8 Things Young People Do When Suffering Low Self-Esteem

  • 8 Things Young People Do When Suffering Low Self-Esteem

    8 Things Young People Do When Suffering Low Self-Esteem

    Having low self-esteem can affect the will to learn. And that can feel like keeping a candle burning in a storm already. So learning how to spot behaviors of low self-esteem in children can help keep their will to learn alive.

    Here are 8 things that young people do when suffering low self-esteem

    They are perfectionists

    Perfectionism is actually one of the main destructive aspects of low self-esteem.

    Children with low self-esteem will only display their skills and abilities when they are sure that they will excel. The sense of failure is constant in their lives because no matter how impressive their achievements are, they don’t ever feel good enough.

    This is why they give up: they would rather be seen as quitters than failures. It all comes down to the extreme need of being loved and accepted.

    The thrill of putting others down

    Ever heard of the saying, ‘Misery loves company?’

    This is true of children, and indeed adults who suffer from low self-esteem. If you notice that your youngster constantly tells you about other people’s flaws, this could be their way of bringing others down to their level. They will badmouth other people and make harsh comments about the people around them.

    According to author Jeffrey Sherman, a person who doesn’t like themselves much will most likely not appreciate other people’s unique qualities. They tend to put other people down more often than lift them.

    They are also likely to have something sour to say in every conversation.

    They are uncomfortable in social situations

    Poor social skills are a telltale sign of low self-esteem.

    If your youngster does not value themselves, they have a hard time believing that anyone else does. They, therefore, pull away from other people to protect themselves from perceived threats. Unfortunately, this self-isolation has the opposite effect: the more one isolates themselves, the more they feel lonely and unwanted.

    Does your child hide in a corner at a party and spend all the time on their phone or hide in her room when you have guests over? This antisocial behavior is one of the surest signs of blooming low self-esteem.

    Silence is a weapon

    In situations where a low self-esteem individual must mingle with other people, they will be silent, listen and agree with everything that the other people are saying.

    They will have their own ideas, but these remain in their mind. They might think their views and opinions over and over again, but they will not have the courage to speak up because they are afraid of making a mistake.

    Later, when they replay the conversation, they will beat themselves up for not expressing their opinions, which they will be surprised to discover, were more superior.

    They resist positive feedback

    They resist positive feedback

    Having low esteem makes one less receptive to the very positive feedback that could help them improve their sense of self-worth. Your child will feel unworthy of appreciation and even get stressed out by the expectation that they believe your praise will bring.

    Furthermore, positive affirmations hardly work for people who are struggling with low self-esteem.

    They suggest that it is natural for one to reject an opinion or statement that they feel falls too far outside their belief about themselves. The more someone feels unworthy and disempowered, the more positive affirmations remind them how much they actually feel the opposite.

    It’s in their body language

    One of the most visible signs of low self-esteem is body language.

    Sometimes, you can just look at a youngster and know that something is off. If your child walks with their head pointed downwards and the chin stuck on top of the chest, this is a physical expression of shame and embarrassment.

    Slumped shoulders, no eye contact, nervous hand gestures: these are signs of a child who is unsure of themselves.

    You will also observe that the child is continuously slouching, attempting to take up as little space as possible in public. They want to ‘disappear’ since they do not want people to notice their flaws.


    On the other hand, a child who has low self-esteem may crave attention.

    One way that they seek attention is to use gestures that are dramatic and out of context because they are desperate for people to notice them. They might also speak too loudly to compensate for feelings of insignificance.

    Unfortunately, this hardly works for long, and they are left feeling even worse than they did before.

    They compare themselves to everyone

    Children with low self-esteem have a habit of comparing themselves to others: their siblings, their classmates, and even random strangers. While there is nothing wrong with comparing oneself with others, the excessive comparison only bruises an already fragile ego.

    They have the belief that other people have it all together and regularly treat life as a competition.

    They then base their worth on what other people are good at. They spend too much time looking at other people: their looks, their personalities, and their achievements that they are blind to their own unique qualities.

    The more they compare themselves to other people, the more they become disempowered.

    Being able to identify these 8 behaviors will give you some time to deal with the low self-esteem persons in your life.

    Christopher teaches woodwork at high school level and also runs the website TeachingWoodwork.com. He is passionate about helping the people (parents and teachers) around young people. You can see his latest projects and blog posts on his website.

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