Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself, particularly in regard to your sense of value and worth. Low self-esteem is having a generally negative overall opinion of yourself. People with low self-esteem typically have negative beliefs about themselves and the kind of person they are. These beliefs are often taken as facts or truths about their identity, rather than being recognised as opinions they hold about themselves.

Characteristics of low self-esteem:

Consistent self-criticism

  • A person with low self-esteem may say a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticise themselves, their actions, and abilities or put themselves down, doubt themselves, or blame themselves when things go wrong.

Disregarding Positive Qualities

  • When compliments are given to someone with low self-esteem, they might push these comments aside and focus on what they didn’t do or the mistakes they made.

Negative emotions

  • A person with low self-esteem may feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated, and angry.

Impact on work/study

  • Those with low self-esteem might consistently achieve less than they are able to because they believe they are less capable than other. They might avoid challenges and opportunities for fear of not doing well. They might work extremely hard and push themselves to do more because they believe they need to compensate for their lack of skill. They might find it difficult to believe that any good results they receive are due to their own abilities or positive qualities.

Relationship Issues

  • In relationships, people with low self-esteem may become distressed by any perceived criticism or disapproval, bend over backwards to please others, appear shy or self-conscious, or avoid/withdraw from intimacy or social contact. Additionally, they are also less likely to stand up for themselves when being bullied, criticised, or abused. Alternatively, they can be overly aggressive in their interactions with others.

Self-esteem is strongly related to how you view and react to the things that happen in your life. Our psychologists at MindTree Psychology can provide you with the skills to overcome adversity and to improve your self-esteem.