Can you recognise the signs and symptoms of low self esteem?
As I was putting this list together, the most striking feature I noticed about it, was the presence of a false, distorted sense of view of self and the world around them. All the other symptoms seem to correlate with this little nuance. Seen in this light, it can provide instant hope and uplift to someone who has struggled to shake their anxiety, shyness or general negative outlook on their lives. Because then, they can let go of the idea that there is a long list of things that need correcting.
I am not trying to make this something of overly significant, but it appears to me, if we get down to the bare bones of the issue, it will be easier for those who are desperately trying to change to get round this single idea, then reading countless books on the subject and attempting to improve many, seemingly unrelated problems. This can lead to confusion and it is easy to lose sight of what to focus on in order to make progress.
Of course we cannot say how each person should view (or live for that matter) their lives, however, we can establish that a negative self image is seldom helpful, or the right way to go.
The signs of low self esteem
Faulty self image
This is often a negative view of a person’s own ability to function in a healthy way. Be it negative self talk, putting oneself down, comparing to others and coming to the conclusion that they are somehow less than others.
Poor self confidence
Directly relating to a distorted self image, those with low self esteem will often be unsure of their capabilities and will either try really hard to prove themselves or let themselves go entirely, believing they don’t have abilities to make their lives a success.
Prone to anxiety and depression
It is no surprise this trait appears on this list. Anxiety and low self esteem go hand in hand like best buddies. If someone’s general view is that they are inadequate and unworthy, they will live in constant fear that there’s a threatening situation waiting for them just around the corner. They are always alert for danger and are unable to relax. The Shyness and Social Anxiety System is a great introduction and effective tool to attack this symptom for sustained results.
Being needy is a sure sign that someone is lacking self esteem. They need to look for other’s reassurance to make themselves feel better. This is very dangerous, as the person has to constantly find external evidence they are worthy of love, instead of trusting they are good enough already as they are. These people spend their lives shopping for stuff they don’t need for example, and the next item on the list have to be bigger and better than anything had come before. They are on a perpetual cycle of searching for happiness, and attach importance to trivialities.
This is one of my favourite topics, as it seems so innocent and unharmful from the outside. For the unsuspecting, perfectionism has a glow of excellence and high achievement around it. However, it can do a lot of damage, if we are on a never ending quest for reaching unrealistic targets. I have written in more detail here about this. I have only started my own recovery to higher self esteem, once I stopped wanting to do everything just right…
It is so important that children learn to be social from an early age. If they are missing out on social and communication skills, it will be hard for them to make meaningful relationships, and to express themselves assertively. They then carry these traits to their adulthood, being passive or aggressive or both at the same time.
There are of course many more signs and symptoms of low self esteem. I aim to add to this list periodically as I see fit.
The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale
And now for a quick and effective test – access this quiz to establish your current level of self esteem.
Caution! If you recognise these signs of low self esteem in yourself, please do not get down about it. These are there to help you move forward, and if checked periodically, can be a great tool to show progress.
Image credit: Holly