At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt insufficient. We make a mistake at work, our crush abandons us, and we stress about the stupid thing we said at lunch. While emotions of uncertainty or inadequacy are a natural aspect of being human, persistent thoughts of not being good enough may indicate a lack of self-esteem.
Self-esteem, also known as self-worth, or self-respect, is how we feel about ourselves. It’s a subjective assessment, which means it’s virtually always dependent on personal opinion rather than objective data. Low self-esteem is influenced by both environmental and biological causes, and it typically occurs during early childhood. While we have little control over the causes, we can attempt to develop new, more positive self-perceptions as adults.
What Is Low Self-Esteem
When someone has low self-esteem, they are unsure of who they are and what they can accomplish. They frequently feel inept, neglected, or insufficient. People who have low self-esteem are always worried about making mistakes or disappointing others. Self-esteem difficulties can have a severe impact on your health as well as your personal and professional connections. Low self-esteem can be caused by a variety of factors, including your genes, how and where you grew up, and other life circumstances.
However, your mental condition is a big contributor to poor self-esteem. Even if there is proof to the contrary, your inner voice, or thoughts in your head, can continuously tell you that you are not good enough or worth anything. Negative thinking is linked to low self-worth and self-esteem in general.
What Is Low Self-Esteem Caused By?
Your self-esteem is mostly formed during your developmental years, from early childhood to young adulthood. This is the stage of your life when you begin to build your self-identity and begin to comprehend how you fit into the greater world.
The experiences you encounter as a child might have a long-term impact on how you see yourself. If you didn’t get enough attention or care as a youngster, you may feel useless as an adult. If your parents have low self-esteem, you may unknowingly imitate their attitude toward you.
“Our caretakers have a big impact on our worldview and, as a result, our self-esteem,” Stafford explains. “At a young age, we start telling ourselves stories to make sense of our experiences and fill in the gaps.”
Racism, classism, sexism, and ableism are all cultural influences that might impact how we think about ourselves. From poor portrayal in the media to bullying in the playground to microaggressions from teachers and neighbors, these power systems have an impact on us from all angles. While many of us can persevere in the face of discrimination and maintain our self-esteem, this is not the case for everyone.
Here are some examples of environmental influences that may have an impact on our self-esteem:
- When you were a youngster, harsh judgment from parents, teachers, or other influential adults when you
- Uninvolved or inattentive caretakers or parents
- Variety of medical and mental health issues.
- Negative life experiences
- Abuse or trauma
It’s also worth noting that poor self-esteem can develop in adulthood. Regardless of our age, dramatic life changes such as the termination of a major relationship or the onset of a physical illness can have an impact on our self-worth.
Finally, biology plays a role. Some of us are simply wired to experience things more strongly than others. As a result, we may recall or cling to events in our lives that other people might readily dismiss.
What are Low Self-Esteem Symptoms?
Low self-esteem can have an impact on a person’s ideas, feelings, and behavior patterns. These indications can be more obvious in some circumstances, but they can also be far more subtle in others. Some people with low self-esteem criticize themselves, while others go out of their way to ensure that others are pleased with them. In any situation, a person’s lack of personal worth and value can have a significant detrimental influence on their life and health.
The following are some of the most common indications of poor self-esteem.
#1. Low self-assurance
Low self-esteem is associated with low self-confidence, and vice versa. Being confident in yourself and your abilities assures you that you can handle a variety of scenarios.
This confidence means you’re comfortable and competent in navigating a variety of situations in life, which can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.
#2. Control issues
People with low self-esteem frequently believe they have little influence over their lives or the events that occur to them. This could be because they believe they have little ability to affect change, either in themselves or in the world. They may believe they are powerless to solve their problems since they have an external locus of control.
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#3. Negative social comparison
Social comparison can sometimes be beneficial to a person’s self-esteem and sense of self. On the other hand, comparing oneself to others might be detrimental to your self-esteem. People who have poor self-esteem are more likely to participate in upward social comparisons or compare themselves to others who they believe are better than them.
#4. Asking for what you want can be challenging.
When a person’s self-esteem is poor, they may find it difficult to ask for what they require. They may believe they don’t deserve aid because their self-esteem is low. They may also feel humiliated or inept as a result of their need for help and support. Furthermore, they struggle to establish themselves when they are in need because they do not prioritize their desires.
#5. Self-doubt and worry
People with poor self-worth typically worry that they’ve made the wrong decision even after they’ve made it. They distrust their judgments and are more likely to listen to what others have to say rather than stick to their guns.
This can lead to a lot of second-guessing and self-doubt, making it difficult for people with low self-esteem to make important life decisions.
#6. Negative self-talk
People with low self-esteem tend to concentrate on their defects rather than their virtues. They constantly seem to have something terrible to say about themselves, rather than building themselves up with good self-talk. When things go wrong, they blame themselves and always find fault with some aspect of themselves, whether it’s their appearance, demeanor, or abilities.
#7. Fear of failure
People with low self-esteem doubt their potential to succeed because they lack confidence in their abilities. While they may be afraid of failure, they prefer to avoid difficulties or give up without giving it their all.
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#8. Lack of boundaries
The skill to set limits is generally learned at a young age. Children who have caregivers who respect and value them are more likely to be able to establish healthy boundaries in adult relationships. They’re also more likely to have a favorable self-perception in general.
