Encourage your boyfriend to form a strong social network.

How to Deal With a Boyfriend Who Has Confidence Problems

by C. Giles

A lack of confidence can be destructive in many ways. Those who don't have confidence often come across as jealous, defensive, insecure and unable to trust. If your boyfriend has never addressed his confidence issues, it may take time to boost his self-esteem. But you will both reap the benefits. A happy, healthy relationship relies on both parties having a certain degree of confidence.

1. Be Positively Patient

Patience is key. Accept that your boyfriend won't change overnight. His patterns of behavior have been ingrained in him throughout his whole life. Help him think in a more positive way by supporting and encouraging him in all his endeavours. His confidence will grow if he learns to view himself in a more favorable light, says psychiatrist Neel Burton in his article "Building Confidence and Self-Esteem" for "Psychology Today." Help your boyfriend make three lists about himself: one of his strengths, one of his achievements and one of his most admirable qualities. Remind him to read through the lists on a regular basis.

2. Be a Little Selfish

You can set a good example for your boyfriend by working on your own confidence. Tune into your own moods and be aware of how you behave in certain situations. Your boyfriend's lack of confidence may have rubbed off on you if it has resulted in him becoming socially isolated or depressed. You will be a better influence on him if you concentrate on improving your own emotional well-being.

3. Keep It Professional

Professional help may benefit your boyfriend and get him to address his lack of confidence. It's important to approach this subject gently without making him feel he is being forced into anything. Tell him you care about him, are concerned about his confidence problems and want him to get the very best help. Identify professionals in your local area whose services he may benefit from, and offer to go with him to his appointments if he thinks it would help. Encouraging him to take action to address his confidence issues is important because he may not make it happen on his own.

4. Time to Talk

Talk to your boyfriend regularly about his confidence issues. Don't expect him to read your mind. Make it clear how you feel and what has made you feel that way. Don't get angry or frustrated with him. Avoid starting sentences with "I hate it when" or "You drive me mad when." Say something like "I feel helpless when I can't persuade you to come out with me to meet our friends. They really want to see you, and I want you to be there, too." Effective communication in your relationship can really help your boyfriend address his problems and become more confident.

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