Do You Have Self-Esteem Issues? Signs to Help You Identify Them

Certain childhood events can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. In adulthood, self-esteem issues can affect the way you relate to others. Read on to learn more!
Do You Have Self-Esteem Issues? Signs to Help You Identify Them

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Self-esteem is the perspective you have of yourself in relation to others and your idea of ​​how you think you should be. Many factors can influence the development of self-esteem issues. They often stem from childhood.

In this article, we share some keys to help you discover if you have self-esteem issues. This is the first step to start gaining more self-confidence and achieving psychological well-being.

Signs to identify self-esteem issues


A woman with low self-esteem.
A lack of self-esteem generates greater stress due to the difficulty of facing many social situations.

A large percentage of people with low self-esteem develop acute insecurity. In some cases, it can be a big problem – and not only on a personal level but also a social level, in terms of adaptation.

Insecurity can become a sign of low self-esteem that can completely affect various aspects of your life. Insecurity paralyzes and causes stress and a lot of psychological pressure. Some very insecure people often delegate decision-making to others, further complicating their self-confidence.

Not accepting any type of criticism

One of the symptoms of low self-esteem is when a person doesn’t accept any type of criticism or comment about their work or personal traits or attitudes. They may even react arrogantly and aggressively or, on the contrary, become demoralized and hurt.

This type of behavior can trigger high susceptibility, meaning that they may even feel hurt by any minimal negative comment. As a result, the person develops an overflowing psychological fragility and, therefore, their happiness will always depend on others.

Defending themselves even when no one is attacking them

Low self-esteem can alter the way of perceiving reality regarding interaction and coexistence with others. Any comment can make them feel attacked and, consequently, always have a defensive attitude. Also, they may develop a sort of delusion or think that everyone is against them.

However, the fact that a person simply doesn’t accept your opinion isn’t a plot against you. Therefore, you must apply common sense and learn to trust others.

Inability to do what they truly want

A young woman suffering from bullying.
Due to insecurity, a person may have a hard time saying “no” or sharing their opinions.

People with low self-esteem tend to be unable to say “no” to someone. Wanting to please everyone is a mistake. Remember that it isn’t possible to please everyone, nor is it healthy to put other people’s opinions or plans before your own. Remember: Always put your safety mask on first!

Low self-esteem leads to an inferiority and undervaluation complex. This makes a person surrender to any dispute or dialogue and makes them feel unable to defend their ideas. In fact, this can happen even if you’re more educated, make better contributions, or have better opinions.

You should also read: Establish Relationship Boundaries and Learn to Say “No”

Inability to relate to people of the opposite sex

There are many cases of people with great undervaluation who feel incapable or not worthy of having a partner. They perceive the person they like as unattainable and feel unworthy to start a simple and cordial conversation.

Low self-esteem makes people think that they’re not going to be able to capture other people’s attention or be liked by others. Plus, this can be accentuated much more if the person has a physical trait that’s considered “different” from the rest and that they’re insecure about.

Self-esteem issues are reflected in body posture

Body language is also a way of communicating. In fact, it’s considered non-verbal communication. Low self-esteem, along with insecurity, makes people hunch their backs and lower their necks. Also, they usually cross their legs and move without ease or relaxation.

Thus, it’s interesting for you to be aware if you’re adopting bad postural habits derived from personal undervaluation. In fact, people with self-esteem issues may even show joy and laughter less frequently.

External factors that can lead to self-esteem issues

A sad boy in school.
Bullying can lead to self-esteem issues.

Most cases of people who develop low self-esteem have suffered some form of ongoing emotional abuse or harassment. A humiliating treatment creates insecurities and ends up nullifying a person’s capacity for normal social interaction.

Bullying, workplace harassment, parental repression, or emotional blackmail can lead to undervaluation. In fact, in more severe cases, it can lead to suicidal wishes or self-harming behaviors. That’s why it’s extremely important – and healthy – to work on your self-esteem. If you’d like some extra help, a therapist is a great place to start – they’re experts in helping people develop healthier self-esteem! After all, it’s a surprisingly common issue, so there’s nothing to be ashamed about.

Overall, these are some of the signs that will help you know if you have self-esteem issues. In addition, they’ll also help you detect it in your children or other loved ones to encourage them to seek help. Therefore, the first step is to become aware of this undervaluation to be able to fix it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Pereira, M. L. N. (2007). Autoestima: un factor relevante en la vida de la persona y tema esencial del proceso educativo. Revista Electrónica “Actualidades Investigativas En Educación.
  • Berntsson, E. (2004). Los seis pilares de la Autoestima. Atención Primaria.
  • Atienza, F. L., Moreno, Y., Balaguer, I., & Rosenberg, M. (2004). Escala de autoestima de Rosenberg. Apuntes de Psicologia.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.