14 signs of low self esteem


A general sense of wholeness enables one to grasp happiness even when the world seems to be spinning in the wrong direction. So what do the 14 signs of low self-esteem have to do with your sense of wholeness or wellness? Everything.

Why should you be aware of the signs of low self-esteem?

You may have read articles on self-improvement, and you might be working on improving your self-esteem. But while your mind is fervently working behind the scenes, you need to be aware of the signs of low self-esteem that might give you away. Not to enable you to pretend or fool people. But once you are aware of something, you possess control over it.

Moreover, you need to have control over your public appearance and relations. And what better way is there to do so than to be aware of the things you do that may alter the perception people may have over you? True, you must not mind so much what people think about you. But you can’t have wholeness and wellness without balancing the external and internal environment. Th internal being your mind and you, external being the people around you and your environment.

What is self-esteem?

14 signs of low self-esteem

Self-esteem is the perception and value you place on yourself. This is influenced by family history, background, upbringing, past experiences, loss, etc. Despite all these vices, self-esteem can be learned. Learn more here.

It took me years to finally look upon myself with complete approval. So if you start working on your self-esteem now, I won’t lie to you that things will change overnight, it may take a long time, even years. So I think it’s only fair that I avail these 14 signs of low self-esteem that might give you away because I know you are working so hard to improve your self-perception. And sometimes one step forward seems to be accompanied by five steps backwards! I feel you.

I have written a couple of articles on self-esteem and self-love; and how to attain these things. However, things are easier said than done! But that doesn’t mean that you should give up. It means you should clap for yourself at every achievement towards self-improvement no matter how small. Trust me, you’re better off with half a step forward than still stuck in an undesired position.

14 Signs of low self-esteem that may give you away

14 signs of low self-esteem

You might want to take note of these 14 signs of low self-esteem so that while you allow yourself to grow mentally at a steady pace. Meanwhile, you are aware of the physical manifestations of low self-esteem. It’s alright to play the outward part while you’re waiting for the inside changes to take effect. After all, we don’t want everybody to know our internal struggles. This knowledge is also part of your journey to acquiring healthy self-esteem. Let’s get right into this!

Your posture

Moving about slouching or dragging yourself is a direct give away of how you feel about yourself. Same goes with walking with your head downcast.

Adopt an upright confident posture and avoid any bad postural habits. Self-grooming also involves how you represent yourself to the public, so you might as well pay attention to your posture.

Your manner of speech

Most people with low self-esteem have pessimism and negativity in their speech and they say negative things about themselves.

Watch what comes from your mouth, make sure you speak positive and good things about yourself and others. Avoid self-deprecating remarks or signs of self-doubt.

Avoidance of eye contact

Most often individuals with low-self esteem avoid direct eye contact with people. This links back to the posture, walking with the head downcast and taking brief peaks at the person they are conversing with.

Maintain good eye contact when engaged in a conversation, this does not only show self-confidence but is also a good listening habit. It shows the person you are speaking to how much they have your attention. You may feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but with time, you will get used to the feeling.

Failure to say no

Being a yes-man or yes-woman does not make you a good person. Neither does it make people like you more. On the contrary, it makes people take advantage of you and use you and also makes you appear fake. Some individuals with low self-esteem may say yes to everyone and everything just to feel worthy and accepted. Don’t do this.

Say no when you don’t want or like it, say no when it is against your principles, say no when it might put your life in danger. Trust me, you will even start to feel good about yourself the more you say no to rubbish and toxic people because you will feel less used and more real.

Moving with the crowd

Lack of self-esteem causes lack of ground principles and personal preferences. So you may notice that some individuals with low self-esteem are “down for whatever”. Wherever the wind blows or where the crowds at, they’re game. They like and want everything, they can do anything with no limits or precautions so long it pleases someone.

Set some ground principles, preferences and dislikes; and stick to them! It’s normal to find yourself bending a little or compromising for a good cause once in a while, but not on a regular basis. Know yourself and know what you stand for.


Have you ever come across a really pretty or good looking person drabbed in droopy dull pitiful colours or garments? With a hairdo that does them injustice? For some reason, they look dirty, misplaced and lost?

Don’t be that person. I used to be one of those and I often felt worse about myself than I actually looked. Yes at some point I couldn’t afford good outfits but many are the times that I gave away beautiful clothes to someone I thought was”pretty” and deserved to look good. What nonsense!

