10 Signs of Low Self Esteem

signs of low self esteem

Let’s admit it.

We’ve all been through rough patches in life; a time when the odds seemed stacked against us.

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But, what made the difference is how we pushed ourselves out of the situation.

If you’re unable to get out of sticky situations quickly, you risk plunging yourself into low self esteem.

You start losing your sense of self-worth and feeling completely incapable of completing daily tasks.

Left unchecked, low self esteem can lead to mental health disorders, such as depression and suicidal tendencies.

Whether it’s for yourself or to helps others, knowing the signs of low self esteem is an important step toward tackling this epidemic that’s affecting about 85 percent of the global population.

Let’s get started.

1. Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is perhaps the first tell-tale sign that you or someone you know is slipping into low self esteem.

When you’d rather spend time in your room than step out into the world and face the prospect of being constructively criticized by people, the alarms should go off.

If you’re in a social function, you somehow feel unenthusiastic about interacting with old friends and meeting new ones. Instead, you fish out your smartphone and bury yourself in it.

But there are cases when your devices won’t bail you out, like when you’re in a group discussion.

So, what do you do?

You go silent and let that talking heads do their thing.

2. Struggle with Decision-Making

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

You don’t have to be the head of a multinational corporation to feel the weight of making decisions.

As an individual, you spend most of your time making conscious decisions on various issues, including family, school, and career.

When you feel unable to make firm decisions and accept responsibility for your actions, you could be suffering from low self esteem.

3. Downright Hate Compliments

People who are experiencing low self esteem don’t like receiving compliments, mostly because they contradict their own views.

For example, when someone tells you that your smile is contagious or you’re looking great, you could say thank you, but deep inside you feel insulted.


Because you’ve trained your brain to think that there is nothing great about you, or you think you don’t measure up to anyone or anything.

Although many people are wired to embrace kind words of appreciation, there are others who naturally hate compliments.

As such, this is one of the signs of low self esteem that can be hard to detect in other people.

4. Inability to Stand Up for Yourself

When people try to walk all over you, you have to stand up for yourself and fight back.

That’s the most effective way to overcome bullies in school or even at work.

But when you’re vulnerable to bouts of low self esteem, you lack the confidence or courage to keep people from messing with you.

And by the way, you don’t have to face a bully in order to know you’re unable to stand up for yourself.

People can tell you’re not confident from how you stand, walk or sit.

For instance, avoid eye contact, crossing your arms when sited and clenching your hands could all be indicators of low self esteem.

5. Can’t Step Out Without Makeup

Makeup is central to the daily routines of most people, especially women.

It amplifies beauty, boost confidence and defines personal image.

For a normal person, stepping out without wearing makeup shouldn’t create any problem. You will probably feel something is a bit off. Nothing more.

However, if your self esteem takes a hit every time you leave without wearing makeup, there’s probably an underlying issue you need to solve.

6. Weird Behaviors

This is one of the most common signs of low self esteem in affected teens and young adults.

Weird behaviors are quite easy to detect.

When you find someone doing weird things like nail biting, scab picking, hair pulling and skin cutting, chances are you’re dealing with a case of severe low-esteem.

Scientists call this behavior compulsive self-mutilation, and it can lead to serious injuries.

7. Sexual Promiscuity and Sexual Dysfunction

When it comes to bedroom matters, low self esteem affects people differently.

Teens low on self esteem tend to use sex as a “means to build confidence,” so they end up sleeping with multiple partners.

In adults, low self esteem comes with sexual dysfunction.

If you think you’re unworthy, your sexual energy and desire to get laid will start draining out.

So, if you’re feeling the only meaningful thing you can do in the bedroom is catch some sleep, it could be high time you sought help for low self esteem.

8. Workaholism

Do you know someone who seems to have nothing else to do but work?

Ruthless ambition is good.

It’s only through sheer determination and hard work that you will achieve most of your career and life goals.

Sometimes, however, work is no longer a means to a good life, but a sure indicator of low self esteem.

When you start working long hours every day or discover that you can’t relax unless you’re working, you could be a victim of low self esteem.

9. You Become a Shopaholic

So, work hard, shop hard?

Sure, there is nothing wrong going for a shopping spree when you got the money, but excessive shopping could be a sign of low self esteem.

Buying high-value items that you don’t need might make you feel better about yourself in the short-term, but it can have serious consequences on your personal finances when it grows into an addiction.

Addiction shopping is more common in young women with self esteem issues.

10. Uncertainty about the Future

You don’t just wake up one morning and develop feelings of uncertainty about your future.

It’s a process fueled by a series of events that gradually suck the life out of your self-confidence.

Perhaps you keep getting negative performance reviews at work or your friends keep poking fun at your weakness.

The aftermath?

You end up feeling uncertain about your career, relationships and other aspects of your life.

Closing Thoughts on Signs of Low Self Esteem

Low self esteem can be a slight problem for some people, and it can be a real monster for others.

By having a good handle on the common signs of low self esteem, you will be able to detect and fight it as soon as it starts to creeps in.

What’s your take on low self esteem? Do you have any questions or thoughts? We’d love to hear from you.

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