Low Self-esteem shows itself secretly in many ways in our behaviour which we surprisingly consider normal. But is it really normal? Find out here.
Studies have shown that a whopping 85% of the population world over today, suffers from low self-esteem; varying in degrees from person to person.
Highly critical parents, disapproving teachers and an overall judgmental environment, are largely attributed with a human being’s low self-esteem in childhood.
In early adulthood and thereafter, persons are subjected to the pressures of society through internet and social media.
How many of us really look at the image of a Hollywood or Bollywood star and say to ourselves – “Don’t you worry____(fill in your name). This is just a digitally altered photo of the star. In reality, you probably look better than him/her.” ?
Instead, within a split second of looking at the fake, enhanced photo, our brain does these 5 things –
- a. Comparison with our self
- b. Devalue our self
- c. Feeling of sadness within
- d. Not-good-enough in all the areas of life
- e. Low self-esteem
All this within micro seconds!
The same happens when, on social media, you watch pictures of a friend, having a gala time on the beach/ a cruise/ or anywhere on a holiday.
Even when you know with your personal experience why these pictures are posted and sometimes doctored to evoke the desired result, even then unknowingly, it plunges you into low self-esteem.
In everyday life, there are ample signs to tell you that you are swinging on the low self-esteem rope.
There is absolutely no joy in living your life blindly, oblivious of the pitfalls when you are meant, by Divine providence, to lead a blissful and abundant life.
Why not live a life of awareness?
Why not identify the illness and decide to uproot it altogether from your life?
Taking note of these signs, one can always take corrective measures and make a U-turn for the better.
Below are mentioned 10 such surprisingly common signs which, as per Behavioural Psychologists reflect low self-esteem in people.
Read on and see which ones apply to you. Or maybe not.
(1) You wish you could look like someone else –
may be like a movie or TV star or someone you idolize. This results in your copying their way of walking, talking, laughing , way of dressing up and even their gestures.
(2) Judging and criticizing your own self non-stop –
“I am so clumsy.” “I am not good at anything.” “My cooking is pathetic.” These are only some of the self-deprecating and highly self-damaging statements you hurl at yourself. It is like having an invisible disapprover riding on your shoulders forever, decrying you incessantly, beating you down with harsh words.
(3) You feel neglected and passed-over in group conversations and interactions –
“I am not important.” “I am not interesting enough.” Voices in the head, similar to these are heard by people with low self-esteem, leading them to stay quiet and in the sidelines. The truth is that in group conversations, generally, people taking the lead are listened to and one has to be an active speaker in order to be heard; and not because someone is ‘uninteresting’ or ‘not important’ that one is left out.
(4) You feel uncomfortable if showered with too much attention –
This is the direct result of “I am not important enough”, “I am not worthy enough” dialogue that goes on in the head of low self-esteem people, making them want to disappear or cower under a table. Be it social gatherings or small interactions, such people hate to be in the limelight.
(5) You are quick to discount all compliments given to you–
Colleague: “Wow! You are glowing in that pink dress today.”
You: “Oh Sheesh! This is just an old dress from last year.”
Boss: “Well done! I am impressed with the speed with which you completed this task.”
You: “O, it’s nothing. The task was super easy.”
Do you get the picture?
(6) You lie and exaggerate in your conversations in order to appear noteworthy.-
This kind of behavior is the result of over compensation of the low self-esteem thoughts in a person. Since such people feel a distinct sense of inadequacy and ‘smallness’ within themselves, they resort to fibbing. Feeling inferior inside, they tend to prove their superiority to others.
(7) Buying unrequired things and filling your home with clutter –
Having a chaotic and messy home is undesirable. Same for the work environment as well. But did you know that your cluttered home or disorganized work table speaks volumes about your mind? Research shows that people suffering from low self-worth tend to stock-pile objects around themselves, treating them as extensions of their own self. This is akin to padding yourself with more and more clothes as a way of protecting yourself from the harsh cold winter outside. Such people live in the sorry, downward spiral of first collecting clutter and then not getting rid of it, believing subconsciously “I am not worthy of living a beautiful life.”
(8) You are always second-guessing yourself–
No matter how qualified, experienced or knowledgeable you may be in order to take a particular decision, if you find yourself forever dithering and doubting yourself, take it as a sign of low self-worth. By doubting yourself, you inadvertently, allow others around you to make decisions in your stead thereby giving your power to them.
(9) You are constantly seeking approval of others–
Your lack of trust in your own abilities, makes you seek approval and appreciation of others around you. Such people tend to criticize themselves, often unnecessarily, for things they have said during conversations with others. They feel sure in their hearts that they have a tendency to, repeatedly, make a fool of themselves.
(10) You constantly compare yourself with others–
In your mind, you are constantly measuring yourself up against the others and always falling short in your eyes. This kind of unhealthy comparison keeps you on your toes, making you feel guilty about resting or taking time-off for yourself. There are various off-shoots of this sign. If you feel butterflies in your belly every time you have to meet strangers, you suffer from low self-esteem. Also, did you know that gossiping and bitching about others is a sure sign of low self-worth? That is because these people feel a sense of release when talking about other people’s struggles, mistakes and failures; making them feel less ‘small’ in their own eyes. Finding faults in others and judging them, trying to prove that you are better than them, is another sign of low self-worth.
Research has unearthed many more subtle as well as glaring signs of low self-esteem in humans. But we don’t have to live with the curse of negativity which keeps us stuck in life and plucks all joy from the heart. You can be healed.
Low self-esteem tricks us into convincing us that we are inherently worthless and accepting this false belief, we behave accordingly.
Our behaviour is merely a result of all our accumulated beliefs of childhood. Once we transform our beliefs, our behaviour will transform as well. And thereafter, our life experiences.
We grow up believing – we are worthless. And in our desperate pursuit of ‘worth and value’ we sacrifice our life, amassing objects which we think will make us look more worthy and valued.
But the truth is that you don’t need outside objects to feel worthy.
Rumi says – “Your essence is gold hidden in dust.”
The day you heal your self-image, you will end all agony, achieve inner fulfilment and become acutely aware of your innate splendour and infinite value.