So you think you’re kind and caring, but, on the flip side, you have low self-esteem?
That’s because you’re always looking out for others. But when it comes to you, you don’t see your own value, and your confidence is on the low side.
There could be many reasons for this, from past experiences to internalized beliefs.
The challenge lies in recognizing and appreciating your own value and having a healthier self-worth.
So, let’s explore the actual signs you’re a kind person with low self-esteem and what you should do about it.
1) You’re constantly apologizing
Many people with low self-esteem apologize profusely, even for things that aren’t their fault.
When you say sorry all the time, it means you’re scared that if you make a mistake, people won’t like you anymore, so you’re always walking on eggshells to avoid upsetting someone.
When I hear someone apologizing like that, an alarm immediately goes off in my head. It’s just such a big telltale sign of low or no self-esteem.
And, of course, it’s coupled with avoiding confrontation at all costs.
2) You’re avoiding confrontation
People with low self-esteem are worried that if they speak up, people won’t like what they have to say, or they might not like them anymore.
It’s such an irrational fear, isn’t it?
I mean, you would have to have some pretty bad opinions about things in order for people to dislike you that much.
More often than not, I bet your opinions and viewpoints are vanilla, and you wouldn’t upset anyone by sharing them loudly and clearly.
Of course, you should read the room too. But whatever you do, don’t try to please people. It’s just not worth it.
3) You want to please people
Going out of your way to please others might be your way of making sure they still like you. It’s almost like you’re trying to compensate for what you see as your own shortcomings by doing everything for everyone else.
Psychology says you’re doing this to gain their approval and to be liked by everyone. Likewise, there’s your need to avoid confrontation.
That’s why it’s easier to say “yes” than to argue or reject something.
To address your low self-esteem means building a more positive self-image and learning to value yourself independently of other people’s opinions.
4) You’re overthinking social interactions
After socializing, are you replaying every word and action? Is your brain on overdrive worrying about how others see you?
If so, it’s not just analyzing. You’re expecting everyone to find faults in what you did or said.
Again, this is completely irrational. For better or worse, most people will forget about the conversation they had with you as soon as you say “bye.”
Some with low self-esteem will also prepare for their social obligations, even if it’s just a cup of coffee with a friend.
They might find this comforting, but it’s really not helping their cause.
5) You’re downplaying your own achievements
Shrugging off your accomplishments isn’t just about being humble. When you consistently downplay your own achievements, it’s another sign of low self-esteem.
It’s like you have trouble accepting that you did something well. So you attribute it to luck or think anyone could have done it, downplaying your skills and efforts.
But is that really true? Probably not. I bet you have the skills and abilities to make things happen.
So, don’t sell yourself short. Acknowledge your strengths, skills, and efforts, and allow yourself to take pride in what you’ve achieved.
To overcome this habit, you need to make a shift in your mindset, start self-affirming yourself, and cultivate a positive self-image.
6) You avoid attention at all costs
Apart from avoiding conflicts, you’re probably also avoiding attention at all costs, right?
You don’t want to embarrass yourself. Or you also have a fear of judgment and don’t think you deserve positive recognition.
Plus, I’m sure that the mere thought of being in the spotlight is making you uncomfortable.
In such cases, building self-esteem is vital, as standing out is often one of the most crucial parts of getting promotions at work, for example.
With high self-esteem, you also have more confidence in yourself and your abilities. You can pursue your goals and ambitions more easily, which means you’ll be more successful in life.
You also won’t fear rejection as much.
7) You fear rejection
Are you having this intense worry that if people knew the real you, flaws and all, they might not want to stick around?
People with this fear often go out of their way to avoid situations where they think they’ll be rejected, like not expressing their true thoughts or hesitating to hang out with people.
Of course, this also means that at work, you’re often working with one hand tied behind your back, as you don’t give it your all.
To overcome this fear, you need to challenge your beliefs about self-worth and develop resilience against potential judgment.
I’m afraid of many things, too, but that doesn’t mean I ain’t doing them. I do them because they’re hard and present a considerable challenge.
When I step out of my cushy comfort zone, I face rejections left and right. But if there’s one thing I learned about that it’s that it’s all worth it in the end.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
8) Your humor is self-deprecating
Making fun of yourself first is a bit of a defense mechanism. A way to beat others to the punchline and dodge the fear of them doing it first.
It’s a witty strategy to handle those insecurities, turning them into a source of humor and, in a way, disarming any potential teasing.
But guess what? We’re not on the school playground anymore. There’s no need to do that.
Recognizing the fine line between humor and genuine self-esteem issues is crucial, as constant self-deprecation will reinforce your negative self-perceptions.
9) You’re comparing yourself to others
Measuring yourself against others is something almost no one is escaping. With social media, everyone can see what others are doing in their lives.
But the thing is, what you see on social media is just the tip of the iceberg, and all the blood, sweat, and tears are hidden below the surface.
This bad habit of comparing yourself to others results in a perpetual cycle of feeling inadequate, as there will always be someone seemingly “better” in all aspects of life.
10) You need and seek approval
According to psychology, seeking approval often stems from a deep-seated desire for external validation to compensate for a lack of internal self-worth.
That’s why people with low self-esteem find themselves constantly seeking reassurance and positive feedback from others.
The approval becomes a crucial source of validation, serving as a temporary boost to their fragile self-image.
If that’s you, you need to take some time to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings. Work on becoming more aware of your own strengths, achievements, and positive qualities.
Challenge negative self-talk and try to replace it with more affirming and positive thoughts.
11) You can’t say “no” to anyone
Saying “yes” all the time could be your way of avoiding disappointing others.
You’re afraid that if you refuse, people won’t like you, so you end up putting everyone else’s needs above your own.
Psychologically, this behavior is often driven by a fear that declaring personal boundaries could lead to negative perceptions or disapproval from those around you.
When you have low self-esteem, setting boundaries is difficult for many reasons I already mentioned.
If I think back about my battle with low self-esteem, I see that saying “no” was almost impossible for me.
This, of course, meant that I had to work much harder at work than most others because my desk was never empty because people took advantage of me and just kept pilling their stuff on it.
So, what should you do to break these shackles and build more self-esteem? You’ll need a mix of self-reflection, self-compassion, and positive actions.
Start by acknowledging your strengths. Set realistic goals, challenge negative thoughts, and prioritize self-care.
Surround yourself with supportive people, celebrate achievements (big or small), and seek professional help if needed. It’s a gradual process, so be patient and kind to yourself along the way.
But ultimately, the more success you have, the easier it will be.
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