Having low self-esteem can literally damage the foundation for healthy functioning and success in life.
The effects of low self-esteem reveal themselves in many areas of life. One of the areas that are the most impacted is relationships. Having low self-esteem will cause chaos in relationships of all types, from relationships between lovers to working relationships between colleagues.
But how do you recognize the signs and avoid the damage? Check out the following 7 signs of low self esteem that are sure to help one detect low self-esteem and avoid the chaos and destruction.
1. Thinking of oneself as defective in some way
When a person has low self-esteem, they are often found to continuously think and speak in a negative or self-deprecating way.
They may make negative comments about themselves in hopes of beating someone else to the punch line, or behave shyly in hopes of not drawing any attention to themselves.
Most of the time, the person with low self-esteem has a distorted self-image or view of themselves and nothing they say or do is good enough.
This can include exaggerated feelings or thoughts about their physical body image, feeling that they are stupid or not intelligent enough, and feelings of low to no self-worth.
When a person is dealing with a self-esteem issue, they are often hypersensitive to everything happening around them – especially the actions of others in relation to themselves.
A hypersensitive person may be super aware of the intentions, speech and actions of another.
This hyper awareness often results in the person with low self-esteem desperately trying to read the thoughts and intentions of others, in hopes of receiving some validation from the person about their self-worth.
Often the assessments of the individual with low self-esteem are inaccurate, but their belief in those assessments can cause further damage to their self-image and mental health.
3. Irrational fears and anxiety
A sufferer of low self-esteem will generally exhibit fear over of doing or saying the wrong thing or otherwise being incompetent or inadequate.
A mistake to a person with healthy self-esteem is cause for major depression and devastation in a person with low self-esteem.
A common result of these extreme feelings is isolation, addiction or other behavior meant to help the sufferer cope with the hardships of their life.
Persons with low self-esteem may also people please their way through life, as they are constantly fearful of not being good enough.
4. An inability to communicate your feelings, wants or desires
Constantly feeling inadequate or unsure of oneself can manifest itself in a variety of ways. For example, sufferers often feel they cannot communicate their desires out of fear of offending the person asked.
In this way they are made to carry their unexpressed desires, never having them fulfilled. The result of this is usually resentment and anger at the person they feel has inhibited them, not realizing that the only person stopping them is themselves.
Low self-esteem sufferers may also become passive aggressive as a result of this, feeling that the only way they can get what they want is to be manipulative or underhanded when dealing with others.
5. Mental disorders
It goes without saying that people with low-self-esteem will often exhibit the classic symptoms of one or more mental disorders as a result of feeling unloved or deficient.
The following mental disorders are most prevalent in someone with low self-esteem:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Various Personality Disorders
Depression and anxiety are probably most common, affecting nearly all sufferers of low self-esteem.
It can become extremely easy to become despondent for long periods of time when one is constantly seeking and usually not finding validation from others.
Sufferers want to know that they are smart, they are loved and they are worthy. All too often though, their expectations are so high that other people fail to meet them. This can be a common source of depression or anxiety in those with low self-esteem.
6. Being needy
People with low self-esteem seek out the approval of others due to a negative self-image. This constant seeking of attention can prove tiresome and tedious in relationships.
Friends and partners may have a difficult time dealing with the insecurities of their family members with low self-esteem.
The extra time and attention needed to make the person feel validated can cause a severe emotional drain on their loved ones.
7. Jealousy in relationships
Jealousy in relationships can often be a sign of low self-esteem. Often, those with negative self-image feel that their friendships are threatened by the presence of their peers or others.
Studies have shown that females experience jealousy over friends more often than males and this due to a females’ expectation of kindness, loyalty and commitment.
Jealousy can also have a dark and dangerous side. It can induce feelings of aggression and negative behavior like violence.
All of this is as a result of looking to external sources (others) to find answers to questions like:
- Am I lovable?
- Does this person like me?
- Am I worthy?
- Am I important?
These are all questions that a person with healthy self-esteem and self-image would ask and answer themselves, believing without doubt their assertions.
Holding oneself in high regard and having a favorable impression of you as a person is vital for normal day to day functioning and success in relationships at home and at work.
No matter where you sit on the spectrum of self-esteem, know that healthy self-esteem is never beyond your reach.
Know first that it isn’t your fault. Second, there is nothing “wrong with you.”
Having a positive attitude and a willingness to get help and support will go a long way towards improvement in your levels of self-esteem and your life.