Self esteem

Problems with Self Esteem

Self esteem can simply be defined as having a good opinion about yourself. Some of the traits of people who have high/healthy self-esteem are feeling proud of accomplishments, optimistic, accepting of compliments, give others praise, and do not feel jealous/envious of others. Additionally, people feel the exact opposite of these things and are suffering from low/unhealthy self esteem. Some traits of low self esteem are as follows:

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  • Inability to make a decision
  • Feelings of shame
  • Negative thought patterns and self talk
  • Continuous worrying
  • Making excuses
  • Depend on the acceptance of others
  • Pessimistic outlook
  • Isolation/social withdrawal
  • Putting others down
  • Fear of change and new experiences
  • Perfectionism
  • Unable to accept criticism
  • Overly self critical
  • Low interest in physical appearance
  • Blame others
  • Not able to express feelings
  • Having no boundaries (unable to say “no”)
  • Inability to laugh
  • Feeling hopeless
  • High need for material possessions
  • Hostility

Any of these traits or a mixture of several can lead to a very unsatisfying life both for the individual and their loved ones. When trying to determine if you or someone you know is suffering from low/unhealthy self esteem it can also be helpful to know some of the things that can cause this diminished self concept.

Below is a list of some possible causes of low / unhealthy self esteem:

  • Failure to meet standards set by parents – Child Academic
  • Taking on other people’s Stress or distress
  • Lack of praise, warmth, or affection
  • Excessive criticism
  • Constant unrealistic expectations
  • Systematic punishment, neglect, or abuse
  • Failure to meet standards set by peer group
  • Being a member of a family or social group that others are prejudiced towards
  • Left out at home/school/work
  • Being constantly compared to others

Once you have determined if low/unhealthy self esteem is the issue you are struggling with you can begin to look at techniques that can be utilized to help improve the way in which you view yourself. Some of the popular techniques include:

  • Reviewing your strengths and weaknesses
  • Crediting yourself for your strengths
  • Understanding cognitive distortions and how to combat them
  • Examining healthy versus unhealthy values
  • Reframing your mistakes
  • Preparing yourself to be better equipped to respond to criticism

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