It can be extremely difficult when you or someone you love begins to suffer from the symptoms of low self-esteem. These symptoms can manifest in each individual in different ways, the impact often ranging from mild to severe.The majority of individuals with low self-esteem tend to give too much value to the opinions and feelings of other people. That is not to say that caring about the feelings of others is inherently wrong, that is absolutely not the case. However, it becomes a problem when the feelings and opinions of others have an impact on even the simplest tasks and actions, which then come with the fear of upsetting someone else.
There are several important symptoms to look for if you suspect that you, or someone you love, are experiencing low self-esteem:
Individuals with low self-esteem have a habit of constantly saying “I’m sorry”, even when there is nothing that they need to apologize for. The feelings of guilt that accompany low self-esteem make the individual believe that they are somehow responsible for the happiness of others. They are the ultimate people pleasers, and therefore have a hard time saying no to the requests of others.
One of the hallmark symptoms of low self-esteem is indecision. People without healthy levels of self-esteem are constantly questioning themselves, and therefore have trouble making even small, everyday decisions. This anxiety stems from the unfounded fear of making the wrong decision. They also fear that trying something new, or challenging themselves, may lead to failure. So unfortunately, these individuals continue to accept the status quo for fear of change. They fail to see that everyone makes the wrong decision at times, and that it is not only normal, but healthy and encouraging. Making the wrong decision can be the driving factor needed to recognize what is necessary to arrive at your goals. Once a decision is made, stand by that decision and don’t feel the need to defend your choice to anyone but yourself.
Those with low self-esteem may gradually begin to withdraw themselves from social situations, and may begin to experience high levels of social anxiety. They may find themselves starting to compare themselves to other people, measuring their level of success against the success of others. Although it can be very difficult to change this thought process, you should strive to never let the success of others impede your own, or make you feel inferior. Everyone experiences personal and professional growth at their own pace, and it is easier for some than others. But it should never be a source of frustration.
Physical and Mental Changes
Perhaps the most telltale signs of low self-esteem are reflected in a person’s attitude or appearance. Impatience, irritability and fatigue can be observed in the daily interactions of a person with low self-esteem. Anxiety and depression can darken the mood of these individuals, affecting their daily interactions and feelings about themselves and others. They may also stop putting effort into their physical appearance, and feel like it is not worth the time to focus on self-care.
If you, or someone you love, are experiencing any of these symptoms of low self-esteem, please consider talking to a trusted family member or friend. If the symptoms are persistent in your daily life, it may be wise to consult a professional therapist for help and advice.