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8 Examples of Low Self-Esteem and What to Do

low self esteem essay examples

Learning the signs of low self-esteem and how to take action can help improve the way you view yourself and the world.

Young person with their eyes closed

When your self-esteem is high, you may feel confident and ready to take on the world. But continued low self-esteem can affect your relationships, sense of self-worth, how you express yourself, and how you navigate life.

By definition, self-esteem is essentially how you think and feel about yourself at the conscious and unconscious levels.

From a psychological standpoint, Dr. Jan Roberts , LCSW, says that low self-esteem typically reflects those hidden thoughts and beliefs you might have about yourself.

You can have low self-confidence for many reasons, like:

  • expectations from parents and caregivers as a child
  • peer pressure from friends or loved ones
  • relationships, including breakups or divorce
  • unresolved trauma
  • internalized shame
  • certain mental health conditions
  • brain functioning and development
  • other societal and cultural messages

“We tend to hold on to negative experiences, memories, thoughts, and words that people say. Those messages become embedded into our thinking patterns and create a filter of how we see everything,” Roberts explains.

“Our perceptions eventually create our reality. If we have negative thought processes , we will see things — including ourselves — negatively. Therefore, poor self-esteem becomes the result of our own poor view of ourselves and capabilities,” she says.

Do most people have low self-esteem? Not exactly.

Many people might feel self-conscious or have bouts of low self-confidence now and then. But “having a low self-esteem is not a natural state of being,” says Roberts.

If those negative feelings last for an extended period of time, you may need to work on boosting your self-esteem.

Examples of low self-esteem

What are the signs of low self-esteem? Here are some examples:

You’re a people-pleaser

You may try to please people instead of being your authentic self and pursuing what brings you joy and pleasure.

Licensed therapist Cheryl A. Clarke , LMFT, says folks with low self-esteem also have a tendency to be passive or passive-aggressive instead of standing up for themselves.

You feel needy or unworthy

Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve love, praise, or a raise at work. This is directly related to how much you value yourself and your abilities.

“A lack of inner worth is driven by a set of beliefs that they’re no good, feeling of insignificance, or believe they have nothing of value,” says Clarke.

“Since most people with low self-esteem seek things (careers, relationships, success, power, etc.) outside of themselves to make them feel more worthy, it’s important to remember that self-esteem is an inside job and directly correlated with joy,” says Roberts.

You struggle to build healthy relationships

The stronger your self-worth, the healthier your relationships tend to be. “If you struggle with low self-esteem, it can threaten your overall relationships,” says Clarke.

You might face challenges with intimacy, trusting partners, and establishing strong personal boundaries , Clarke notes. And according to Roberts, you’re more like to stay in a one-sided, abusive , or codependent relationship , as well.

You have a poor self-image

Do you call yourself “fat” or “ugly” and judge how you look when standing in front of a mirror? If so, it’s likely you think poorly of yourself and your appearance due to negative self-image.

Rejecting compliments is another example of negative self-esteem. You could just be humble, but frequently rejecting forms of flattery instead of saying “thank you” can mean you don’t believe those things are true.

You experience negative self-talk

“I’m a loser.” “I don’t deserve to be happy.” “Why did I say that? I’m so stupid.”

There are all common examples of negative self-talk that can result from low confidence.

If you regularly insult yourself — either internally or in conversation with others — you likely have low self-esteem. Being unforgiving or harsh on yourself when making mistakes can be a sign, too.

You compare yourself to others

We all tend to play the comparison game. Comparing yourself to others can help you achieve your goals or inspire you to become better in the workplace.

But if this becomes a frequent habit and starts to negatively impact your mental health, it may be a sign that you need to work on your confidence.

You experience self-doubt

Second-guessing ourselves is natural. After all, we’re only human.

But if you’re often untrusting of your own judgment or constantly seeking the opinions of others, this may be related to your self-esteem.

Clarke says this can also show up as you feeling like you’ll always make mistakes and letting fear drive your life instead of feeling confident facing challenges.

You avoid self-expression

Maybe you avoid expressing yourself out of shame, embarrassment, or fears of judgment. This habit of “playing small” could also be due to a lack of confidence.

“When someone is not self-expressed, they always feel they don’t fit in and find themselves conforming,” Clarke adds. Essentially, you hide yourself or blend in with others as a coping mechanism for feeling insecure.

How to grow confidence

If you resonate with any of those low self-esteem examples, there’s no need to stress. There are plenty of ways to boost self-esteem and become more confident.

Identify (and heal) the root cause

”Low self-esteem has deep roots, which require a commitment to becoming self-aware,” Clarke explains. She suggests getting real with yourself to learn what’s making you feel less confident and change those thought patterns.

“It’s important to explore cognitions and the messages learned that initially created the negative core beliefs,” says Roberts. “Understanding how low self-esteem evolves as a result of past internalized messages and cognitive processing can help [people] create new ways of perceiving their world around them.”

Set small goals

“People with low self-esteem often feel like failures and develop learned helplessness. Creating small, achievable goals can help build competence and consequently confidence,” says Roberts.

A great first goal is to notice when you witness examples of poor self-esteem showing up in your life. Then, you can take action.

For example, maybe you’ll try to stop making self-deprecating jokes in front of others, or compliment yourself the next time you look in the mirror. These little goals will eventually add up to create bigger change.

Be kind to yourself

Low self-esteem can cause us to be unfairly hard on ourselves. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you unlearn harmful messages and conditioning.

“It’s not about pushing yourself harder or beating yourself up. It just doesn’t go away with positive thinking and pretending you feel better about yourself than you really do,” reminds Clarke. “Instead of brushing it off or shaming yourself for your experience, try to accept yourself and work toward positive change.”

Practice self-love

“ Self-love is the foundation of self-esteem,” says Clarke. So, when you don’t love yourself, you’ll likely have low self-esteem.

It’s a good idea to pursue healthy habits, like eating nutritious meals, moving your body, sleeping well, and taking care of your mental health. This could also mean learning more about yourself, including what you enjoy, and accepting your flaws and imperfections.

Forcing yourself to focus on the bright side of things during challenges can be a form of toxic positivity . But positive thinking can help you adjust your way of thinking, too. Consider all your great personality traits and the ways in which you thrive rather than dwelling on your faults or undesirable traits.

Clarke also suggests practicing self-forgiveness as a form of healing your self-esteem. You can also repeat positive affirmations, like “I am worthy of happiness” or “I am confident.”

See a therapist

A therapist can point out where low self-esteem shows up in your life and guide you toward positive change. They can also help you identify where it’s coming from, so you can heal, create new thought patterns, and become more confident.

“A therapist will help you with integrating new ways of relating to yourself and the world that will begin to gently raise your esteem,” says Clarke.

“Focusing on cognitive reprocessing and developing new competencies help [people] avoid seeking outside of themselves for validation and will help them realize that they can influence their self-esteem and well-being as well,” adds Roberts.

How we perceive and value ourselves directly affects the ways in which we navigate life.

Understanding the signs of low self-esteem and recognizing when those patterns show up for you is a great step toward creating positive change.

Low self-esteem shows up in various ways. Examples include lacking boundaries, people-pleasing, talking badly about yourself, and feeling unworthy. If you relate to any of these, you may have low self-esteem.

But if you have poor self-image, there’s no reason to feel worse about it. You can figure out the causes, practice self-love, or speak with a mental health professional to learn — and improve — how you see yourself and the world around you.

It can take time and hard work, but boosting your confidence is possible and can help you live a more fulfilled life.

Last medically reviewed on August 3, 2021

2 sources collapsed

  • Clarke CA. (2021). Personal interview.
  • Roberts J. (2021). Personal interview.

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How to Manage Low Self-Esteem

low self esteem essay examples

Self-esteem refers to your opinion of yourself. Low self-esteem can get in the way of your enjoyment of life and your ability to achieve long- and short-term goals. It can also adversely affect mental and physical health.

In this article, we’ll discuss the characteristics and causes of low self-esteem. We’ll also provide strategies for improving your feelings about yourself.

What is low self-esteem?

People with low self-esteem have a poor opinion of themselves. Some characteristics may include that you may:

  • not like yourself very much
  • assume that others don’t like you because you’re unlikeable or damaged
  • think of yourself as unlovable or unworthy of love

Everyone has moments of doubt about who they are and what they’ve achieved. You may do or say something that makes you temporarily ashamed of or annoyed with yourself.

Those temporary or periodic feelings are not the same as low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem refers to long-term negativity about who you are and how you show up in the world. These negative feelings can be persistent and hard to challenge.

For example, if someone compliments you, you may not believe them. If you achieve a goal, you may not allow yourself to take credit for it.

What causes low self-esteem?

Feelings of self-esteem can change over time by newly manifesting or coming back in adulthood.

You may do something — or have something done to you — that lowers your opinion of yourself at any point during your life. In some instances, this may be linked to behaviors that are out of sync with your value system or personal ethics. It may also be caused by being in an abusive relationship with a romantic partner, boss, or significant other.

The roots of self-esteem are often found in early childhood or adolescence. Genetics may also play a role. In some instances, a combination of genetic and environmental factors may influence a person’s self-esteem.

Early causes

Early negative experiences can cause you to have a poor opinion of yourself.

