What is Low Self-Esteem?
Wednesday, May 23 2012 Emily Roberts MA, LPC
In reality, low self-esteem affects more people than you think. Low self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall. Indicators of low self-esteem include:
- talking negatively
- not speaking up
- feeling bad about yourself more than you feel good
- lack of self-respect
There are many different characteristics of low self-esteem. They may not be as obvious as one would assume. You, too, may be struggling with low-self esteem and don’t even know it.
Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Comparing, gossiping about others, putting others first, even excessive Facebooking are all signs of low-self esteem. You may say you do these things to stay connected or because “I want to”. The truth is when one is content with themselves, they have healthy self-esteem; external validation is simply an additive, not a necessity to their lives. A person with healthy self-esteem spends the bulk of their time doing things that promote positivity within themselves and exude this in life.
Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem
Heavy criticism of yourself or others. When you criticize yourself, you are reinforcing negative self-talk. Your brain hears this and believes it. When you criticize others, it shows that you are mirroring how you feel about yourself. Have you ever noticed that happy, positive people don’t gossip? They have enough self-regard to keep these thoughts to themselves or to change them into positive, loving comments.
Perfectionism. No one is perfect. This is a fact. If you try to do everything perfectly and fail (which is bound to happen), frustration and negative self-talk occur.
People Pleasing. It’s nice to be nice. It’s also a problem when you consistently put others before yourself. Going out of your way to constantly be there for someone else, builds up resentment and is a constant reminder to yourself that you are not number one. One must put their health and mental health first in order to be the best they can be for everyone else in their lives.
Debby Downer. If you’ve ever seen the famous Saturday Night Live skit, you know what I’m referring to. A Debby Downer is someone who always looks at life pessimistically; nothing is ever good enough. There is always something to complain about. A Debby Downer has a general negative outlook and this pessimism creates low-self esteem and feelings of unhappiness.
These are only a few characteristics of low self-esteem. If you can identify the characteristics of low self-esteem, the next step is to change the way you think about yourself and how you handle things in your life. This will lead to more positive self-talk and experiences that can radically boost your self-esteem into a positive and beautiful place.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.