Signs of Low Self Esteem: How to Tell When Help is Needed

signs of low self esteemHow you perceive yourself affects every aspect of your life. Because you do not feel good about any of your traits, whether they be your appearance, personality, background or accomplishments, you make the detrimental choice to seclude yourself and withdraw from a social lifestyle. This can make the signs of low self esteem worse because now you are only focused on yourself and the negative thoughts that you cannot seem to shake off. The unfortunate part of having low self-esteem is that you are not comfortable with yourself or others. You cannot gauge or define ‘normal.’ Some experts even define it as an illness because you have no control over when or where it will hit. The most important thing you can do is to start by reclaiming your positive self-esteem. If you are trying to determine whether or not you or a loved one has low self-esteem, read on to learn more.

Causes of Low Self-Esteem

There are a variety of reasons why someone would feel less confident than another person. It is not because they are less talented, attractive or skilled. It has to do more with the emotional aspects of a person than anything else. You have probably met many beautiful people with low self-esteem and wonder how someone so gorgeous could feel so down about themselves. You might have also met people of average physical appearance with confidence to spare. Low self-esteem has nothing to do with your physical appearance, which is the good news. There are many causes of low self-esteem. Here is a list of a few:

  • People who were physically, emotionally or sexually abused as children.
  • Children of homes headed by single parents due to divorce.
  • Children of parents with dependencies. (Food, shopping, drugs, alcohol, gambling.)
  • Children of mentally ill parents.
  • Children of workaholics.
  • Children of divorce.
  • Children who were bullied in school.
  • Adults who have been cheated on.
  • Adults married to someone with dependencies.
  • Adults in a relationship with a workaholic.
  • Part of a family where someone chronically ill is cared for.

That is only a partial list of some of the reasons why a person might experience low self-esteem. The most unfortunate circumstance is you feel powerless. You think that you are not worth anything better, so you stick to the status quo. Not to mention you have a consistent need for the approval from others and have an unhealthy fear of rejection, disapproval or abandonment.

Some of the Signs:

  • You Cannot Make Eye Contact with Others

Making eye contact is a non-verbal cue of connecting with others. Someone who cannot make eye contact or consistently shifts their eyes show symptoms of self-esteem. This is the result of not being able to trust themselves, and therefore, they are unable to trust others.

  • Walking with Your Head Down

When you lack confidence, you also lack hope. You feel unable to change anything about your surroundings, even if you are highly unhappy. Not to mention, you want to avoid others. So, you walk with your head down in the hopes that no one will notice you.

  • You Do Not Respond Well to Compliments

You are skeptical when people compliment you. Why? Because you think you are not worth it, so why would anyone else disagree? You do not believe that anyone would find you attractive or interesting, so you wonder why anyone would say such things. Your responses can be distrust and saying things such as, “Oh, not me.” This is not the same as humility. There are online courses to help you learn how to  stop beating yourself up and take compliments with grace.

  • You Are Quick to Get Angry or Frustrated

You do not have patience with yourself and this leads to a lack of patience with others. Since you do not focus on the bigger picture, you can become angry and harshly judgmental. The sad part is this type of lashing out will push potential relationships even further from your grasp, and that will lead to more feelings of inadequacy.

  • You Build Walls

Relationships are difficult for you because you fear rejection and abandonment. In addition, you might fear hurting others. You might have a difficult time putting roots down somewhere, and move around often. Moreover, you could attempt to mask this insecurity by over-scheduling yourself so that you just seem too busy to deal with it instead. In addition, you might have the feeling that other people are better than you, have more than you or have a much better life than you have. Of course, you never know for sure because you do not make the effort to open yourself up to people.

  • You Form Addictions

There is a co-dependency involved with people who have confidence issues. To search for means of filling the void that seems to pervade your life. Many of these addictions stem from negative thoughts. You do not realize that you are constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough. So, you start depending on alcohol, gambling, drugs or spending to give you a quick thrill. However, these are all just temporary highs. Once the thrill is gone, you are still back to square one.

  • You Apologize Often

Even when things are not your fault, you find yourself saying “I’m sorry” more often than not. It is one thing to take responsibility for your actions; it is another thing to believe that everything has to be your fault. Even when someone else accidentally bumps into you, you are the one who apologizes as if you shouldn’t have been standing in their way in the first place and not that they shouldn’t have bumped into you. You do not have to apologize for every instance of your life. There are ways you can double your confidence quickly and effectively.

  • Your Vocabulary is Filled with Negative Language

You often say things such as “I can’t,” “I’m only human,” “I’m just gonna die anyway,” “I never should have” and so on. This language is self-defeating and will cause you to retreat even more. I mean, why try if you think you’ll end up failing anyway, right?


There are a variety of ways to treat the signs of low self-esteem. You can see a therapist as needed. Also, experts suggest making the conscious effort to take care of yourself and to stop shying away from healthy and enjoyable activities. Learn how to transform yourself with self-esteem activities; you will not regret it. Furthermore,  try to spend more time with friends, avoid procrastination and make the most of your talents and abilities.