Yet, people have widely varying levels of resilience to outside circumstances. You can experience one or more causes of low self-esteem without it actually affecting your personal self-esteem.

Potential causes of low self-esteem during childhood and adolescence include:

  • experiencing ongoing harsh criticism from authority figures, such as parents or teachers
  • being raised by emotionally distant parents or caregivers
  • going through childhood trauma, such as parental divorce or sexual abuse
  • having trouble keeping up at school
  • having a physical or mental disability
  • feeling less attractive than the ideal image portrayed in social media

Researchers have been studying this issue for many years, but there is not much research published specifically on the genetic causes of low self-esteem.

In this 2011 study , researchers noticed that positive psychological traits — such as high self-esteem, optimism, and mastery — often ran in families. They found that specific variants (alleles) in OXTR, the oxytocin receptor gene, were associated with lower self-esteem, less optimism, and feelings of low personal mastery. Depressive symptoms were also identified in people with this allele.

Oxytocin , the hormone coded by OXTR, is a feel-good chemical produced by the hypothalamus , a part of your brain. It plays a role in sexual arousal, trust, bonding, and romantic attachment.

Researchers from this study stressed that having an OXTR allele was not the sole factor associated with low self-esteem. They also made it clear that this genetic variant did not predict low self-esteem or mean you would absolutely have it.

Plus, the findings from this study are not universally accepted.

In fact, 2018 research disputes those earlier findings, noting that it remains unclear whether genetics play a role in the development of self-esteem.

Ultimately, more research in this area is needed before experts can come to any conclusions.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

Characteristics of people with low self-esteem include:

  • having self-deprecating internal conversations with yourself (negative self-talk)
  • comparing yourself negatively to others
  • ignoring your achievements or not believing you are responsible for them
  • blaming yourself for circumstances beyond your control
  • not accepting or believing compliments
  • avoiding challenges or goal setting
  • thinking you don’t deserve happiness, love, or fun
  • not handling criticism well
  • feeling shame and worthlessness
  • focusing too much on physical characteristics, such as weight and height

What effect can low self-esteem have on your health?

Having bad feelings about yourself can lead to an increase in anxiety and depression . This can cause self-isolation and poor quality of life. It may also increase the risk of self-harming behaviors such as cutting , substance misuse, and suicide.

A 2019 study on secondary students in Vietnam found an association between low self-esteem and anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation . Educational stress and emotional abuse by parents or other adults were risk factors for these feelings.

Low self-esteem has also been linked to disordered eating , according to 2021 research .

Is low self-esteem the same as lack of confidence?

Self-esteem and self-confidence are connected, but they’re not exactly the same thing. To have confidence in yourself, you need to have at least some level of self-esteem.

If you have high self-esteem, you value yourself, even if you make mistakes or can’t do something specific.

Self-confidence depends on the circumstances at hand. You may, for example, have lots of self-confidence in your ability to address an audience but none in your ability to build a house.

A self-confident person is one who is willing to try new things (within reason). A person with high self-esteem knows they still have value, even if they fail when they try those new things.

How can you improve low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem can become a deeply ingrained part of your nature. But by practicing self-care, you can improve low self-esteem and reduce its effect on your daily life.

Self-care and self-affirming behaviors are not one-size-fits-all. Things to try include:

  • letting go of the past and stop worrying about the future through mindfulness and meditation
  • reciting positive affirmations daily
  • practicing self-hygiene
  • utilizing stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing
  • physical activity such as exercising and yoga
  • grounding exercises that quiet negative thoughts
  • socializing with people you trust and feel good about
  • accepting and believing compliments
  • acknowledging your own achievements

Self-care also involves examining your current relationships. You can’t do anything about the past, but you can alter or get yourself out of damaging relationships happening now. In some instances, this may require the support of friends or mental health professionals.

When to seek professional help

Low self-esteem can be challenging to shift. If you have persistent negative feelings about yourself that don’t respond to self-care, consider seeing a mental health professional, such as a therapist. This is especially important if you’re hurting yourself, misusing drugs or alcohol, or having thoughts of suicide.

You should also seek out the support of a professional if your current relationships make you feel worse about yourself.

Low self-esteem often has its roots in childhood trauma . Being in a stressful school environment or having overly critical caregivers can also play a role.

Low self-esteem can be treated and improved. In many instances, self-care will be enough to give you a more positive, realistic view of yourself. If self-care is not enough to provide relief, seeking professional help can be highly beneficial.

Last medically reviewed on October 5, 2022

How we reviewed this article:

  • Colmsee I, et al. (n.d.). Low self-esteem as a risk factor for eating disorders: A meta-analysis. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2021-15585-006
  • Conner TS. (2018). The oxytocin receptor gene ( OXTR ) variant rs53576 is not related to emotional traits or states in young adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6297827/
  • Contie V. (2011). Gene linked to optimism and self-esteem. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/gene-linked-optimism-self-esteem
  • Nguyen DT, et al. (2019). Low self-esteem and its association with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in Vietnamese secondary school students: A cross-sectional study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777005/
  • Oxytocin. (2020). https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oxytocin/
  • Saphire-Bernstein S, et al. (2011). Oxytocin receptor gene ( OXTR ) is related to psychological resources. (2011). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3174632/
  • Self esteem. (n.d.). https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/self-esteem#bhc-content
  • Self-esteem and mental health. (n.d.). https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/self-esteem
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence. (n.d.). https://my.uq.edu.au/information-and-services/student-support/health-and-wellbeing/self-help-resources/self-esteem-and-self-confidence
  • Shikishima C, et al. (2018). Genetic and environmental etiology of stability and changes in self-esteem linked to personality: A Japanese twin study. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917305597?via%3Dihub
  • Silventoinen K, et al. (2022). The genetic background of the associations between sense of coherence and mental health, self-esteem and personality. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8602419/

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Oct 5, 2022

Corey Whelan

Mike Hoskins

Medically Reviewed By

Bethany Juby, PsyD

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Free Overcoming Low Self-Esteem Essay Sample

Self-esteem is the confidence one has about himself or herself and low self esteem becomes a major challenge as it can cause devastating effects in one's life.  It can have negative effects on relations, academic performance, and ability to deal with other life challenges and also on a professional level. In my case low self esteem affected my relation with peers and had a massive effect on my social life. But the brighter side of it is that there are ways of overcoming low self esteem.

Among the worst things of having low self esteem is that we tend to put off things that we can do and that make us happy just because we have not achieved previous goals or things that we would want to achieve. At a point in my life I set a goal to become a better athlete so that I could be accepted by my peers who were better off than me. This never came to be until I took the decision to accept myself as I am first.  It is always good to set goals in our lives but not to a point of putting our lives on hold. We should try and accept ourselves as who we are. This is a better way of boosting the self esteem and in this way we tend to achieve more than we have set down for ourselves.

Building one's self-esteem will require that you be kind to yourself also. Cut yourself a bit of some slack. In this way you will always find that the pressure to perform and become will ease a little bit and that natural way to do things will pick its way up. It wasn't until the moments that I decided to let go off the pressure to be accepted, that I realized I could become way much better that my peers. I found myself practicing out more and in the process I began to perform at my level. I no longer sort out my peers but they came in search of me.

Majority of the time when we have low self esteem, we tend to become afraid of doing new stuff. We lock ourselves out of things that can actually bring us real happiness. However, we should strive to do new things in life. I decided to eat healthy something which I had never dared before because I thought I would quit half way through. To overcome my fear of being a failure, I always decided to tell myself that my physical wellbeing was very important. Day in day out I repeated these words to myself until when I found myself automatically eating health and taking better care of myself. Trying out new stuff is a better way to building self-esteem

I also decided to have like minded people as it is also a better way of building up self esteem. Having people around you who make it feel fun in doing what you are doing will greatly boost the self-esteem. This is because enjoying what we do ease the pressure to perform. I decided to leave my peers for friends who would accept me as I was. These were people who performed not as good as my former friends but who enjoyed doing what they did.  Having spent time with them during our free time I discovered other hidden talents in me. As I soon later came to discover, these were talents and gifts within me that would not have been realized had I stayed on with the wrong kind of group.

I decided to not always look at failure as a hindrance to us achieving our goals. I look back on what my life situation was back then and the failures that I faced. I saw myself as a failure due to the way my friends never accepted me. What I realize now that I never realized then is that my failure was a way out to finding myself. It moved me to realizing that there were certain goals I could achieve if only I detached myself from those who always put me down. This is a decision I would take even today if the circumstances were the same. We learn from failures and also our experiences from those failures.

At a point in life I always seemed to attract people that had no positive influence in me. Spending time with friends who did not accept me and always made me go under the pressure of performance did not improve on my self-esteem. Instead it made me hate myself the more. I decided that I should evaluate people and see if they have any positive influence in my life. If they do, then we can have a relation with them but if they don't, then there is no reason of having any relation with them as they do not add any value to our lives.

The friends that I came to have after leaving my peers improved greatly on my self-esteem as they made me appreciate myself and appreciate my talent. They had positive influence in my life and have shaped me today. Having decided to find people who had positive influence on me taught me that there is so much I can do if I will myself to it. Becoming a great athlete taught me that under the pressure to perform, you can achieve very little. The secret is to enjoy what you do and do it to the maximum. It is also very important to have the consistence of finishing what you start. In this way you start to trust yourself that you can face any hurdles in life.

