10 Signs You’re Dealing With Someone With Low Self-Esteem

For some, self-esteem and confidence come naturally. For others, not so much. They have to work a lot on their image and their abilities.

And then, we have those with no or low self-esteem. You can usually tell who they are when they blame themselves, compare themselves too much to others, or apologize a lot, even when it’s not their fault.

There are many more signs that put a big neon sign over them that says, “I have low self-esteem.”

Learning these signs is important so that we don’t make the same mistakes and go through life with more confidence.

So, let’s get started!

1) They often belittle themselves and point out their perceived flaws

People who struggle with low self-esteem they have a rich and constant internal dialogue that dissects and magnifies their perceived flaws and mistakes.

It’s like a skilled surgeon cutting out every flaw or mistake they’ve ever made and showing it to the operating theater that is their mind.

This self-critical mindset often becomes so ingrained that they reject any success or positive feedback, overshadowing it with an unrelenting focus on mistakes.

This negative self-talk is so ingrained that many with this mindset ignore positive feedback and focus only on their mistakes.

And most importantly, this contributes to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2) They rely heavily on others for validation and reassurance

With so much deep-seated insecurity in one’s own worththey develop a constant need for external validation.

Because of this, they often seek compliments and reassurances about how they look or what they have done.

For example, they often ask questions like, “Do you think I did well?” or “Do I look good?”

They also constantly seek confirmation from others before making decisions, fearing that their decisions are wrong or unacceptable.

I know some who struggle to accept constructive criticism because it challenges their fragile sense of self.

They react defensively or take even well-intentioned feedback as a personal attack, highlighting their need for positive reinforcement.

3) They are held back by the fear of failure or inadequacy

Fear of failure can have a powerful influence on how people make decisions and interact with others.

It’s like an overpowering force that is always there and affects everything they do. This fear can be so intense that it literally prevents them from taking risks or pursuing opportunities.

They are constantly on edge, expecting criticism or disapproval from others.

For me, this meant withholding my ideas in classrooms and, later, at work, in meetings or discussions.

I was constantly not only worried, but also afraid that my proposals would be criticized, so I chose to remain silent to avoid potential disapproval and ridicule.

Of course, it didn’t help that I had a couple of classmates, and later colleagues, who were real assholes and just waiting for someone to slip up and tear them a new one.

Because of this fear, I ended up missing out on opportunities that could have helped me reach my full potential.

It’s like a cycle – you’re afraid to try, so you don’t do it, and then you miss the opportunity to learn and grow. This cycle keeps repeating itself and becomes an obstacle to your success and happiness.

4) I can’t say no to others

Having difficulties saying no to others is often associated with low self-esteem. This means that it is difficult for you to refuse requests or set boundaries.

This difficulty can create a pattern of constantly putting other people’s needs before your own, leading to a cycle of self-sacrifice.

The fear of disappointing others can be so intense that a person devotes himself too much and neglects his own well-being.

This pattern can result in burnout, increased stress, and feelings of unfulfillment as personal goals and needs inevitably take a back seat.

5) They always compare themselves to others

People with low self-esteem they like to compare their own livesachievements and appearance of others.

It’s as if they have a mental measuring stick by which they judge how they get along with the people around them.

Of course, they focus only on the positive aspects of other people’s lives and only on their own successes. They look at others and think, “I wish I had that.”

At the same time, when it comes to their own achievements, those with low self-esteem belittle or downplay their successes.

They think, “Well, what I did isn’t as impressive as what they did.”

6) They blame themselves

When someone has low self-esteem, blaming myself becomes a common response.

This means they take on too much responsibility, even for things that are not entirely their fault.

They have a habit of pointing fingers at themselves, be it mistakes, problems or even external events beyond their control.

But they also internalize negative events, seeing them as evidence of their own inadequacy. It is as if they are wearing distorted glasses that magnify their flaws and diminish all their positive aspects.

For example, some feel personally responsible for global issues, saying, “I should do more to protect the environment. It’s my fault the planet is suffering.”

But let’s continue in the same tone, shall we?

7) They apologize excessively, even for minor things

Do you apologize excessively, even for small things? If so, this habit of over-apologising often comes from a the desire to avoid conflict and get reassurance from others.

The person is constantly apologizing to make sure everything is okay and asking for approval.

Over-apologizing can make you appear less confident and can even undermine your credibility.

But even worse, it creates a cycle of self-blame, where you feel like you’re always wrong, even when you don’t need to be.

8) They prefer to be alone

People with low self-esteem may feel more comfortable being alone protect yourself from potential judgment.

It’s like a shield they use to avoid feeling exposed or criticized by others. However, this choice to be alone can further reinforce their feelings of loneliness and inadequacy.

When they avoid social interactions, it creates a barrier. This barrier prevents them from forming deep connections with others and seeking the support they need.

So, by choosing loneliness as a way of coping, they inadvertently make it harder to break out of the cycle of loneliness and find support that could actually help boost their self-esteem.

9) They have mood swings due to insecurity and self-doubt

Feeling emotional all over is a common thing when someone has low self-esteem.

It’s as if there’s a constant battle going on inside them between not feeling good enough and really wanting others to tell them they are.

This internal conflict causes their moods to swing back and forth unexpectedly.

So at one moment they may seem happy and well, but then something triggers those self-doubts and suddenly their mood deteriorates.

This not only affects how they feel about themselves, but also how they relate to the people around them.

Their emotional ups and downs can affect how they react to others, making their relationships like riding waves – sometimes smooth, sometimes turbulent.

10) They rely on others to make them happy

I’ve already mentioned how people with low self-esteem depend on others for validation. But they too it depends on others make them happy.

This means that they can hardly be happy alone. It’s like they don’t have a strong internal happiness generator.

Instead, they often look to other people or relationships to feel good about themselves and find meaning.

They turn to others, like friends or partners, to flip the switch for them. This puts a lot of pressure on relationships as the responsibility for their happiness falls on the people around them.

Final thoughts

Low self-esteem is not set in stone. If you have low self-esteem, you can improve reflection, a positive attitude and seeking support.

Personal growth is a journey, and with dedication and the right mindset, you can gradually overcome the challenges associated with low self-esteem.

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