The Dangers of Low Self-Esteem
Someone who has low self-esteem will often be highly critical of themselves. The positive qualities that they do possess are ignored or overlooked. Not only do they constantly compare themselves to others, but they also see themselves as inferior to others.
They will often use typically negative words with which to describe themselves – such as unlovable, undeserving, stupid, ugly, overweight or fat. Their self-talk, the discussions that they have with themselves, are critical, they are self-blaming, and they are negative.
They assume that their achievements are down to luck rather than due to hard work or skill, and they can’t accept credit for them. When things go wrong, they immediately blame themselves instead of considering other factors. When someone offers them a compliment, they simply don’t believe it.
How can that impact your life? There are a number of ways it can negatively affect you. When you are constantly critical of yourself, you experience negative feelings of sadness, shame, depression, anger, guilt, and anxiety. All of that, of course, can create relationship problems. How can you have healthy relationships when you don’t believe you deserve love or respect. Moreover, if you have no self-esteem or self-respect, what type of behavior will you accept from a partner? Inversely, the person who suffers from low self-esteem may be the bully in a relationship.
Low self-esteem can prevent people from trying, but it can also drive them to perfectionism. Perfectionism is not a strength, but in fact, it is a weakness. You cannot attain perfection, it is impossible, and trying to reach it will prove an impossible task. It will also creep into other areas of your life, with you expected perfection from others. You are setting yourself up to fail and setting yourself up for disappointment.
Often, people with low self-esteem will cut themselves off from their friends because they are worried about being judged. They are typically lacking in resilience, and are likely to crumble under life’s challenges.
They don’t practice self-care, they are more likely to drink too much or to dabble in drugs. They are more likely to self-harm, which could be with substances, eating disorders or other ways to harm themselves physically.
What Causes Low Self-Esteem
There are a number of contributing factors to low self-esteem. If you had an unhappy childhood or your parents were overly critical, then this could be where the problem started. Often, poor performance in school cause contributes to a confidence issue. Stressful live events such as financial issues, job loss, and relationship problems can all contribute to low self-esteem.
An abusive relationship, whether it was a parent or is a friend or romantic partner, then this can cause low self-esteem. Additionally, ongoing medical conditions can lead to low self-esteem. That includes anxiety and depression, as well as chronic pain, a physical disability or any serious illness.
Regardless of why you may be experiencing low self-esteem, you do not need to continue living this way. If you want to improve your life and work beyond this point, then you can take steps to build your self-esteem back up.