believing that someone really likes them and wants to get to know them. They need to be affirmed all the time. Plus they think that people are always talking about them and judging them when they should just be having fun. I get frustrated with this. I think this is a huge barrier to friendshipIt's hard to connect with someone if they don't feel good enough about themselves to let their guard down and feel safe around others. I'm so sorry for the things that made them that way.
Time: 
Angie

There are many, many wonderful godly things to be doing, I know. But raising my children and being a help-meet to my husband soaks up 95% of the time that I have. The way I look at it, I have one chance for success and there are no do-over's.
 Mary: Angie, think of your "time" spent in care and concern for children, husband, family (small, tedious, humdrum tasks), as being just that part of the "doing good" that God expects of wives and mothers.
Two good verses: 1 Timothy 5: 10,14 and Titus 2:4, but one I cannot remember where it is ... something about a woman being saved through the raising of her children, intimating that it is a Godly woman that raises her children in the Lord.
Learning and/or teaching: Word Woman: I
 was especially aggravated with the young mothers who were unwilling to teach their child's Bible classes
. Mary: It should be the older women that should do the teaching while the younger women are yet leaning and experiencing.

Self-esteem
Leah:
It's just that my two best friends struggle with self esteem and while they are doing great now, it has really made their relationships difficult in the past and kept them from living a full life. I can also name about a dozen women I know that are upstanding, beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, loving, loyal, interesting and Godly but their relationships really suffer because they are crippled with low self esteem. It makes me furious that Satan uses our 
self doubt to make us feel unlovable.

Mary:
Another thought on self-esteem. It was a hard lesson to learn for me, too, but I finally decided that to know myself for what I am and what I can do and not listening to what others say about me, and accept just that, knowing that my "worth" is IN Christ, and Him alone. Does that make sense?

Word Woman:
Please be patient with those of us who have low self-esteem. I'm a little older and I know that a lot of women in my age group really weren't raised to "think too highly of themselves" (to the point of not thinking well of themselves at all). It's a lot to overcome. My parents didn't teach that, but a lot of others did. I struggle with my self-esteem; there are things that I know I do well, but I don't think too much of myself as a person. Another thing to "conquer".

Mary: Maybe we need to look at "self-esteem" in a little different light.
Self-esteem is defined as 1. 
Self-respect and 2. as self-conceit. These are opposite values.
Self-respect is knowing what our capabilities are, how well we can do them, and how we hold them in priority. Self-conceit is holding these qualities as giving us a higher station in life and condescending in our relationships. Which is to say "lowering ourselves" to the level of others for a relationship.
I would think that if we can't respect ourselves, we can't respect others, so that would be the self-esteem that we should be seeking, and which we really cannot do without. But the "lack" of self-conceit would be humility, pure and simple, but could look much like low self-esteem.
So, we sort of need both aspects of self-esteem, and view both in their true light as the Bible teaches, knowing ourselves with respect and esteeming others before ourselves.
Phi 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Angie: Aha!
So it is important that we have respect for ourselves and our abilities as well as see that God values us, and so we are valuable...
But!
That we aren't more valuable than anyone else that God has created.
Everyone is valuable and lovable in God's eyes... and as women who profess to know God we should look to the hearts of others and do what is best for them and not what is best for ourselves.
Hmmm.... that particular description reminds me of someone who went before us
Mary
And oh, yes, YES! Angie....
Hmmm.... that particular description reminds me of someone who went before us!
Let us therefore walk this valley in the shadow of His death... for His Rod and His staff, they do comfort us! He has prepared us a table in the presence of our enemy; and anointed our heads with oil; our cup surely runneth over!!! 
THIS is the DAY that the Lord hath made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!I love that song “The Oil And The Wine”. So… What CAN be done with an old heart like mine???
Angie
Mary, I love that song! I learned to sing it a few years back and it's one of my favorites. Sometimes it goes through my head and I think to myself... hmm... time to get back to center now.

Nancy
Rikki, I'm going to approach this question from a positive perspective. The most loving relationships I've had with Christian Sisters are those that have developed over time as we met regularly to pray together.
Leah
Just piping in to say that Jesus told us we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. And then He said to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Love God above all. Period.
Love our neighbors 
(just as if they were ourselves – holding them in respect and treating them with concern and care)as we love ourselves - I really feel that we have a hard time loving(respecting) others if we have little love (respect) for ourselves. We are all children of the King and Jesus loves us. That makes us worthy of love. (Love one another even as I have loved you)