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8 Warning Signs That You Have Low Self-Esteem

Signs That You Have Low Self-Esteem

People with low self-esteem give in to arguments easily, apologize often, and get easily depressed, especially when criticized. While buying new things gives them a false sense of empowerment, they find it tough to leave abusive relationships or even voice their opinion. Men with low self-esteem might also become overcritical of their partners. Kids with self-esteem cower away from challenges and are oversensitive.

Are you a silent, pensive person at parties, most comfortable with your own company? Others might think that you lack confidence and try to boost your morale and make you more social. However, there might be a different, more deep-rooted problem at work here, more than just low self-confidence – a low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem is characterized by a persistent inferiority complex that makes you feel worthless and incompetent in every aspect of life. If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or another person, they are an indication of low self-esteem.

1. You Easily Give In To Arguments

You try to avoid conflict at all costs. Even if this means agreeing to something that you don’t necessarily believe in. As a result, you rarely get a chance to express yourself. This prevents you from building meaningful relationships as people cannot get to know who you truly are. Get over this aversion to conflict by telling yourself that your opinion is valued. Repeat this daily, and soon you will start believing it.

2. You Always Apologize Unnecessarily

Apologizing is a sign of someone with low self esteem

People suffering from a low self-esteem may believe that everything that goes wrong is because of something they’ve done. This is primarily because they are completely unaware of their self-worth. They only see their faults and not their many gifts and talents. Does this sound like something you do? The next time you find yourself apologizing, try to realize that your apology is unnecessary as you have done nothing wrong.

3. You Are Easily Depressed

Depression most often stems from low self-esteem. People suffering from low self-esteem may not socialize, lack confidence, and rarely try something new. This makes them the perfect target for depression. If you are easily depressed, try to pick a new hobby, travel to a new place, or meet someone new. Learn to take risks every once in a while. It will pay off in the long run.

4. You Cannot Deal With Criticism

Do you find yourself sulking in a corner every time your boss gives you constructive criticism? Do you shed a tear or two when your mother says that some outfit looks too tight on you? If you find yourself taking constructive criticism as an insult, you might be suffering from low self-esteem. So, the next time someone criticizes you, try counting to three before responding irrationally.

5. You Find Happiness In Buying New Things

Materialism is an indicator of low self esteem

Researchers found that materialism and low self-esteem have a causal relationship, especially in children and adolescents.1 Very often, people with low self-esteem have a materialistic nature. Shopping for material possessions becomes their way of coping with low self-worth. They believe that it is these things that will contribute to their happiness and well-being. If you find yourself doing this, try to spend some time with supportive family and friends instead.

6. You Are Overcritical About Others

Men and women have different signs of low self-esteem. Men who don’t have high self-esteem often try controlling other people, especially their partners. They are overly critical and put down people a lot, saying mostly negative things about everything. Also, an insecure man may feel over protective and jealous. He also keeps saying self-deprecating things.

7. You Depend On Others For A Decision

A low self-esteem woman finds it very difficult to make decisions; instead, they like to follow someone else’s leadership. They find it daunting to speak for themselves and to give opinions. This makes it more tough for them to leave an abusive or unhealthy relationship. They are unable to say “no” because they are scared of causing conflict.

8. You Avoid Challenges Or Are Over-Sensitive

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents watch how their children respond to certain situations. If kids are scared to try new tasks and avoid doing it or maybe even get frustrated in the first attempt, it could be a sign of low self-esteem. They could have mood swings showing irritation and sadness. They also withdraw themselves socially and are very sensitive to other people’s opinions. If you see these red flags in your children, it’s time to do something about it.

If you can identify with any of these warning signs, it may be a good idea to evaluate your self-esteem. When you do this, you will realize that life is great when you’re more self-assured. You know you are unique; don’t let anyone say otherwise.

Your Doubts Answered

1. Is It Ever Too Late To Build My Low Self-Esteem?

Expert Opinion

My experience and research tell us that low self-esteem is reversible and there have been hundreds of books that fill hundreds of pages that give the recipe for addressing this issue. Some of the “to do” things to reverse low self-esteem are: Become positive, stay away from negative things and people, become decisive, love and have compassion for self, be thankful, appreciative and forgive. These are all good qualities that can, in fact, turn the tide against low self-esteem. To me the main cause of low self-esteem is fear. Fear is the starting point for the downhill slide into low self-esteem. I think it is a good idea to address the “to do” list of behavior change that will be instrumental in increasing self-esteem but if the core fear isn't addressed along with it, you will be wasting your time. In fact, addressing the fear as the main strategy is highly effective. I have found that fear is most effectively addressed by incorporating the practice of mindfulness into your life. Mindfulness has a way of keeping the nervous system clear of the core fear that rears it's head in the fight or flight response, particularly when it gets stuck for extended periods of time. It's impossible to be in fear when you are “in the moment.” All things negative tend to fall away on their own when in the moment. This “falling away” is what allows for the gradual arising of all the qualities that we associate with a healthy self-esteem. So, rest assured that low self-esteem is reversible and that mindfulness combined with a natural healing process and common sense will put you on the right path.

Mindfulness Expert

Expert Opinion

I'm Highly Sensitive. How Do I Toughen Up?

There is a certain percentage of the population that falls into the category of being highly sensitive. The good news is that being highly sensitive gives you added insight and experience into a lot of different situations. The bad news is that most highly sensitive people suffer from not being able to “handle” the experience and information that comes to them through their sensitivity. They become distressed in situations where less sensitive people have no reaction at all. So how does the sensitive person toughen up? I've found that many highly sensitive people lack a core focus. What I mean by that is that they are not centered and connected to themselves and bodies. When our attention is not in our bodies it tends to drift and many times it drifts into negative situations. At that point, the highly sensitive person will mistake someone or something else's experience for their own. When that happens the highly sensitive person will absorb the “other” experience. Until lately there has been no widely available training to help highly sensitive people “toughen up” and create a solid centered core in their own body. Mindfulness is the training that connects people to their own bodies and allows them to remain connected in the face of negativity. A mindful person will recognize and experience negativity as something other than who they really are and by focusing on the anchor of their own body will be able to “toughen up” and not be susceptible to the negativity coming from elsewhere. Mindfulness, or keeping ones's attention in the present moment by being fully connected to the body has been around for a long time but has only relatively recently become known enough to be available to the broader population. Helping highly sensitive people “toughen up” is only one of the many reasons to practice being present.

Mindfulness Expert

References   [ + ]

1. Chaplin, Lan Nguyen, and Deborah Roedder John. “Growing up in a material world: Age differences in materialism in children and adolescents.” Journal of consumer research 34, no. 4 (2007): 480-493.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.