Self-esteem refers to the way we view, perceive and value ourselves. Our self-esteem is informed by our early experiences and it can be further impacted by experience we gather as we develop. Some of us might develop rigid and negative evaluations of ourselves, which can impact on how we think and feel about ourselves causing considerable distress in our day-to-day life. No one is born with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is a product of our life experiences.
Some common causes of low self-esteem include:
- Disapproving and critical parental figures
- Being bullied.
- Repeated punishment, neglect, or abuse
- Not meeting peer group standards
- Not meeting other people’s expectations
- Not receiving sufficient warmth, affection, praise, love, or encouragement
Further factors that might impact further on our self-esteem include:
- Chronic stress
- Discrimination or stigma
- Experiencing abuse (physical/emotional/sexual)
- Financial difficulties
- Physical and mental health problems
- Relationship difficulties
- Social media pressures
- Work/school related issues
Some common signs that might suggest you are impacted by low self-esteem include:
- Low mood
- Constant self-critical thoughts
- Withdrawal or isolation
- Maladaptive coping mechanisms such as overeating, drinking excessively, exercising excessively.
When to seek help
Low self-esteem can impact significantly on your emotional health and your relationships. If you think you are facing issues with low self-esteem therapy / counselling can help.
Dr Maria Pournara, Chartered Psychologist is experienced with low self-esteem issues and offers therapy / counselling for low self-esteem online.