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Building Self-Esteem

13 February, 2020

8 minutes read

Author:  Donna Moores

Evidently, self-esteem is seen as a personal trait which tends to be enduring and stable, the one that encompasses within itself a host of beliefs about oneself. In reality, self-esteem means different things to diverse people. To some it means feeling good and loving yourself unconditionally. To others it is a feeling which is at the center of one's being of self-confidence, self-worth and respect. Therefore, it is vital for one to have high self-esteem since it paves the way for love and success in life (Bruceeisner, 2012).

Essay Samples

Certainly, people often overlook the importance for individuals to have a healthy or positive self-esteem. On the very basic level, a positive self-esteem is delineated by various qualities. They include being able to accept responsibilities for one’s own actions, respect and tolerance for others, being able to handle criticisms, and of course, being able to take charge of one’s own life. Also, it’s about taking a great pride in your own achievements, possessing a great level of integrity and loving others while being loved. The majority of people in the community, especially those in the business and entrepreneurial sectors, believe that possessing a healthy or positive self-esteem will aid in being a successful professional in your field of work.

self esteem essay example

In the medical field of the economy, for example, doctors, nurses and other people working in the medical community have a belief that possessing a positive self-esteem is very crucial in the maintenance of a healthy life by individuals. In contrast to the thought that a positive or healthy self-esteem is vital in an individual’s professional life, it also plays a very important role in alleviating psychological disorders.

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What Are the Effects of Underappreciation?

When an individual possesses a low self-esteem, he or she tries to impress others or prove others a focal point in their lives. However, this is deemed to be a total waste of one’s time and energy and can even result in psychological issues. In particular, a person without a healthy or positive self-esteem tends to have contempt towards people and usually acts arrogantly. They usually blame themselves for their actions and failures, lack confidence in themselves and mostly doubt their acceptability and self-worth (Reasoner, 2012).

These elements do not only show the negative part of an individual’s life. They are also quite unhealthy to the emotional well-being of an individual. This is because an unhealthy or negative self-esteem is damaging to an individual’s emotional health. This backs the fact that a healthy or positive self-esteem indeed can aid in alleviating psychological disorders.

The Relation of Self-Esteem to Science

One of the peculiar psychological disorders that are mostly stroked by self-esteem is known as Borderline Personality Disorder. Individuals are not willing to validate their feelings for other people or trust others when they usually do not feel well about themselves. People who suffer from borderline personality disorder coupled with a poor self-esteem can exasperate the anger which is mostly present in this type of psychological issue. More often than not, a burst of angry tirade is as a result of a lot of unresolved matters which have been posponed for later. Hence, the only way a person with borderline personality can assert his or her feelings or thoughts is through anger. In addition, having a healthy or positive self-esteem can help alleviate this issue and curtail the feeling of anger associated with borderline personality.

In particular, an individual who experiences borderline personality psychological disorder most often associates some form of suspicion to people who want to be their friends. A person with this kind of issue has a feeling that their friendship with others will end as the time goes on. This is because they think they have nothing to offer in the new friendship, which is actually wrong. Therefore, possessing a healthy or positive self-esteem can aid an individual who has a psychological disorder like the borderline personality to comprehend the fact that they deserve to be happy and achieve success in everything they do. Specifically, this is linked to their professional life or personal life, and also to the sense of self-worth.

A typical example of it is when an individual gets a job that he or she has always wanted, let say a dream job. A person possessing a psychological disorder like borderline personality will position himself or herself for failure. Meanwhile, the staff may use the opportunity given a mistake and can even flare up at the employer for placing them in a position to fail. On the other hand, an individual with a healthy or positive self-esteem will realize that he or she indeed deserves the job. In addition, they’ll recognize and appreciate the opportunity given to him or her to achieve success. A person with a healthy self-esteem will thank and respect the one who gave him that opportunity.

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The Importance of Rational Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is significant to an individual’s well-being and mental health since it has the capability of leading him or her to a more deserving social behavior and better health. Obviously, low self-esteem is often characterized with a range of broad social problems and mental disorders like eating disorders, depression, suicidal tendencies and anxiety. Notably, some schools of thought in the field of medicine, most often in the field of psychological disorders, believe that healthy physical and mental health are a result of comprehending the development of self-esteem and its outcomes.

Self-esteem can, therefore, be explained as the sum of a person’s knowledge and beliefs about his or her personal qualities and attributes. It is a cognitive composition that combines the concrete and abstract views about oneself and also controls the possession of information of self-relevance. Moreover, an individual who possesses suicidal tendencies has the urge or feeling of hurting himself or herself as he/she is feeling unhappy and unworthy.

Consequently, having a healthy or positive self-esteem alleviates any negative emotions and feelings an individual with any form of suicidal tendencies might go through. In addition, research has proven that self-esteem is a crucial psychological factor which contributes to quality and healthy life. It has also been proven with research that subjective well-being extremely corresponds with high self-esteem (Zimmerman, 2000). Therefore, it plays a major role in the mental well-being and happiness of individuals.

Overall, self-esteem and mental well-being of an individual are directly related. Any alteration in a person’s self-esteem, be it high self-esteem or low self-esteem, will affect the psychology of that person. Likewise, a healthy or positive self-esteem definitely helps in alleviating psychological disorders and puts an individual on the pedestal of high belief and confidence in him or herself.

  • Bruceeisner, D. (2012). Meaning of Self-Esteem. Squidoo Journal Website Retrieved from: http://www.squidoo.com/self_esteem
  • Reasoner, R. (2012). The True Meaning of Self-Esteem. National Association for Self-Esteem Website Retrieved from:http://www.self-esteem-nase.org/what.php
  • Zimmerman, S.L. (2000). Self-Esteem, Personal Control and Optimism. Midwestern University. Dissertation Abstract. Retrieved from:http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/4/357.full#ref-123

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Brilliant Self Esteem Essay: Writing Guide & Topics

self esteem essay

Self-esteem is a personal trait that has proven to withstand both high and low tides. It is a state which carries within itself a wide range of beliefs about oneself. Also referred to as self-respect, self-esteem is the confidence in one’s worth or abilities.

It is a subject of great interest to many people. Having a spiced up and captivating essay about self-esteem can guarantee a considerable readership or high grades for students. Many people, especially college students, have a problem with this, and hence we are here to help.

To start us off, let us look at a self-esteem essay example on the effect of social media on self-esteem:

Effect of Social Media on Self-Esteem Essay

“In the last decade, social media has tremendously gained popularity. Its impact and power have left permanent effects on many people and different facets of life. Many people have, therefore, developed high or low self-esteem concerning social media. More research shows that there exists a strong relationship between self-esteem and social media. Facebook has caused a decrease in self-esteem in many people.

Many teenagers are using social media, especially Facebook, to build relationships. There are a lot of people on Facebook of all ages, races, gender, and ethnicity. It is, therefore, natural for teens to mingle and socialize on this platform. Most of the people on social media purport to live “flashy lifestyles,” while in reality, that is not the case. It, therefore, creates a decreased self-esteem on those who cannot live up to those standards.

Social media, through social networking sites, enables people to make social comparisons. For instance, people may try to copy the lifestyles of celebrities. However, those who cannot meet their celebrity status tend to have low self-esteem. The psychological distress of such individuals is higher, resulting in low levels of self-esteem. Many people have, therefore, become victims of lower self-esteem and, consequently, low self-growth.

In conclusion, social media has a very high impact on the self-esteem of individuals. Usage of social media for social networking, communication, and building and maintaining of relationships has diverse effects. There should be sufficient information to help people not fall victims of these adverse effects.”

From the self-esteem essay conclusion above, it is evident that we have not introduced any new idea. You only need to restate the thesis statement and provide a solution to the problem.

We are now going to explore some exciting self-esteem topics with explanations on what to cover in such essays.

“What is Self-Esteem Essay” Topics

  • Self-esteem essay, Low Self-Esteem: An expository essay

Here, you will have clearly and concisely investigate low self-esteem, evaluate pieces of evidence, expound on it, and provide an argument concerning it.

  • What is Self-esteem? A critical analysis of theories on the function of self-esteem.

Such an essay requires you to explore the various approaches that show the role of self-esteem in individuals or society at large.

  • Understanding the concept of self-esteem

It is a topic that digs deep into the breadth and depth of self-worth and makes readers get a clear picture.

  • A descriptive study of self-esteem

It is about describing or summarizing self-esteem using words instead of pictures.

  • State self-esteem

Topics on Social Media and Self-Esteem Essay

  • The Paradox Effect of social media on self-esteem

Describe how social media is giving off the illusion of different choices while making it harder to find viable options.

  • Self-esteem and ‘vanity validation’ effect of social media

Show how the interaction of people with social media for an extended period, inevitably feels compelled to continue to check for updates.

  • The Dark Side of Social Media: How It Affects Self-Esteem
  • Social Media and Confidence

How is one’s self-worth in terms of confidence boosted by social media?

  • Social media and depression

Let readers see how depression can result from the use of social media with real-life experiences.

  • Importance of Self-Esteem

Self-Concept and Self-Esteem Essay Topic Ideas

Explain how self-concept underpins self-esteem. Evaluate the different approaches to self-esteem. You can also discuss the application of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs of self-actualization. Giving the usefulness of the motivational theory for boosting self-esteem will add weight to your essay.

