Self-esteem problems can occur at any age, but low self-esteem is formed in early childhood. This phenomenon is fraught with the development of a number of negative consequences for a person, including excessive shyness, envy, a tendency to self-flagellation, doubts about one’s own attractiveness, etc. The negative consequences of low self-esteem greatly complicate human life, and therefore it makes sense to talk about the reasons for the development and characteristic signs of this phenomenon. and also about effective methods of dealing with it.
What does “low self-esteem” mean?
Self-esteem is a person’s perception of his personal (both positive and negative) qualities, as well as his idea of his own significance in relation to the people around him. Self-esteem is given a central place in the processes of interaction of an individual with other members of society, it affects the perception of a person by the people around him.
Self-esteem is the most important motive when setting and subsequently achieving a variety of life goals by a person, for example, when realizing in a favorite business, when achieving material well-being, etc. Also, the described phenomenon affects the range of interests of a person, on the prospects for his personal development and on the relationships that develop between him and people in contact with him (friends, colleagues, family).
But low self-esteem is called a clear underestimation of a person’s own merits , abilities and personal qualities. An individual with low self-esteem denies himself the right to happiness and success, he is tormented by constant doubts and disappointments, he is inclined to self-delusion about any, even insignificant, reason. Low self-esteem significantly impairs the quality of life, however, self-improvement and constant self-improvement help to successfully cope with this negative phenomenon and its harmful consequences.
Signs of low self-esteem
Psychologists identify a whole list of characteristics typical for a person with low self-esteem. These include:
- lack of confidence in oneself, lack of faith in one’s own strengths and capabilities;
- feeling out of control of your life;
- the desire to compare oneself with other people, which brings mostly negative emotions. At the same time, the negative is caused exclusively by the choice of persons with whom a person with low self-esteem prefers to compare himself (usually such people compare themselves with people clearly superior to them in some area);
- contempt for their own needs and priorities;
- doubts at the moments of decision-making, the desire to rely on the advice of others, and not on one’s own opinion;
- the habit of mistrusting compliments and praises in their own direction, disbelief in their sincerity;
- the desire to think about your personality only in a critical way, focusing on the shortcomings and negative traits of your own character;
- fear of failure, disbelief in the success of personal endeavors;
- reflections about the future with a pronounced pessimistic position, disbelief in positive and positive changes;
- failure to establish and protect personal boundaries;
- the desire to serve others at the expense of their own interests.
In addition to the listed signs, a person with low self-esteem is also given some features in the manner of speaking, for example:
- such a person often criticizes himself, preferring to talk only about his own shortcomings;
- in a conversation takes an exclusively justifiable and defensive position, even without obvious reasons for this;
- strongly depends on the opinions of others, is extremely sensitive to any criticism in his direction, often perceiving critical statements about himself as an insult.
Reasons for low self-esteem
The following factors contribute to the development of low self-esteem:
- mistakes in the upbringing of children, for example, a disdainful attitude towards a child, or, conversely, overprotection. Also, constant reproaches related to his alleged non-compliance with the criteria set by the parents affect the child’s self-esteem extremely unfavorably.
- previous severe conflict situations, which include bullying, experienced by a person as early as childhood. One of the consequences of such bullying is acquired self-doubt, which subsequently develops into low self-esteem in an adult.
- experienced psychological trauma associated with physical, moral or sexual abuse of a person. Such traumas lead to a person’s loss of trust in other people , a systematic feeling of his own powerlessness and inability to influence changes in his life.
- propaganda on the Internet and in the media of external standards of beauty that are unrealistic and unattainable in practice. Excessive infatuation with such information negatively affects personal self-esteem, as it develops in some people a sense of their own inferiority , which has a destructive effect on self-esteem.
- peculiarities of thinking, for example, the confidence acquired in childhood that it is impossible to achieve any goal over time can turn into a chronic underestimation of one’s own capabilities.
What is the threat of low self-esteem?
Low self-esteem is the cause of constant doubts and self-examination, negative personal reflections, inability to make independent decisions due to the enormous dependence of the individual on the opinions of others. It is she who prevents a person from revealing their own potential and achieving the desired goals and results. In addition, negative phenomena provoked by low self-esteem include:
- The inability of a person to feel happiness. The essence of this phenomenon lies not in real misfortunes that constantly haunt a person with low self-esteem, but in his inner attitude towards himself, in the absence of self-esteem, in his unwillingness to consider his own merits and positive traits and to love himself for them. As a result, a person views himself exclusively in a negative light, which is why he focuses only on the negative that is happening to him, not noticing anything positive. Thus, it is precisely low self-esteem that does not allow him to feel the whole range of positive emotions, and therefore to feel joy and happiness.
- The predominance of negative emotions , a tendency to unreasonable suspicion, depression, excessive anxiety and worry over trifles. A person with low self-esteem is afraid of criticism and fears of any failure, which makes him constantly remain in the shadows. At the same time, he sets himself up for failure in advance, since he estimates his own capabilities and abilities extremely low.
- Painful caution, dependence on the opinions and decisions of other people , which over time already leads to the development of dependence on others. In the future, a person with low self-esteem seeks to earn attention or a compliment from people who are significant to him, for which he is ready to sacrifice his own life priorities, aspirations and interests.
How to improve self-esteem?
It is almost impossible to believe in yourself right away, just as you cannot fall in love with yourself at once. However, experts offer people with low self-esteem a few simple tips, following which they can switch their attention to personal positive qualities. This requires:
- Pay less attention to criticism from others. Constant glances at the opinion and position of other people destroy a person’s self-confidence, lowering his level of self-esteem;
- Refuse excessive criticism in your own address, learn to pay attention to your advantages, dignity and positive character traits;
- Stop pre-tuning and programming yourself exclusively for the negative;
- Stop constantly spying on others on the web, because such a hobby is fraught with the development of a feeling of envy, which has a destructive effect on both self-esteem and the quality of a person’s life;
- She strives not only to receive help and sympathy, but also to help others, which will allow her to feel her own importance and gain self-confidence.
In addition, trainings and sessions with a psychologist, as well as conversations with people who have successfully coped with such problems in the past, will help increase self-esteem. Regular work on yourself will allow you to understand that life is not so bad, and your future depends primarily on you.