Are there behaviors to know people who lack self-esteem?

Self-esteem is one of the basic aspects of our emotional well-being, yet many people struggle with it daily.

It can be subtle and silently harming.

Often manifesting in behaviors that go unnoticed by the person experiencing them.  

Self-esteem is the level of confidence and belief in one’s own worth, abilities, and value as a person. 

It affects how we see ourselves, our relationships with others, and our overall outlook on life.

Talking from experience, low self-esteem can lead to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and even depression or anxiety. 

It can stem from experiences from childhood where a person may have been criticized or compared unfavorably to others. 

In adulthood, it can also be influenced by societal pressures, media messages, and personal insecurities.

Having a healthy level of self-esteem allows us to have confidence in our abilities, make decisions based on our personal values, and maintain healthy relationships with others.

If you’ve ever felt less confident or doubted yourself more than you should, you might recognize some of these behaviors.

Here are signs that a person might be struggling with low self-esteem, and they might not even know it.

7 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

1. Constant Self-Criticism

Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

For a very long time, I doubted my own abilities and I will criticize every little thing I did wrong.

Ever notice that little voice in your head that always seems to have something negative to say?

People with low self-esteem are often their own worst critics

They tend to focus on their flaws and mistakes, no matter how minor, and blow them out of proportion. 

It’s like having a mean coach who never stops yelling at you, even when you do something right.

This constant self-criticism can chip away at confidence over time.

Once their confidence takes a hit, they spend majority of their time doubting their ability to complete a task.

They then begin to dish out one excuse after another, this is one of the most popular traits of people with low self-esteem. 

Do you often find yourself being overly critical of your own actions?

How might this be affecting your confidence?


2. Avoiding Challenges

Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

The fear of failure prevents you from taking on a new challenge.

When you lack self-esteem, stepping out of your comfort zone can feel like climbing Mount Everest without any gear.

I did this for so many years and later on I regretted it, but still i refused to try something new.

People with low self-esteem often avoid challenges and new experiences because they fear failure.

It’s like there is someone holding you hostage in your head.

They often stick to what they know, even if it means missing out on great opportunities for growth and success. 

This is a direct result of constant self-criticism chipping away at confidence over time. 

If you find yourself constantly avoiding new experiences, start with something small.

Open your mind to trying new things.

I changed that narrative a couple of years back and it is one of the best things I ever did.

It is time to address your low self-esteem and take steps towards building confidence.

But what if you took a chance and tried something new? 

You might surprise yourself with your abilities and gain a sense of accomplishment, boosting your self-esteem in the process.

Are there challenges you’ve avoided because you’re afraid of failing? How might facing these fears change your life?


3. Difficulty Accepting Compliments

Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

This was my reality for a very long time.

Either when I dress well or I did something amazing and people compliment me, I will deflect those compliments.

Receiving a compliment should feel good, but for those with low self-esteem, it can feel very awkward or uncomfortable, because they don’t believe in themselves.

They might downplay the compliment, deflect it, or dismiss it altogether. 

It’s like trying to hand someone a gift, only to have them insist they don’t deserve it.

This behavior stems from a deep-seated belief that they’re not worthy of praise or recognition.

They are convinced that no matter what they do and how hard they try, they can never be good enough to be praised and they are not worthy of whatever win they record.

If you find yourself feeling awkward after getting compliments or you try to deflect it, that is a sign of low self-esteem.

How do you usually respond to compliments?

Could accepting them graciously boost your self-esteem?


4. People-Pleasing

 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

Do you find yourself agreeing to things you don’t want to do, and you avoid saying no?

Or you constantly strive to make others happy, even at your own expense.

That right there is a huge sign of low self-esteem.

People with low self-esteem often seek validation and acceptance from others by putting their own needs last.

It’s always about what people say about them.

Never about what do they actually want.

It’s like being a human doormat, always letting others walk all over you.

While it might win approval temporarily, it can lead to resentment, and you will burnout.

In their own personal matters, their own opinion and choices always comes last.

People with low self-esteem live for no course of their own but only for that of other.

Do you often find yourself trying to please others at the expense of your own needs?

How might setting boundaries improve your life?


5. Negative Self-Talk

 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, why say it to yourself?

People with low self-esteem engage in a lot of negative self-talk. 

They constantly put themselves down, criticize their own abilities and appearance, and believe that they are not good enough.

Negative self-talk will prevent you from even trying to achieve your goals.

That inner voice when you are alone is always telling you that you’re not going to be enough.

You might find yourself calling yourself names, blame yourself for things out of your control, and predict negative outcomes for your efforts.

This kind of self-talk can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, making it even harder to build confidence.

It’s like having a little storm cloud following you around, raining on your parade every time.

How often do you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk?

What positive affirmations could you use instead?


6. Fear of Rejection

 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

Rejection is tough for everyone, but for those with low self-esteem, it can feel like a confirmation of their worst fears about themselves.

No to them is a threat to their very existence.

They might avoid putting themselves out there, whether in relationships, jobs, or social situations, because the fear of rejection looms so large. 

I refused to use social media to promote my business because I had convinced myself my craft wasn’t good enough.

But the truth is, rejection is a normal part of life, and it doesn’t define our worth as individuals. 

In fact, facing and overcoming rejection can help us grow and learn more about ourselves.

If you find yourself constantly avoiding situations because of fear of rejection, that is also another sign of low self-esteem. 

They often dwell on feelings of inadequacy.

It’s like not entering a race because you’re convinced, you’ll lose, you never even give yourself a chance to win.

Are there opportunities you’ve missed out on because you were afraid of rejection?

How might embracing vulnerability help you grow?


7. Comparing Yourself to Others

 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

I used to compare myself to my peers who we were in the same field constantly without giving myself a break.

I would spend time on the social media account of those who way ahead of myself

In the age of social media, it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, but for those with low self-esteem, it can be especially damaging.

Most times they have a diamond yet, they envy those with stone.

They might constantly compare themselves to others and always come up short in their own eyes.

It’s like trying to measure up to an impossible standard, you’re bound to feel inadequate.

This habit can erode self-esteem and lead to feelings of envy and dissatisfaction.

They compare their own single step to someone who have taken a thousand, even though their single step is equal to or even more than a thousand steps.

How often do you compare yourself to others?

How might focusing on your own strengths and achievements change your perspective?


Building Your Self-Esteem

 Behaviors People Who Lack Self-Esteem Display (Without Realizing It)

Recognizing these behaviors are the first steps towards building a healthier self-esteem.

It’s important to remember that everyone has moments of self-doubt, but by addressing these habits, you can start to foster a more positive self-image.

Whether it’s through positive affirmations, setting boundaries, or simply being kinder to yourself, small changes can make a big difference.

What strategies have you found helpful in building self-esteem? 

Let’s support and encourage each other on this journey to self-love and confidence!

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. 


By Yele

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