Women who lack self-esteem often display these 8 behaviors (without realizing it)

It’s a fact: self-esteem matters. It shapes how we see ourselves, how we interact with others, and even how we approach life’s challenges.

Yet, it’s not always easy to spot when someone’s struggling with low self-esteem, especially if that person is you.

As a woman, there are 8 behaviors you might unknowingly exhibit when your self-esteem takes a hit.

So, let’s dive in and watch out for these behaviors!

1) Over-apologizing

Apologies are a crucial part of human interaction, a bridge that mends offenses and misunderstandings. Yet, excessive apologies can be a sign of low self-esteem.

Women dealing with self-esteem issues often apologize for things that don’t warrant an apology. “Sorry, I’m rambling,” “Sorry for taking so long,” or “Sorry for asking” are common examples.

This over-apologizing habit comes from a place of feeling like you’re constantly in the way, a burden, or just not good enough. It can be hard to spot, especially because it’s often disguised as politeness.

Recognizing this pattern is the first step towards breaking the cycle. No need to apologize for existing or taking up space. You matter, and your thoughts and feelings are valid.

2) Downplaying accomplishments

I remember a time when I’d achieved something I was genuinely proud of – landing my first big client at work. But, when my colleagues congratulated me, I found myself saying things like, “Oh, it was nothing,” or “I just got lucky.”

Downplaying accomplishments is another behavior that women with low self-esteem often exhibit. It stems from the belief that they’re not worthy of praise or that their achievements are not significant.

It took me a while to realize that this behavior was a reflection of my low self-esteem and not humility, as I initially thought. Now, I try to acknowledge and celebrate my achievements, big or small, and it has helped me build a healthier self-image.

3) Negative self-talk

Our thoughts and words carry immense power, especially when they’re about ourselves. Women struggling with low self-esteem often engage in negative self-talk.

This behavior isn’t just about being overly critical or harsh on oneself. It’s about repeatedly and consistently engaging in harmful narratives that undermine self-worth.

Studies have shown that this pattern of thinking can actually rewire our brain, leading to increased stress and reduced problem-solving abilities. Essentially, negative self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, further eroding self-esteem.

It’s important to note this behavior and consciously work towards replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

4) Avoiding eye contact

Communication isn’t just verbal. Our body language can speak volumes about our state of mind, and avoiding eye contact is a common non-verbal cue associated with low self-esteem.

When talking to someone, women who lack self-confidence often find it difficult to maintain steady eye contact. They may constantly look down or away, feeling uncomfortable under someone else’s gaze.

This behavior usually stems from a fear of being judged or scrutinized. Understanding this can help in taking steps towards building self-confidence and making connections with others more effectively.

5) Fear of saying ‘No’

Saying ‘No’ can be hard, especially when you’re afraid of disappointing others or facing rejection. For women battling low self-esteem, this fear can be so overpowering that they often find themselves agreeing to things they’d rather not do.

I’ve seen this in a dear friend of mine. She was always the one everyone turned to because they knew she would never say no, even if it meant putting her own needs on the back burner. It broke my heart to see her stretched thin and stressed, all because she feared the consequences of asserting herself.

The inability to say ‘No’ is a clear sign of low self-worth. It’s crucial to remember that setting boundaries is not only okay, but also necessary for your mental health and well-being. You have every right to prioritize your needs.

6) Seeking validation

There was a time when I used to constantly seek validation from others. Whether it was my work, my looks, or my choices, I felt the need for others to approve or appreciate them. I’d find myself feeling anxious and distressed whenever I did not receive the expected affirmation.

Seeking validation is a common behavior among women dealing with low self-esteem. It stems from a deep-seated belief that their worth is tied to how others perceive them.

Over time, I’ve learned that the most important validation comes from within. It’s a journey, but learning to trust and believe in yourself is a crucial step towards building healthy self-esteem.

7) Overcompensating

Overcompensation can take many forms. It may be working excessively to prove your worth, trying too hard to fit in, or going overboard in pleasing others.

This is a behavior often exhibited by women with low self-esteem. It’s an attempt to mask insecurities and make themselves feel more valuable or accepted.

It’s important to understand that your worth isn’t determined by how much you do or how much you’re liked by others. You are enough, just as you are. Recognizing and addressing this behavior can lead to a healthier sense of self-worth.

8) Avoiding risks

One of the vital truths about life is that growth often happens outside our comfort zones. However, women suffering from low self-esteem often fear taking risks, even small ones.

They might avoid applying for a job, starting a new hobby, or even voicing an opinion, all due to the fear of failure or rejection. This behavior can limit opportunities and personal growth.

Embracing risks and viewing failures as learning opportunities is key to boosting self-confidence. Remember, every step you take, every risk you embrace brings you closer to becoming the strong, confident woman you are meant to be.

Final thoughts: It’s about self-love

At the heart of self-esteem lies the concept of self-love.

Self-love isn’t about conceit or narcissism. It’s about acknowledging your worth, embracing your strengths and weaknesses, and treating yourself with kindness and respect.

American psychologist Carl Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” This quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of self-esteem.

For women struggling with low self-esteem, recognizing these behaviors is the first step towards change. Remember, it’s a journey, not a destination. Self-esteem isn’t built in a day. It requires conscious effort, patience, and above all, a whole lot of self-love.

As you reflect on these behaviors, bear in mind that every woman’s experience with self-esteem is unique. What matters most is that you embark on this journey towards self-love and acceptance, empowering yourself to become the best version of you.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

8 things highly successful people never do on the weekend, according to psychology

10 words to add to your vocab to instantly sound classier and more eloquent