#9. Making an effort to please others
Another prevalent indicator of poor self-esteem is people-pleasing. People who don’t feel good about themselves may go above and beyond to ensure that others are comfortable and happy to get external affirmation. This frequently entails putting others’ needs ahead of their own, saying yes to things they don’t want to do, and feeling terrible for saying no.
What is Low Self-Esteem in Relationships
Perhaps you picture a shy individual who struggles to contribute to a discussion when you think of someone with poor self-esteem. Perhaps you recall a friend who constantly criticizes their looks – the “do I look too fat?” inquiry may ring a bell.
Low self-esteem, on the other hand, isn’t as clear as in these instances, and how it affects an individual and their life can be quite different. Low self-esteem has a particularly negative impact on relationships, causing conflicts, insecurity, imbalances, and other issues. Here are a few ways that poor self-esteem might damage your relationships:
#1. Not expressing your needs.
It may be tough for you to seek support if you have poor self-esteem. You may be concerned about bothering or “burdening” people. Someone with poor self-esteem, for example, may hire removalists to assist them in moving homes before asking a friend for assistance. This indicates that someone with poor self-esteem may not be able to get their needs met in their relationships because they are afraid to ask.
People with low self-esteem may take simple requests or feedback personally. When your lover requests some ‘private time,’ you may feel rejected or hurt. Your pain may force you to flinch or snap at your partner, resulting in an argument. While your low self-esteem has an obvious impact on your relationship, your relationship has an impact on your self-esteem as well, since you may come to regret your unreasonable emotions.
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#3. Insecurity and jealousy.
In a relationship, low self-esteem can lead to jealousy and insecurity. You may doubt your worth to your lover and assume it is a coincidence that they like you. As a result, it’s common for people with poor self-esteem to worry that their partner may be attracted to someone else or quit the relationship.
#4. Difficulty being yourself.
In a relationship, low self-esteem might make it tough to be your true self. You can put a lot of effort into becoming attractive or likable. For example, you might put in a lot of effort to entertain others or to be fascinating. Or maybe you’re someone who is always trying to look their best.
#5. Poor relationship choice.
Low self-esteem can influence your choice of partner or friend. When you have low self-esteem, you’re more inclined to overlook your relationship’s essential demands. You might, for example, stay with your lover despite their lack of affection. Alternatively, you might put up with your friend’s bad mood and blame yourself for their conduct.
Dealing with Low Self-Esteem
With the correct support, mentality, and behavioral changes, you may overcome low self-esteem. Begin by taking the following steps to boost your self-esteem:
#1. Challenge negative or inaccurate thoughts
It’s critical to consider whether your beliefs are supported by facts or reasoning. There may be a more accurate explanation for a circumstance than your interpretation. It might be difficult to break free from long-held views that have become ingrained in your life. Understand that overcoming any negative preconceived assumptions you may have about your life will take time and patience.
#2. Change your perspective.
You’ve been able to pinpoint the moments when your self-esteem has been harmed. You’ve become more conscious of how and why you have those sentiments and ideas regarding those experiences. You can now take a step back and examine your thoughts and feelings. You can now alter your thinking habits to boost your self-esteem.
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#3. Recognize and avoid difficult situations
Consider some of the circumstances and situations in your life that always seem to lower your self-esteem. It could be making a work presentation, dealing with a tough family member or acquaintance, or dealing with a life-altering event such as a job loss or relocation.
#4. Become aware of your thoughts and beliefs
After you’ve recognized the moments in your life when you’ve had poor self-esteem, think about how you feel about them. What are your thoughts on what happened? Positive, negative, or neutral thoughts are all possibilities. They can be founded on facts or unreasonable and incorrect assumptions.
Self-esteem affects your capacity to achieve your goals, form healthy relationships, and feel good about yourself. While everyone has poor self-esteem at times, it can damage your ability to be happy and perhaps make you more susceptible to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
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If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, there are resources available to assist you. Consult a physician or mental health professional. A therapist can assist you in changing the mental processes that lead to poor self-esteem and can increase your confidence and perception of yourself and your talents. It may take some time and work to change your perspective on yourself, but you may learn to see and love yourself for who you are over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an example of low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem manifests itself in a variety of ways. Lack of boundaries, people-pleasing, badmouthing yourself, and feeling worthless are all examples. If you identify with any of these, you may be suffering from low self-esteem. However, there’s no reason to feel any worse about your weak self-esteem.
What are the 3 types of self-esteem?
Self-esteem can be divided into three (3) categories. Inflated self-esteem, low self-esteem, and high self-esteem are the three types.
Can a person with low self-esteem love?
When it comes to loving low-self-esteem males, just remember that it’s not your fault. It’s their fault. It can be difficult to love such a man, but you can get through it by actively listening and empathizing with him, embracing his defensive character, developing good coping methods, and encouraging him.
What are five risks of low self-esteem?
Low Self-Consequences Esteem’s
Anxiety, stress, loneliness, and a higher risk of sadness are all factors that contribute to depression. Friendships and romantic relationships suffer as a result of this. Academic and professional performance will be severely harmed. resulting in an elevated risk of drug and alcohol abuse