Topic Ideas on How to Improve Self-Esteem

  • Tips to Improve Self-Esteem

Give detailed and well-researched advice on how people can boost their self-esteem

  • Steps to Improving Self Esteem
Here are more topic ideas on how to improve self-esteem: 1. Top 5 tactics to change how to improve how you see yourself 2. Things you can do to boost your self-esteem 3. Understanding and building low self-esteem

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Essay On Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to the positive (high self-esteem) or negative (low self-esteem) feelings that we have about ourselves. We experience the positive feelings of high self-esteem when we believe that we are good and worthy and that others view us positively. We experience the negative feelings of low self-esteem when we believe that we are inadequate and less worthy than others (Stangor, 2010). There is considerable evidence that achieving self-esteem or – perhaps more significant – avoiding low self-esteem is important for living a happy, productive, and healthy life (Harter, 1999). Numerous prospective studies of children, adolescents, and young adults with high self-esteem have predicted positive outcomes for a wide range of behaviors, whereas similar prospective studies of low-self-esteem children, adolescents, and young adults suggest that low self-esteem increases susceptibility to a wide range of negative or problematic outcomes, such as depression, eating disorders, teenage pregnancy, victimization, forming and maintain close relationships, participation in antisocial behaviors, substance abuse, suicide ideation, and attempted suicide. Additionally, there are many …show more content…

393). This analysis of self-esteem has its roots in the observation that threats or challenges to individuals with high self-esteem in valued domains often produce a performance-orientation response. That is, instead of responding to threats or challenges as a means to learning, these people challenge the feedback or engage in self-destructive behaviors. Among other things, they become preoccupied with their self-concept at the expense of relationships with others, and when success is uncertain, they become anxious and do things that undermine their likelihood of succeeding, such as self-handicapping and procrastination (Franken,

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Alyce's self esteem research paper.

How did Alyce’s self-esteem change for the beginning to the end, it change because in the beginning of the book the she felt lonely, alos she felt like she a nobody, felt like nobody loved her cared because the always picked on her. She never had the respect until towards the end of book she learn that went respect and did not want to be treated like a piece of dung heap. At the end of the book she finally felt love and like people cared for her because she when she was at the manor she saw jane talk to the person in charge look for alyce and even will came to the manner to take her to coming back also she felt loved because she had edward to love like son. Alyce 's self-esteem changes because her self-esteem was low at the beginning of the

Theme Of Hardships In Enrique's Journey

Hardships: are difficulties, struggles, problematic situations, facing obstacles, all the downs in life. Hardships can influence someone’s life by building up one’s character. In Enrique’s Journey , Enrique, a determined, persistent and young guy, faced many harsh obstacles. Starting off with getting across to his mother. Passing through drugs, turf wars, starvation, and being poor.

The Virtue Of Pride In Beowulf

A wise man named Samuel Butler once said ,``The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance. Does having too much pride trap or serve us? Some believe that having a healthy self-worth means taking pride in the achievements we make. But if value is linked to our self-image or accomplishments then it is built on a tenuous foundation. Pride is a characteristic proven to prevent us from acknowledging our vulnerabilities as a human.

Synthesis Essay On Identity

What is Identity? Identity is like a fingerprint; it clearly determines who people are. Identity is something that people are not born with, it is an act people do that classifies their identity. People need to act upon their own choices to determine their own identity rather than being influenced by the choices of others. So, people must follow their own path in order to keep their own unique identity.

Interpersonal Communication Chapter Summary

Chapter two in the textbook Reflect & Relate an Introduction to Interpersonal Communication by Steven McCornack talks all about what “self” is and how to achieve complete fulfillment for one’s self which is also known as self-actualization. The components of self, as described in the book are, “ . . . self-awareness, self-concept, and self-esteem” (McCornack 39). Self-awareness is the idea in which one can take a moment to move feelings, beliefs, and other external influences aside and just evaluate oneself in a holistic perspective that is not skewed by opinions of others, etc. Having the ability to actually think about who one is brings a lot of power and mental stability in such a way that allows for improvement.

Unmotivated Building Inspector Case Study

Self-esteem, refers to judgments self-worth According to Tesser “SES is a global evaluation reflecting our view of our accomplishments and capabilities, our values, our bodies, other’s responses to us, and events, or occasions, our possessions”. The relationship between procrastination and self-esteem has received considerable attention in the procrastination literature. Procrastination has been described as a self-protective strategy that masks a fragile self-esteem, and numerous studies have found a significant inverse relationship between self-report

Essay About Self Expression

Self expression is a term many people use. The meaning of it is how you show your true self around people expressing thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Many of it can be seen through art, writing, music, and dance. People show themselves with many different expressions. It can be any type of art and even writing.

Essay About Self Awareness

Evolve into Having Self-Awareness Being self-aware simply means that you have a keen understanding of your own personality. That includes your positive and negative traits, your thoughts and beliefs, your feelings, and your inspiration. It would be easier for you to understand others when you are self-aware. You will also be able to tell how they see you in return. Most people believe that they have a good sense of self-awareness, but it would be best to check at a comparative scale to see where you fall on it in contrast with others.

Essay On Self Improvement

Most people want to improve themselves in some way, whether it is to lose weight or give up smoking or increase their confidence. Self-improvement is something that we carry out over a life time, but it is a task that can require a lot of motivation. Keeping your motivation levels up and steady can be a job in itself. In order to achieve the motivation required for self-improvement, we need to look at the three keys that will help us succeed in our goals. 1) INSPIRATION

Psychological Effect: Self Confidence And Self-Esteem: A Psychological Analysis

Psychological Effect: Self-confidence and Self-esteem According to Greenberg (2013), approximately 20% of the girls between the age of 8 and 18 who are using makeup say that they felt unappealing and undesirable without wearing makeup. And as a result of the survey she conducted, girls are wearing or using makeup in early age. They are also influenced by their celebrity idols, other people in TV shows and by the people in the environment they belonged. It says that women are more comfortable going out and socializing when they are wearing makeups.

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What Is Self-Esteem?

Your Sense of Your Personal Worth or Value

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

low self esteem essay examples

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Theories of Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem, low self-esteem, excessive self-esteem.

  • How to Improve

Self-esteem is your subjective sense of overall personal worth or value. Similar to self-respect, it describes your level of confidence in your abilities and attributes.

Having healthy self-esteem can influence your motivation, your mental well-being, and your overall quality of life. However, having self-esteem that is either too high or too low can be problematic. Better understanding what your unique level of self-esteem is can help you strike a balance that is just right for you.

Key elements of self-esteem include:

  • Self-confidence
  • Feelings of security
  • Sense of belonging
  • Feeling of competence

Other terms often used interchangeably with self-esteem include self-worth, self-regard, and self-respect.

Self-esteem tends to be lowest in childhood and increases during adolescence, as well as adulthood, eventually reaching a fairly stable and enduring level. This makes self-esteem similar to the stability of personality traits over time.

Why Self-Esteem Is Important

Self-esteem impacts your decision-making process, your relationships, your emotional health, and your overall well-being. It also influences motivation , as people with a healthy, positive view of themselves understand their potential and may feel inspired to take on new challenges.

Four key characteristics of healthy self-esteem are:

  • A firm understanding of one's skills
  • The ability to maintain healthy relationships with others as a result of having a healthy relationship with oneself
  • Realistic and appropriate personal expectations
  • An understanding of one's needs and the ability to express those needs

People with low self-esteem tend to feel less sure of their abilities and may doubt their decision-making process. They may not feel motivated to try novel things because they don’t believe they can reach their goals. Those with low self-esteem may have issues with relationships and expressing their needs. They may also experience low levels of confidence and feel unlovable and unworthy.

People with overly high self-esteem may overestimate their skills and may feel entitled to succeed, even without the abilities to back up their belief in themselves. They may struggle with relationship issues and block themselves from self-improvement because they are so fixated on seeing themselves as perfect .

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Many theorists have written about the dynamics involved in the development of self-esteem. The concept of self-esteem plays an important role in psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs , which depicts esteem as one of the basic human motivations.

Maslow suggested that individuals need both appreciation from other people and inner self-respect to build esteem. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and reach self-actualization .

It is important to note that self-esteem is a concept distinct from self-efficacy , which involves how well you believe you'll handle future actions, performance, or abilities.

Factors That Affect Self-Esteem

There are many factors that can influence self-esteem. Your self-esteem may be impacted by:

  • Physical abilities
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Thought patterns

Racism and discrimination have also been shown to have negative effects on self-esteem. Additionally, genetic factors that help shape a person's personality can play a role, but life experiences are thought to be the most important factor.

It is often our experiences that form the basis for overall self-esteem. For example, low self-esteem might be caused by overly critical or negative assessments from family and friends. Those who experience what Carl Rogers referred to as unconditional positive regard will be more likely to have healthy self-esteem.

