LOVE AND ACCEPT YOURSELF CHAPTER 3. HOW TO RECOGNIZE PEOPLE WITH LOW SELF-ESTEEM
It can be difficult to identify low self-esteem in someone else, because these people don’t open up to others and often are good in building walls around them to hide their true feelings. However, you can see some signs that indicate low self-esteem in people.
They are aggressive and trying to control you. They don’t feel in control of their own life, so they try to control everything and everyone to feel more important and safe. They create an impression of being confident, but a really confident person isn’t aggressive, arrogant, or controlling. Read more in my article WHY CONFIDENCE AND ARROGANCE ARE TWO OPPOSITE THINGS.
They can’t accept compliments and always try to explain that it’s only a matter of luck, or return your compliment back. They put themselves down and use negative, helpless language (“I can’t”, “Life sucks and unfair”, “I should have”, etc).
They either try to please everyone (victims), or become abusers.
They get frustrated or angry often. If they don’t feel good about themselves, they have very little patience with others, and any comment made by people brings out negative responses.
They have a really hard time to build healthy relationships. They avoid real intimacy, because they don’t feel good enough and fear to be rejected if their partner spots their vulnerabilities.
They keep themselves busy and can’t just relax and enjoy themselves, to avoid negative self-talk and feelings they are hiding from.
They can’t make or hold direct eye contact with people.
They express fear whenever they are faced with a new situation.
They walk with their head down and shoulders forward.
They use addictions to escape from the self-doubt and pain in their lives. These addictions can include: Alcohol, Drugs, Food, Shopping, or Gambling.
However, some signs and symptoms might be cause not by low self-esteem, but by the person’s intention or their personality type, so be cautious to assume this.
For example, avoiding eye contact might also mean that the person doesn’t want to connect with people at this time; they might be busy and wanting some time alone.
When I was a child, I was often mistaken for a shy girl with a low self-esteem for loving being by myself for a long time and avoiding to be in a center of attention.
But I was happy! I enjoyed every minute of it and always found something interesting to do. Loud parties drained and bored me, because they didn’t give me mental stimulation and depth I craved.
I could draw and read for hours and was very selective with who to interact with. I wasn’t shy or anxious, it just was my choice.
I didn’t know then that it’s called introversion, and it’s a completely different thing from shyness. Shyness IS one of the signs of low self-esteem, because it’s caused by a fear of rejection.
Read more about DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHYNESS AND INTROVERSION in my other post.
I also need to mention how dangerous it is to try changing someone into something you think they should be, especially a child. It can break their spirit and develop low self-esteem.
Learning and understanding your child’s (or your partner’s) personality, values, and motives will help you build a healthy relationship with them and earn their love and respect.
Years of negative remarks about my so-called “shyness” from people surrounding me in my childhood years, as well as misunderstanding my artistic perception, decreased my self-esteem greatly.
They created a feeling in me that I am somewhat damaged, because I am different from most of them. It caused me to make a few wrong life choices as I grew up, and led me to the false direction that I regretted afterwards.
Dealing with people with low self-esteem can be difficult. You can help them, but they need to want and accept your help.
Re-building self-esteem in yourself is much easier than you might think. Looking back into my experience, I can say that it’s an extremely rewarding and fun journey, as soon as you are COMMITED. I spent years of learning and researching about self-esteem and identity issues, as they are closely related. I summarized for you in my other article 12 WORKING TECHNIQUES TO REBUILD SELF-ESTEEM ON ANY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE.