Do you have low self-esteem? If you are like many people, your immediate reaction is probably, no. After all, you don’t beat yourself up mentally and emotionally, you don’t think that you are incapable, and you don’t feel worthless. Well, these are all good things, but they don’t necessarily prove that low self-esteem isn’t a potential problem. The signs that were just described are indicators of extremely low self-esteem.

Hopefully you will never get to that point, but there is still a lot of room between a healthy level of self-esteem and self-esteem that has been utterly destroyed. In order to maintain good emotional health, it is important to recognize the signs of low self-esteem early and learn how to stave them off.

1. Discomfort With Accepting Compliments

How well do you take compliments? Do you minimize them by claiming that you really aren’t that deserving?  Do you stammer and mutter something about the task being really simple or insist that your actions weren’t that big of a deal? Do you quickly change the subject?

If you have a difficult time accepting compliments especially those that are directly related to your actions and accomplishments, your self-esteem might need a bit of work. An immediate fix to this might be to simply remind yourself to follow basic rules of etiquette, smile, and say thank you to a compliment. However, that doesn’t address the bigger picture. When somebody compliments you, thank them of course. Then, later on, write down the character traits and actions that led to that compliment. This will help you to learn to focus on the value of your accomplishments.

2. Taking Less Care of Your Health And Well-Being

You don’t have to have let yourself completely go for lack of attention to your well-being to be a sign of low self-esteem. It can be little things such as blowing off the gym more and more often when working out was always so important to you. Maybe you’re eating more junk food than you usually do, or maybe you’re not sleeping like you always have?

These are subtle signs that you may be veering towards a pattern of thought that says I’m not worth these extra attention and this extra steps to my health and mood  That’s a tough thing to consider, but here’s some good news. You don’t need to seek out some external fix for this problem. If you simply find ways to take little steps to restore your focus on your well-being, you will see your self-esteem improve. Don’t worry about large gestures, just about making one small change at a time.


3. Questioning Your Value to Others in Small Ways

You go out with friends for an evening and you have a great time. You return home, and then it hits you in the pit of your stomach:

  • Was I annoying?
  • Maybe everybody was only pretending to be nice to me.
  • I bet the only reason I was invited was because I know somebody
  • I should have never told that joke. I bet nobody thought it was funny

Sure, you may not think that people absolutely hate you, but every time you interact socially you feel doubt. You mentally replay social interactions and beat yourself for saying or doing anything that may have irritated others or drawn attention to yourself.

Try to give yourself and others more credit. Not only is it unfair for you to define yourself as being less than worthy of true friendships, but it is also unfair to assume that the people who’ve reached out to you socially have ulterior motives. Instead of focusing on your doubts in these situations, focus on having fun. Stop over analyzing and enjoy the time you have socializing with the people that you love.

4. You Constantly Move Out of The Way or Apologize

Here is something interesting. It has been shown that people with lower self-confidence often physically move out of the way of others, even if they have the right of way. This could mean stepping off to the side even when the person coming towards you is on the wrong side of the hallway, or stepping back and letting other people through the door before you.

Yes, this can occasionally be done as a matter of safety or courtesy. If you do it constantly, however it shows that you think other people have more priority than you in their movements. The same thing applies if you find yourself constantly apologizing, not for wrongdoing but for simply making your way around in the world. For example, you might apologize when somebody bumps into you, or if need the attention of a sales clerk.

Unfortunately, the more you do these things, the more others will unconsciously fill in your space in the world. You act as if you deserve to be pushed to the side, and eventually people will treat you that way, even if they do not mean to do so. Try to change these habits by moving in a very conscious manner.

Make eye contact with people when you walk, have good posture, and move with a purpose. Be aware of your tendency to move to the side or apologize, and making a dedicated effort to stop doing that. The confidence and self-esteem that you may feel as if you are faking initially, will actually take hold and become real.

This blog post has been reproduced with the permission of Expanded Consciousness. The original blog post can be found here. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily endorsed by this organization and are simply provided as food for thought from Intellectual Takeout.

[Image Credit: Pixabay | CCO Public Domain]