There are some simple ways to tell if you have healthy self-esteem. You probably have healthy self-esteem if you:

  • Avoid dwelling on past negative experiences
  • Believe you are equal to everyone else, no better and no worse
  • Express your needs
  • Feel confident
  • Have a positive outlook on life
  • Say no when you want to
  • See your overall strengths and weaknesses and accept them

Having healthy self-esteem can help motivate you to reach your goals, because you are able to navigate life knowing that you are capable of accomplishing what you set your mind to. Additionally, when you have healthy self-esteem, you are able to set appropriate boundaries in relationships and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

Low self-esteem may manifest in a variety of ways. If you have low self-esteem:

  • You may believe that others are better than you.
  • You may find expressing your needs difficult.
  • You may focus on your weaknesses.
  • You may frequently experience fear, self-doubt, and worry.
  • You may have a negative outlook on life and feel a lack of control.
  • You may have an intense fear of failure.
  • You may have trouble accepting positive feedback.
  • You may have trouble saying no and setting boundaries.
  • You may put other people's needs before your own.
  • You may struggle with confidence .

Low self-esteem has the potential to lead to a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. You may also find it difficult to pursue your goals and maintain healthy relationships. Having low self-esteem can seriously impact your quality of life and increases your risk for experiencing suicidal thoughts.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  at  988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our  National Helpline Database .

Overly high self-esteem is often mislabeled as narcissism , however there are some distinct traits that differentiate these terms. Individuals with narcissistic traits may appear to have high self-esteem, but their self-esteem may be high or low and is unstable, constantly shifting depending on the given situation. Those with excessive self-esteem:

  • May be preoccupied with being perfect
  • May focus on always being right
  • May believe they cannot fail
  • May believe they are more skilled or better than others
  • May express grandiose ideas
  • May grossly overestimate their skills and abilities

When self-esteem is too high, it can result in relationship problems, difficulty with social situations, and an inability to accept criticism.

How to Improve Self-Esteem

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to address problems with your perceptions of yourself and faith in your abilities. How do you build self-esteem? Some actions that you can take to help improve your self-esteem include:

  • Become more aware of negative thoughts . Learn to identify the distorted thoughts that are impacting your self-worth.
  • Challenge negative thinking patterns . When you find yourself engaging in negative thinking, try countering those thoughts with more realistic and/or positive ones. 
  • Use positive self-talk . Practice reciting positive affirmations to yourself.
  • Practice self-compassion . Practice forgiving yourself for past mistakes and move forward by accepting all parts of yourself.

Low self-esteem can contribute to or be a symptom of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression . Consider speaking with a doctor or therapist about available treatment options, which may include psychotherapy (in-person or online), medications, or a combination of both.

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Though some of the causes of low self-esteem can’t be changed, such as genetic factors, early childhood experiences, and personality traits, there are steps you can take to feel more secure and valued. Remember that no one person is less worthy than the next. Keeping this in mind may help you maintain a healthy sense of self-esteem.

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Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares strategies that can help you learn to truly believe in yourself, featuring IT Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima.

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Trzesniewski KH, Donnellan MB, Robins RW. Stability of self-esteem across the life span .  J Pers Soc Psychol . 2003;84(1):205-220.

von Soest T, Wagner J, Hansen T, Gerstorf D. Self-esteem across the second half of life: The role of socioeconomic status, physical health, social relationships, and personality factors .  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology . 2018;114(6):945-958. doi:10.1037/pspp0000123

Johnson AJ. Examining associations between racism, internalized shame, and self-esteem among African Americans . Cogent Psychology . 2020;7(1):1757857. doi:10.1080/23311908.2020.1757857

Gabriel AS, Erickson RJ, Diefendorff JM, Krantz D. When does feeling in control benefit well-being? The boundary conditions of identity commitment and self-esteem.   Journal of Vocational Behavior . 2020;119:103415. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2020.103415

Nguyen DT, Wright EP, Dedding C, Pham TT, Bunders J. Low self-esteem and its association with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation in Vietnamese secondary school students: A cross-sectional study .  Front Psychiatry . 2019;10:698. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00698

Brummelman E, Thomaes S, Sedikides C. Separating narcissism from self-esteem.   Curr Dir Psychol Sci . 2016;25(1):8-13. doi:10.1177/0963721415619737

Cascio CN, O’Donnell MB, Tinney FJ, Lieberman MD, Taylor SE, Stretcher VJ, et. al. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation . Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience . 2016;11(4):621-629. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136

Maslow AH. Motivation and Personality . 3rd ed. New York: Harper & Row; 1987.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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106 Ideas, Examples, and Topics on Self Esteem

🏆 best research title about self esteem, 💡 interesting self-esteem topics for discussion, 📌 good self-esteem research topics, 🔎 simple & easy research titles about low self-esteem, ❓ research questions about self-esteem.

  • The Effects of the Media on Creativity and Self-Esteem The controversy surrounding British sprinter Linford Christie and the British tabloid press in the mid nineties illustrates a crucial and heart breaking example of the media’s might in the area of self esteem.
  • Self Esteem and Culture in a Learning Environment Reflectively, the conceptual idea of this treatise is an in-depth analysis of the aspects of social environment and objective and their influence on quality of learning, self-evaluation, goal setting, decision making, and inclusive education as […]
  • Social Networks and Self-Esteem Due to this fact, the main aim of this paper it to determine the impacts that social networks have on people and the role they play in the determination of the self-esteem of an individual.
  • Raising a Child With High Self Esteem A good illustration of this is can be observed early on in babyhood growth of children who act in response and connect themselves to the adults or caregivers who show utmost love and care and […]
  • Self Concept and Self Esteem in Interpersonal Communication Low self-esteem is associated with a person’s emotional response to self-perception and social expectation. Low-self esteem is associated with the feeling of failure to meet social expectation.
  • Self-Esteem and Students’ Health More so, life satisfaction is closely connected with the concept of self-esteem, and mental health also depends on proper development of self-esteem. It is also necessary to remember that a number of factors influence development […]
  • Women, Alcohol, Self-Concept, and Self-Esteem: A Qualitative Study of the Experience of Person-Centred Counselling This essay discusses the research setting and sample, the selection of the setting and the data collection procedure to be used during the project.
  • Concept of Self, Self-Esteem, and Behavior The concept of the self According to McLeod self concept is the perception that an individual holds about him or herself.
  • Effects of Self-Esteem and Gender on Goal Choice The paper contains a discussion about the relationship between self esteem and gender to the type of goals that people make. Therefore, there is a link between high self-esteem and the behavior to make difficult […]
  • High Self-Esteem Development Towards Self-Image People’s health and appearance have to be satisfactory and correspond to people’s idea of ‘a norm’ as it has been proven that the better a person’s health is the higher self-esteem he/she has.
  • Psychology Issues: Self-Esteem and Violence In my opinion, the argument by Boden, Fergusson, and Horwood is sociological since its main aim is to test the link between our self-esteem and later hostility and violent behavior.
  • Effects on Psychological Growth and Self-Esteem In 2007, approximately 794,000 cases of child maltreatment and abuse were reported in the US, translating to a maltreatment rate of 11 in every 1000 children.
  • The Link Between Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy In explaining the dynamics of how self-esteem affects self-efficacy, it is important to note that low sense of self-worth will incapacitate the ability of an employee to succeed in specific situations due to lack of […]
  • Women with Low Self-Esteem – Psychology Despite the fact that the given study is focused on the effects of separation on the women formerly engaged into relationships, it will still be necessary to consider certain issues concerning childhood; however, in the […]
  • Counseling Low Self-Esteem and Decision Making John was allowed to go out and meet with his friends, and the aunt was less concerned about the kind of company that he kept.
  • Facebook Effects on Our Self-Esteem The title of the article “Facebook envy: how the social network affects our self-esteem” speaks for itself: the author Andrea Shea reflects on the impact that the social media has on its users, and in […]
  • Mean Self-Esteem Scores for Boys and Girls The aim of this study was to determine if there was any difference in mean self-esteem scores for boys and girls.
  • Social Psychology Role: Self-Esteem and Human Development The relation between the concepts and the response is closely analyzed to determine the most important criteria people’s actions can be judged by. A person is stereotyped and the thinking leads to over-generalize towards others.
  • Striving for Self-Esteem in Business The learning points from these articles are that self-assessment is only possible in the latter stages of business development and not the beginning, all businesses must go through ISO 9000 certification series and excellence models […]
  • Self-Esteem and Rejection: It Is Not Personal Taking things personally is problematic for many reasons, one of which is the bias connected to the perception of a situation.
  • Relationships Between Anxiety, Perceived Support and Self-Esteem In particular, it sought to determine whether there is a relationship between anxiety, perceived support from friends, and self-esteem whereby anxiety and perceived support from friends act as predictors of the level of self-esteem.
  • Evaluating the Self-Esteem of the Homeless The mission statement of the program indicates the central role played by the agency to the welfare of the society.”The Doe Fund’s mission is to develop and implement cost-effective, holistic programs that meet the needs […]
  • Concept Analysis of Loneliness, Depression, Self-esteem The purpose of this direct study was to look at levels of depression, self-esteem, loneliness, and communal support, and the relationships stuck between these variables, in the middle of teenage mothers participating in the New […]
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The impact of low self-esteem and negative body image is adversely affecting adolescents as they try to fit in in a never-ending society of expectations. The definition of body image according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is “a subjective picture of one’s own physical appearance established both by self-observation and by noting the reactions of others. Body image is not just decided by ourselves, it is also decided by others. This occurs when people have physical reactions and facial expressions. The definition of self-esteem according to English Language Learners is “a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities. This could be good or bad, you could have a negative self-esteem and have little or no respect for yourself and your abilities, or you could have a positive self-esteem and have respect for yourself and your abilities. Body image and self-esteem is a person’s perception of the aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of one’s own body, how we view our size, shape, and weight. Though we make the final decision on if we are going to have a positive or negative self-esteem and body image, this can also be complicated by others and their reactions. Negative self-esteem and body image is affecting our mental health.