Don’t do that, you deserve all the fine things in life. If you can’t see the beauty in yourself, just take care of yourself, cleanup to the best of your ability, look and smell good, someone will notice the beauty. After all, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and you may not be the beholder-yet. Don’t neglect yourself. Practice self-care to the best of your ability.

Bullying others

Did you know that most bullies generally do not experience wholeness in their lives and are victims of low self-esteem? So why do they bully others? They do it to feel a sense of superiority, power, control, self-worth, and wholeness. They want others to feel as bad about themselves as they do. Bullying may be verbal, physical, emotional or mental. Some individuals bully others by making dirty or defamatory remarks. Or may constantly tease someone over something all in the name of joking or having a good laugh.

Always remember that putting others down does not increase your worth or make you any superior. Just be nice, no one will think any less of you. If it hurts someone, don’t laugh or joke about it. Be a little more sensitive to other peoples feelings.

Attention seeking

Attention-seeking tendencies are a big give away in this area. Some attention-seeking habits include; Being controversial, pretending to be ignorant over something, being highly arguementative, hurting yourself, risky behaviour, threats of self harm,

Most oftten, people who desperately seek for attention get it in all the wrong ways.

You don’t need anyone to feel worthy. You are worthy just as you are. You need to free yourself from emotional dependence and learn to depend on yourself for happiness.

Saying sorry unnecessarily

At one point a long time ago, I felt sorry to be in existence, kkkk. I laugh about it now, but it’s really not funny because it happens, to a lot of people. So I often found myself saying sorry unnecessarily even in the wrong instances and that can be very irritating to others.

Saying sorry is a good thing, but it has its place and time. Get rid of this bad habit. Not everything is your fault.

People pleasing

People pleasers go to extreme lengths to please others, including placing themselves in harm’s way. They are capable of denying truth just to gain favour and popularity. This is because they find self-worth in crowds and applause.

Always stand for what is right and know your ground. This works well if you know yourself and know where your loyalty lies. Also do not fake anything just to get approval. Be yourself, be real.

Taking things too personal

Because the mind of one with low-self esteem is drowning in negativity, they often see everything as a personal attack. They think too much into situations and always feel victimised. Even when you may do something with good intentions, they may interpret it in an attack on their persona. Why not? After all, their own minds are always attacking them so it’s easy to conclude that so is everytone else!

Avoid taking things too personal and overreacting. You can tell your mind to relax and see situations as they are. It’s easier said than done but one step at a time does it.

Failure to handle genuine compliments

Funny, but some of these points were me at some point. I couldn’t handle a genuine compliment and to me, these sounded like mockery because I had placed very little value on myself.

When someone says something nice to you, believe it and take it positively. Take the compliment as it is. Don’t think too much into it either. As this will definitely give you away. And remember that not every person of the opposite sex that reaches out to you looks at you, or comes near you wants to date you or has sexual interests.

You never speak up or stand up for yourself

Mostly, individuals with low self-esteem let others push them around or rough them up. Others may feel like they deserve harsh treatment while others may not have the confidence to fight back, protest or walk away.

You don’t deserve harsh treatment, no matter how much garbage is in your past. Seek justice, speak up, be heard, and don’t go silent.

Substance abuse

People smoke, take alcohol and other toxic substances for different reasons, some in moderation while others in excess. However, substance abuse, which is excessive usage of these substances may mean a lot of things. One of which is low self-esteem. Some individuals hide behind intoxication and feel that they can only function better or be themselves under the influence of substances.

If you are to take alcohol or smoke for any reason, do so in moderation and with caution. Not only will it be a hint of your low self-esteem, but also for the integrity of your mental and physical wellbeing.

How to build your self-esteem

The 14 signs of low self-esteem listed above are meant to make you aware of what may give you away. We don’t want everyone knowing that we are struggling with intrinsic issues. But this doesn’t mean that you pretend while creating a fake cover of confidence.

Positive self-esteem ensures mental wellbeing and good quality of life. Take steps to improve your self-esteem using these two articles; Can self-esteem be learned and 15 easy strategies for boosting your self-esteem. Be sure to check them out so you can build your self-esteem and enjoy a life of wholeness and bliss. Also, check out some self-love affirmations in my resource library that you can meditate on for 31 days and improve your self-perception.

I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this subject, please drop your comments below. Thanks for reading.

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