Your world comes to a sudden halt.

All you hear are the words "It's over" from the person you love most, replaying in your mind.

A woman wearing a green sweater crying while eating ice cream You are stunned as your body reacts to the news and your brain begins to process the journey ahead.

You wonder to yourself, "How will I get through this?"

How a Breakup Affects Your Self-Esteem

Whether the breakup is devastating or amicable, the ending of a relationship can affect your self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you value and perceive yourself.

A sign by a tree that says Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

After a breakup, your self-esteem may be in need of extra attention and rebuilding. This is vital because your relationship with yourself influences everything in your life.


What might be the strongest sign of a wounded self esteem after a breakup?

1. Grieve the Loss

Grief tells us that what ended matters. Allow yourself the time and space to move through the grieving process.

You may have unresolved emotions, words unsaid, or negative comments said by your ex that you are still holding on to. For example, writing a letter to your ex may help purge these things. A black man writing a letter on a notepad

It's your choice whether or not to send the letter, but simply writing it can help you find closure.

2. Reflect on Your Relationship

It's helpful to your healing process if you reflect on the relationship in a positive way.

A man in outer space walking on a path.

Reflecting on the lessons, wisdom, and growth you gained can provide you with clarity and guidance in how you move forward in rebuilding yourself. Consider journaling your experiences.

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Ask yourself reflection questions to help you. Some examples:

  • What did I learn from this relationship?

  • What positives do I want to take with me?

3. Clear Your Space

As you are taking this time to rebuild your self-esteem, it might be tempting to keep tabs on your ex on social media.

This can be counterproductive since seeing them have fun without you or moving on with someone new can reopen the wounds you are trying to heal.

A phone with various social media apps: Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Clubhouse Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

You don't have to cease all contact forever. Consider reducing the amount of time you spend on their social media platforms to protect your peace.

4. Lean on Loved Ones

The time after a breakup can do a number on your self-esteem, but you don't have to do it alone.

Lean on your support system to help you through this time. They can offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and get you out of the house for some fun!

3 women hugging each other

Although your loved ones may be a support for you, they are not an unlimited resource. They may grow weary hearing you constantly recount what happened.

If you need additional support, consider going to therapy to help to navigate your feelings and rebuild your self-esteem

5. Be Kind to Yourself

After a breakup, it is easy to replay mistakes and hurtful words. Take note of your mental self-talk. Negative or critical self-talk can destroy your self-esteem.

An African American woman hugging herself. Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash

A helpful tool to challenge these thoughts is to practice saying an affirmation. This is a positive phrase that generally starts with the word "I." For example, "I will become stronger because of this."

If you notice that your self-talk is increasingly negative, consider seeking out a therapist. They can give you personalized tools to help you be kinder to yourself.

6. Practice Self Care

Practicing self-care as you heal is a great way to rebuild your self-esteem. Doing something to spoil yourself is an easy way to boost your mood.

A man in a striped shirt with match scarf saying treat yo' self

Consider taking yourself out for dinner, run a hot bubble bath, or a get away with or without friends. This can help you feel more like yourself.

Spoiling yourself is nice, however, self-care can also be fulfilling your basic needs like proper diet, exercise, and sleep.


Tyler saw his ex post a picture of themselves with their new date. What can Tyler do rebuild his self-esteem? Check all that apply.

Take Action

You will get through this breakup! 💗

A black background with roses on the right side. In the middle there is sign with the words love yourself. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Learn how to build self-esteem post breakup with these steps:


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