Social media is causing many unrealistic expectations that young adults and pre-teens are looking at and thinking they are supposed to look like that, they are comparing themselves and killing their self-esteem. Photos are often edited to make models thinner or to enhance their features, the pictures we are seeing and studying are not usually natural. The average American woman is 5’4 and weighs 140 pounds, while the average American model is 5’11 and weighs 117 pounds. “The problem is, a “perfect body doesn’t really exist, at least not in the way it is defined in the media. Photos are often edited to make models thinner or to enhance their features. So chasing the “perfect body can end only in disappointment. says familydoctor.org. When we see these pictures and long to look like these models or read about what they do to look like this, we are giving ourselves unrealistic expectations. Millions of women every day are bombarded with the media’s idea of the “perfect body, these unrealistic images are portrayed in women’s magazines all over the country. “And it’s not just the exposure to these images that is damaging. It’s our interaction with them?”the pressure to have the perfect profile pics, the comparisons we make, and the dangers of the constant scrutiny of our own and others’ bodies” says NEDA.

On social media everyone wants to have the perfect pictures posted, none of it is how you would see us normally. This fight to have the best and look the best is making it difficult for teenagers and women to feel like it is okay to be themselves. Negative body image is becoming more and more prevalent, and it is starting younger ages. Studies have shown that over 40 percent of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner, and over 80 percent of ten-year-olds are afraid of being fat. This is something that kids shouldn’t have to worry about. These issues are starting at a young age and enduring throughout their lifetime. Research suggests that children as young as 3 years old can have body image issues. Parents can play a critical role in helping children develop a positive body image and self-esteem. Even body language is not lost on children. Something as small as frowning in the mirror when you are trying on clothes can have an impact. This reinforces the message that a body needs to be perfect. Though we see this is becoming more prevalent, we are also seeing fighting back. We are seeing brands like Aerie fighting against unrealistic body image. “Girl power. Body positivity. No retouching., is their newest campaign. They also have on their website, “Share your unretouched photos & #AerieREAL story and include a hashtag and tag.

This is being used as a support system for girls and women to show that real bodies are perfect and shows that the models you see aren’t real. “As a brand, Aerie has been a leader in empowering women and celebrating inclusivity and body positivity since our launch of #AerieREAL in 2014” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie global brand president, said in a statement. “Our newest bra models are part of our brand’s ongoing commitment to show real, authentic and unretouched women, who are at the core of everything that we do. Aerie uses many different people, for example, “A woman with diabetes attaches her insulin pump to the back of her Aerie bra, another sits in a wheelchair. The campaign also features a cancer survivor, a chronic skin disease. The brand has since started calling models “role models. The negative impact of self-esteem and body image is affecting more and more adolescence, but we do see a push back. “In life generally, if you have too little money, lots of money is attractive. If you don’t have enough food, a banquet is highly appealing. But you need to think about high self-esteem differently. Self-esteem is more like paracetamol the right amount will help you, but too much is a very bad idea indeed. Says Mark Tyrrell. Self-esteem can go too far in both directions, You can have too much or too little. ” We live in a culture where thinness and beauty are highly valued for women and wealth and success are often considered to go hand in hand with a slim figure. This is proved wrong every day and is becoming more and more seen as wrong.

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Low Self-Esteem Leading to Low Motivation

Literature review, case analysis.

I think I really got lucky this placement, as I was placed with caring teachers and a group of students who encouraged me to love what I was doing and plan lessons that I know they would enjoy. The majority of my students were well behaved and had an interest in their learning, but the school I was placed at does have a population of students who come from a lower socio-economic backgrounds. This students can sometimes be labeled as behavior problems because they act out in school for the attention they do not receive at home. I decided to study a student who  has very low motivation to success in school. He seems to struggle with self-esteem issues, which causes him to make disruptions with other students when he feels threatened. This particular student, who I will refer to as Student C, is the biggest child in the class, and stands about 5'6''. I was in a fifth grade classroom, so this is the age where students start to feel insecure about themselves and begin comparing themselves to others around them.

Student C is a smart student, yet he has been making C's and D's this year. When he talks to the teacher or principal, he is disrespectful and doesn't seem to care about his grades or if he gets in trouble. When he is pulled to the back table for extra support, he just asks if he can leave because he doesn't want help. He seems to get along well with the majority of students, but takes on a defensive attitude when he feels like another student is talking bad about him, even if this is not the case. Student C even chased another student around the room threatening him because the other student was messing with him. While the other student should not have done this, Student C blew the situation out of proportion and did not care if what he was doing was right. Student C does react well to having a classroom job, and he always makes sure he gets his job done for the day. He takes this responsibility very seriously, which is interesting since he does not seem to care about his school work right now.

I think the main issue at hand is how Student C views himself. He is not only causing a problem for himself by not being motivated to do his work and being disrespectful when reprimanded about his behaviors, but he also threatens other students when they act a certain way towards him.

According to Marshall, Parker, Ciarrochi, Sahdra, Jackson, and Heaven, self-esteem can be affected by people taking what others say too literally. If views are taken too literally, this can lead to much distress, especially with those who already have a fractured view of themselves (2015). Marshall et al. go on to state that there is such thing as self-compassion, which can be used to help individuals cope with how they feel about themselves. Self-compassion does not necessarily boost self-esteem, but it helps individuals to deal with these feelings and know that it is human nature to doubt oneself (Neff, 2003, 2009). Learning self-compassion can help take away the negative view of oneself, and can help to prevent against defensive behavior when feeling threatened (Leary et al., 2007). While this approach may not rid an individual of self-esteem issues, it can help individuals to deal with how they feel about these negative emotions, which can overall improve mental health (Marshall et al., 2015). A test was run on ninth and tenth grade students, which showed that self-esteem can be affected by self-compassion (Marshall et al., 2015).

In continual research by Baumeister and Tice, they discuss the idea that students with low self-esteem feel threatened by success, so they are more realistic to be dissatisfactory, and just go for average (1985). The article goes on to state that students with low self-esteem have an initial reaction to failure and only respond to success as a secondary system, because these students feel they may not be able to have this success again (Baumeister & Tice, 1985). Baumeister and Tice describe an experiment where subjects who varied in self-esteem levels were tested to see what motivated them during free choice time working with anagrams. The experiment found that those with high self-esteem had more intrinsic motivation with success, because they were told they did very well (Baumeister & Tice, 1985). Those with low self-esteem had more motivation with humiliating failure, which was when they were told that they did wrong without allowing for excuses (Baumeister & Tice, 1985) . Everyone wants to have success, but individuals with low self-esteem just don't expect to find success like individuals with high self-esteem (McFarlin and Blascovich, 1981).

Low self-esteem can affect how students view themselves, and how they are motivated, but what can low motivation do to relationships? According to Wilson, Zheng, Lemoine, Martin, and Tang, there are three achievement goals students strive for: mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance (2016). Mastery is students striving to learn new material, performance-approach is wanting to outperform others and get peer approval, and performance-avoidance is avoiding looking like you are incompetent (Wilson et al., 2016). Much of how students feel about themselves and how they do in the classroom is related to what they feel their peers think about them. Students who are unmotivated develop lower levels of self-efficacy, tend to take on a more avoidance approach, are often rejected and have a harder time with adjustment (Wilson et al., 2016). The article states that classroom support helps students to go after certain goals while also rejecting other goals (Ames, 1992; Meece et al, 2006; Urdan, 2004).

Student C has been speaking with the guidance counselor about his lack of motivation, though he doesn't seem to be willing to talk very much. The principal has decided to give Student C a school-wide job of putting up and taking down the flag everyday to see if this will boost his confidence, since he responds so positively to his classroom job. I think he responses confidently to these jobs because that is something he feels confident about. I think Student C would benefit from maybe learning to have some self-compassion for himself, as stated in the article by Marshall et al. (2015). He seems to be struggling with his emotions, and lashes out instead of dealing with what he is feeling. He uses disrespectful language with adults and acts aggressively with other students as a type of defense mechanism. I think it is important to first address these issues, which I think the school is trying to do by discussing his feelings with him and giving him a job where he feels he has a purpose.

After learning how to better sort out his feelings, I think Student C could benefit from engaging instruction to help him love learning again. When I taught my lessons using hands-on activities, such as card games and creating paper airplanes, Student C stayed engaged. He is not a student who benefits from just doing written work. While there is an importance to doing this work, students need engagement. My teachers try and incorporate fun activities into their lessons, but there are some many standards to meet, so it can be difficult. It is important for this student to understand that he needs to listen to his teachers and do his work in order to prepare for the future.

I think Student C is letting his self-esteem sabotage his success, as he was once an A and B student up until this year. Fifth grade is a tough year for students, as they are getting ready for the transition to middle school. I think Student C feels that he only has to go so far, and that is all that is expected of him. He also seeks peer approval, and says what he thinks will be cool to the boys around him. He is social, but has a problem with saying things that can be inappropriate. I think it has been helpful with my teacher separating Student C away from certain other students in seating arrangement. This helps to avoid some distractions in class. Student C and another student are best friends one minute, and enemies the next, which I do not think helps Student C's self-esteem. The are both making half-hearted jabs at each other, which is meant as a joke, but could be taken seriously.

After researching this topic, I truly see how much Student C needs to deal with this now, instead of later on as he progresses through school. I am glad I was placed in a school that sees this in students and tries the best they can to help. I need to make sure to be patient when dealing with Student C because he can often be disrespectful. He has no excuse for this, but getting angry can only make the situation worse. I have learned to give him and myself a few minutes to calm down when he is disrespectful and refuses to do something. Letting him see why his behavior is not alright will help him in the long run, even if he will not admit know that what he is doing is disrespectful.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Self Awareness — Spotlight Effect as a Reason of Low Self-esteem


Spotlight Effect as a Reason of Low Self-esteem

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Published: May 7, 2019

Words: 652 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Application Essay #2: Spotlight Effect

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low self esteem essay examples

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21 Self-Esteem Examples (High and Low)

self-esteem examples and definition, explained below

Self-esteem is a combination of the thoughts and feelings a person has about themselves. What they think about their personality and abilities, and whether those thoughts are positive or negative.

Self-esteem is usually described as high or low, but there is a lot of room in between those two ends.

A person that likes their personality and thinks they are good at different things, has high self-esteem. In contrast, a person that thinks they have a lot of flaws and can’t do things well, has a low self-esteem.

Self-esteem is an important concept because it has a lot to do with mental health and how much someone pursues their goals.

Definition of Self-Esteem in Psychology

The concept of self-esteem has been studied for decades in psychology.

Rosenberg (1958) is one of the earliest and most prolific researchers in self-esteem, which he defined early on:

“Self-esteem…is a positive or negative attitude toward a particular object, namely, the self” (p. 30).

In this definition, self-esteem is an opinion about one’s self-worth. People with a high self-esteem believe they have high self-worth. Whereas people with low self-esteem are more cynical regarding their value.

Self-esteem should not be confused with self-concept , which refers to a person’s thoughts about who they are. It refers to how a person defines themselves in terms of their personality, attitudes, habits and skills.

Self-concept is multi-faceted and comprised of many dimensions. Self-esteem however, is more of a global assessment regarding one’s self-worth.

High Self-Esteem Examples

  • Positive self-image: A person’s self-image is either favorable or unfavorable; they either like who they are, or not. People with a high self-esteem like themselves and the characteristics they possess. People with low-self-esteem however, have a tendency to not like themselves and who the type of person they are.
  • Assertiveness : Assertiveness is important to self-esteem because in some circumstances it means standing up for yourself. A person with high self-esteem will not accept being treated poorly. However, a person with low self-esteem might actually think that they deserved the mistreatment and will accept it without objection.
  • Accepting compliments: When a person believes they have value in the world, they are more likely to accept a compliment from others. They believe they deserve it. But when a person has low self-esteem, they are less likely to believe they deserve the positive remarks and are far less willing to accept them.
  • Handling criticism: No one enjoys being criticized. But a person with high self-esteem with not have their confidence shaken when being told they are not good at something or did something wrong. For a person with low self-esteem, those negative comments can be devastating. Their self-esteem is fragile and easily shaken.
  • Setting boundaries: Setting boundaries means letting other people know what kind of behavior you find acceptable, and not acceptable. It’s important to be clear about this, but people with low self-esteem will have trouble letting others know when they have crossed the line. High self-esteem individuals will be more direct and firm when dealing with others in this regard.
  • Self-compassion: Being able to forgive oneself is important because everyone makes mistakes. Someone with a high self-esteem will be more forgiving of themselves when they are wrong so that they can move forward. Unfortunately, someone with low self-esteem may dwell on their mistakes for a long time and have trouble accepting their flaws.
  • Resilience : The ability to bounce back after a failure is key to success and a valuable trait to possess. After experiencing a setback, high self-esteem individuals are more likely to try again, and try harder, than low self-esteem individuals.
  • Self-confidence : Feeling like one can do just about anything in life is a common attitude among people with high self-esteem. They believe there is nothing they can’t accomplish if they set their mind to it. People with low self-esteem lack confidence and feel that failure is much more likely than success.
  • Taking responsibility: Accepting responsibility for a mistake is a sign of confidence and high self-esteem. It means admitting fault and dealing with the consequences. Some people with low self-esteem may have trouble taking responsibility for a mistake because it has such a damaging impact on their self-image, which is already very fragile.
  • Low reactivity: High self-esteem individuals are more stable than low self-esteem individuals. Their reactions are more subdued because their sense of self is more grounded. A low self-esteem person will have stronger reactions to events, both positive and negative.  
  • Healthy coping strategies: When confronted with failures or stressful situations, high self-esteem individuals will respond with healthy coping strategies such as finding ways to solve the problem or exercising. Low self-esteem individuals may respond with unhealthy coping strategies such as overeating or drinking.
  • Positive inner voice: People with a high self-esteem have an inner-voice that is motivating and positive. It tells them that new experiences will be enjoyable and uplifting. It tells them that new experiences will be enjoyable and uplifting. However, people with a low self-esteem have an inner-voice that is negative and full of self-doubt. There is a narration of cynicism and fear that makes the person less confident and unwilling to try new things.

Low Self-Esteem Examples

  • Negative self-image: People with low self-esteem tend to have an unfavorable self-image. In other words, they may dislike themselves and their characteristics. Conversely, people with high self-esteem appreciate their attributes and feel comfortable with who they are.
  • Passivity: Being passive is often associated with low self-esteem, as individuals may have difficulty standing up for themselves or asserting their needs. A person with low self-esteem might accept being treated poorly, feeling as though they deserve the mistreatment or lack the self-worth to object. In contrast, those with high self-esteem will not tolerate such treatment.
  • Rejecting compliments: People with low self-esteem will often struggle to accept compliments from others. They may blush or freeze up when compliments are given. Often, they don’t believe they deserve praise. By contrast, people who have high self-esteem may be more likely to believe and accept the compliments of others because they understand that they are worthy of recognition.
  • Sensitivity to criticism: You may be able to identify a person with low self-esteem because of how they respond to criticism. They may become highly defensive and refuse to admit to their own weaknesses.
  • Difficulty setting boundaries: People with low self-esteem may have trouble asserting their boundaries and communicating what kind of behavior they find acceptable. They might be reluctant to confront others about crossing the line, unlike those with high self-esteem, who can be more direct and firm in setting boundaries.
  • Self-criticism: People with low self-esteem may be overly critical of themselves. Instead of looking at themselves with through positive and negative lenses, they may dwell on their own mistakes. They may also have difficulty accepting their flaws, leading to unhealthy levels of perfectionism.
  • Lack of resilience: Low self-esteem may also cause people to struggle bouncing back from the inevitable setbacks and failures in life. They may become becoming disheartened or discouraged easily.
  • Self-doubt: If you have low self-esteem, you may believe that failure is more likely than success, especially when you’re involved! This ends up being related to another psychological concept called the fixed mindset , where people don’t believe they can achieve personal growth no matter how hard they try.
  • Avoiding responsibility: People with low self-esteem might avoid taking responsibility because they believe they will fail at the responsibilities assigned to them. Mistakes when in a position of responsibility may shatter their fragile self-image.
  • Overreactivity: Low self-esteem may cause someone to over-react to a situation. They may have intense emotional reactions to events that may be both positive and negative. This may be a reflection of their unstable sense of self.
  • Negative inner voice: Low self-esteem can also manifest as a persistently negative inner voice, self-doubt, fear, and pessimism. This voice often occurs when we fall into the psychological behavior of mental filtering . A negative internal narrative self-sustains the negative sense of self and holds people back from trying new experiences and taking risks.

Maslow’s Approach to Self-Esteem

Abraham Maslow (1948) developed a highly influential theory about motivation called the Hierarchy of Needs . The theory states that people are motivated by different needs.

maslows hierarchy of needs, summarized below

At each stage in the hierarchy, the individual struggles to satisfy needs at that level.

However, just because needs at one level are met, doesn’t mean they stop influencing our actions. People can be motivated to satisfy multiple needs simultaneously (Kaufman, 2019).

  • Physiological Needs : The most fundamental needs are related to the acquisition of things we need for survival such as food, water, and shelter from the forces of nature.
  • Safety needs : Safety needs have to do with knowing that you have healthy body and are living in a place free from danger.
  • Belonging and love : Feeling loved and having positive relationships with friends and family are next in the hierarchy. This helps a person feel grounded and secure.
  • Esteem needs : Further up the hierarchy are esteem needs. In Maslow’s theory, “esteem” refers to feeling respected by others for one’s accomplishments by being good at something. Achieving status and recognition in society is the primary factor for satisfying esteem needs. In this sense, Maslow’s concept of esteem is other-directed, whereas Rosenberg’s concept is more self-directed. According to Maslow, esteem comes from the approval of others, but for Rosenberg, it comes from the approval of oneself.
  • Self-actualization : At the top of the hierarchy is self-actualization. This refers to being able to achieve your fullest potential. Each person has something unique about them. In some cases, a person can strive to find what they are truly capable of in the world and actually do it.

The Three States of Self-Esteem by Martin Ross

Martin Ross (2013) offers a different way of looking at self-esteem. He proposes that there are three states: shattered, vulnerable, and strong.

  • Shattered: When a person is experiencing the state of feeling shattered, they feel overwhelmed with failure and sadness. They do not think of themselves as a lovable person. A person in this state will often label themselves according to what they believe is their most failed characteristic. Ross called this the “anti-feat.” For example, if person thinks that their worst trait is their age, then they will describe themselves accordingly: “I am old.”
  • Vulnerable: In this state, the person has a positive self-image, but it is fragile. They are overly concerned with failure, or in Ross’s terms, anti-feat. So, their self-esteem is always vulnerable. Although they may appear confident on the outside, on the inside they feel the opposite. They are in constant fear of their anti-feats and can become easily defensive to protect themselves.
  • Strong: People in this state of self-esteem are fully confident and do not fear anti-feats. They do not fear failure, but when it does occur, it does not shake their identity.

Since they have strong self-esteem, they do not feel the need to boast or express their confidence. Instead, they come across as humble and cheerful.

Contingent vs Non-Contingent Self-Esteem

Another perspective on self-esteem talks about where it comes from: contingent or non-contingent.

  • Contingent self-esteem comes from external sources, such as the opinions of others, relationships that define the person, or successes and failures (Kernis & Goldman, 2006). When self-esteem is contingent-based, it is unstable. It can easily be damaged by events external to the self. This drives a person to constantly seek approval from others, which is unlikely to happen and creates a lot of anxiety.
  • Non-contingent self-esteem is stable and far less susceptible to external feedback. The individual has an underlying belief that they are a person of worth and value. Even though they recognize that they have shortcomings, these are accepted. This belief makes a person feel calm and grounded. They do not need to constantly seek validation from others or through accomplishments.

Self-esteem can be conceptualized in so many different ways. Rosenberg views self-esteem as a person’s sense of self-worth; an attitude about the self.

Maslow sees self-esteem as primarily coming from being respected by others for one’s accomplishments. It is derived primarily from social status .

Ross considers self-esteem as a state of mind. Some are in a state of feeling shattered. They have a very poor self-image and define themselves negatively. For those that feel vulnerable, they live in constant fear of failure. While people that have a strong self-esteem are stable, confident and humble.

Contingent self-esteem means that a person ties their worth to external sources such as the approval of others and accomplishments. Non-contingent self-esteem is an acceptance of oneself as one is, not as defined by the external world.

Doyle, I., & Catling, J. C. (2022). The influence of perfectionism, self-esteem and resilience on young people’s mental health. The Journal of Psychology , 156 (3), 224-240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.2022.2027854

Jordan, C. H., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2013). Fragile self-esteem: The perils and pitfalls of (some) high self-esteem. In V. Zeigler-Hill (Ed.), Self-esteem (pp. 80–98). New York: Psychology Press.

Kaufman, S. B. (2019, April 23). Who Created Maslow’s Iconic Pyramid? Scientific American Blog Network. https://web.archive.org/web/20190508224320/https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/who-created-maslows-iconic-pyramid/

Kernis, M. H., & Goldman, B. M. (2006). Assessing stability of self-esteem and contingent self-esteem. In M. Kernis (Ed.), Self-esteem issues and answers: A sourcebook of current perspectives (pp. 77–85). New York: Psychology Press.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4) , 370-396. doi: https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/h0054346

Mruk, C. J. (2006). Self-esteem research, theory, and practice: Toward a positive psychology of self-esteem . New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Orth, U., & Robins, R. W. (2014). The development of self-esteem. Current Directions in Psychological Science , 23 (5), 381-387. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721414547414

Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Ross, M. (2013). El Mapa de la Autoestima. Madrid: Dunken.


Dave Cornell (PhD)

Dr. Cornell has worked in education for more than 20 years. His work has involved designing teacher certification for Trinity College in London and in-service training for state governments in the United States. He has trained kindergarten teachers in 8 countries and helped businessmen and women open baby centers and kindergartens in 3 countries.

  • Dave Cornell (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link 25 Positive Punishment Examples
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  • Dave Cornell (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link Perception Checking: 15 Examples and Definition


Chris Drew (PhD)

This article was peer-reviewed and edited by Chris Drew (PhD). The review process on Helpful Professor involves having a PhD level expert fact check, edit, and contribute to articles. Reviewers ensure all content reflects expert academic consensus and is backed up with reference to academic studies. Dr. Drew has published over 20 academic articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education and holds a PhD in Education from ACU.

  • Chris Drew (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link 25 Positive Punishment Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link 25 Dissociation Examples (Psychology)
  • Chris Drew (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link 15 Zone of Proximal Development Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) #molongui-disabled-link Perception Checking: 15 Examples and Definition

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What Causes Low Self-Esteem? Essay Sample, Example


Throughout the recent decades, psychology has become extremely popular in western countries. Starting from all kinds of coaching programs, personality trainings, and professional psychotherapy sessions, psychology is constantly being at the center of public attention. Terms like “subconsciousness,” “psychological resistance,” “self-esteem,” calls to “love yourself” and “accept your uniqueness” sound from almost everywhere. At the same time, people seem to often simplify and misunderstand the basics of psychology. People talk about how important it is to increase self-esteem and accept oneself—but no one says how exactly this can be done, or what may become an obstacle. Self-esteem, in particular, is the term that is juggled with the most frequently; “increasing self-esteem” is probably the most popular advice people give to each other on every possible occasion. At the same time, as it is often the case in psychology, low self-esteem is not just the way a person thinks about himself or herself, but rather a complex aggregate of behavioral and mental patterns, changing which requires much more patience and effort than simply saying to oneself, “I am awesome.” Let us take a closer look at what exactly causes people to underestimate themselves.

Decreased self-esteem, or the inhibited feeling of self-worth is influenced, as it is often the case, by the problems in communication with authoritative others in childhood. This is especially true if a child is raised while being constantly criticized, taught how to do things “right,” and not appreciated no matter how hard he or she tries, or shamed and blamed. This causes a child to grow up into an adult that constantly doubts his or her worth, trying to please other people in order to gain acceptance or to avoid critics. At the same time, there is a “passive” way parents can harm their child. Even if they do not criticize their child, inactive, emotionally-cold parents contribute to a child developing low self-esteem in the future; children need to feel love and attention from their parents, and if parents are preoccupied and do not (or cannot) notice their child’s behaviors, accomplishments, and manifestations, it can also cause psychological harm. A child in such a family may feel unnoticed, unimportant, and abandoned. This may cause a person to develop a need to “apologize” for their existence—for example, trying to be “useful,” or justify the fact of his or her life in some other ways. In addition, when parents or other authoritative figures raising a child are in conflict with each other, it can pose psychological danger as well: feeling overwhelmed and scared by constant conflicts, a child may develop a sense of guilt, considering himself or herself somehow responsible for the fact that adults are fighting with each other. This may result in feeling “tainted,” “guilty,” and can be carried on into adult life (Psychology Today).

Children, when in groups, can be extremely cruel—this is a well-known fact, although it does not mean that children are bad: because they are in the process of adopting and understanding social norms, since they are only learning empathy and compassion, children often cannot distinguish between what is wrong and what is right. As a result, they can cause physical and psychological pain to each other. Rather often, there is a child who is somehow different from others: poorer, smarter, awkward, and so on; such children usually become objects for bullying and hatred. Negative attitudes from peers and being subjected to bullying decreases self-esteem dramatically. It is an innate need of every person to be a part of some group, to be respected and recognized; even for adults, it can be difficult to stay in a hostile or negligent collective of people. For children, it can be devastating: having to face hostile environments day by day, year by year (for example, because a child has to go to the same school, and is ashamed to tell his or her parents about being bullied and humiliated) may cause an individual to think that something is wrong with them, that they are somehow “bad” or inferior (Good Choices Good Life). Needless to say that such feelings transit to adult life, causing painful doubts in a person’s self-worth, obstructing communication and trust with other people, and making such a person to feel ashamed for every small discrepancy in their looks, way of thinking, and so on.

Yet another way to cause a child to develop low self-esteem is abuse: emotional, physical, or sexual—it does not matter. Any case of abuse is a potential psychological trauma, which can remain in a child’s psyche for years (sometimes for his or her entire life); abuse in the past may even cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), which only makes a child’s condition worse, making him or her constantly feel “damaged” and worthless (self-confidence.co.uk). For many people, the facts of physical or any other abuse cause severe distress, and can lead to depression, addiction, and other forms of negative self-attitude. An abused child requires psychological help—the sooner, the better.

There are many ways in which parents, environments, and peers can cause a child to develop low self-esteem, which later transits to adult life. Negligence, emotional coldness, criticism, a lack of appreciation, bullying, humiliation, as well as abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual) can harm a child’s psyche. In order to help a person overcome such traumas, the help of a professional psychotherapist may be needed.

Works Cited

Lachmann, Suzanne. “10 Sources of Low Self-Esteem.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 24 Dec. 2013. Web. 05 July 2017.

“8 Common Causes of Low Self-Esteem.” Good Choices Good Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

“Top Ten Facts About Low Self Esteem.” Self-confidence.co.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 July 2017.

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