Signs Someone Has Low Self-Esteem

How to Help Loved Ones Improve Self-Esteem

When we encounter a loved one or family member who lacks self-esteem, it can create a range of complications in our relationships with them. 

These individuals may exhibit various aspects of self-doubt, such as rejecting compliments, being overly pessimistic about the future, or struggling to establish boundaries and prioritize self-care. 

Identifying low self-esteem can be challenging because some individuals try to compensate for their insecurities by showcasing their achievements and social status, presenting themselves with false confidence.

However, if you find your loved one struggling with low self-esteem, realize they are not alone.

In fact, according to the article written by Jennifer Guttman Psy.D. in Psychology Today, “it’s estimated that roughly 85% of people worldwide (adults and adolescents) have low self-esteem.”

It’s crucial to analyze and recognize whether they genuinely feel confident with themselves or if you’re putting up a facade. 

It is helpful to identify the specific areas where an individual may lack self-esteem, as this can aid you in supporting and encouraging them to build their confidence. By doing so, you can help improve their overall well-being and boost their self-esteem.

Below are Signs Someone Has Low Self-Esteem and How to Help Them.

Signs Someone has Low Self-Esteem. How to help loved ones improve self-esteem.

1. Allowing People to Cross Their Boundaries

If they allow others to cross their boundaries, it may indicate that they have low self-esteem. 

Some struggle to express boundaries due to fear of damaging relationships, causing emotional distress to others, or avoiding conflict altogether.

However, not setting personal limits may indicate low self-esteem and a lack of respect for one’s worth and value. 

Prioritizing one’s needs and boundaries is essential to build healthy and fulfilling relationships with others. 

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

It’s important to remember that setting boundaries is typically best between the parties involved. 

Suppose someone confides in you about a toxic relationship. 

In that case, it’s crucial to acknowledge their value to boost their self-esteem so that they can gain the confidence needed to establish healthy boundaries on their own.

Imposing boundaries on others on behalf of a loved one can potentially harm your relationships and negatively impact the self-esteem of the person you are trying to protect.

Additionally, speaking negatively about the other person may worsen the situation and cause unnecessary drama. 

2. Doesn't Trust Themselves

When an individual is always discussing their dreams and goals without ever acting upon them, it may indicate low self-esteem.

Some individuals may struggle to pursue their dreams or goals because they may feel unworthy, lack the intelligence, or believe they will fail.

Another sign of low self-esteem is when people constantly doubt themselves and over-analyze their decisions. 

Constantly over-analyzing their life choices indicates low self-esteem and uncertainty about whether they will make the right decision.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

If you have someone close to you who seems to have difficulty making decisions, push them to make smaller choices. 

It can be as simple as having them choose what they want for dinner. At first, you may find that they push the question back on you because they feel uncomfortable answering it. 

It is crucial to remain firm in your support and kindness towards the individual while reassuring them to make a choice.

As they feel more confident making smaller choices, they gradually increase their decision-making responsibility over time. 

As per the example above, once they have gained confidence in their ability to decide what they would like for dinner without seeking validation, granting them more freedom in decision-making may be appropriate. 

Granting more freedom can include allowing them to plan activities for the day, picking where to take a weekend trip, or making plans for the evening.

3. Comparing Themselves to Others

Be careful of someone who is competitive, this is a sign of a poor emotional support system. If your friendship is becoming competitive then it may indicate it is time to let your friend go.

It’s important to recognize when someone constantly compares themselves to others, whether in terms of status, wealth, or relationships. 

This behavior can indicate a lack of self-esteem and a need for external validation. 

Additionally, continually measuring oneself against others is a harmful cycle as there will always be someone who appears to be superior, whether it be a nicer home, a bigger car, a better job, more friends, or a perfect home life. 

Comparing oneself to others is ultimately a lose-lose situation.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When you notice a loved one comparing themselves to others, it is crucial to causally steer the conversation towards a more optimistic angle by highlighting the aspects in their lives that they should be grateful for. 

This way, you can help them see the good things in their life and boost their mood and self-esteem. 

4. People Pleasing

People pleasing is another sign that someone you love may have low self-esteem.

Another sign of low self-esteem is when someone constantly engages in people-pleasing behavior.

There are various forms of people-pleasing behavior. 

  • Going above and beyond to assist others even if they are struggling to do so or don’t want to 
  • Has a hard time saying no 
  • Constantly apologizing 
  • Getting pressured to do things they don’t want to

When a loved one exhibits people-pleasing behavior, they tend to have difficulty saying no to requests because they strongly desire approval and acceptance. 

The desire for approval can also cause the person to avoid confrontations or disagreements.  

Additionally, they may perceive their needs and wants as less critical than those around them. 

Therefore, they prioritize pleasing others over their own needs and desires. They may feel compelled to go along with what others want, even if it goes against their wishes. 

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When someone struggles with people pleasing, it’s important to prioritize their feelings and needs. 

Ensure you validate if they genuinely want to participate rather than feeling pressured to follow the decisions of others due to low self-esteem.

5. Negative Self Talk

Identifying low self-esteem in someone can be challenging, but one way to tell if they struggle with it is if they engage in negative self-talk. 

Negative self-talk is when individuals speak to themselves in a demeaning manner. 

The person may make comments, such as derogatory jokes about themselves, self-deprecating remarks, or positioning themselves negatively in the stories they tell. 

For example, they may talk about themselves in ways that diminish their achievements or abilities, such as saying they’re not smart or capable enough to succeed in a particular area.

Negative self-talk can be damaging to an individual’s self-esteem and overall well-being. It reinforces negative beliefs and can lead to feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. 

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When someone engages in negative self-talk, it’s crucial to counter it by expressing their worth and value. 

Speaking kindly to others struggling with self-esteem may encourage them to develop a more positive self-image. 

Communicating positively with others can also help them to gain a better understanding of their strengths.

6. Feel No Control Over Their Life

Someone who offers a bad friendship is one that doesn't encourage you to go after your dreams. Furthermore, a sign of a bad friendship is someone who engages in gossip. People who gossip often cause harm and is best to confront them. Therefore, it is important to keep confrontation brief in order to maintain a positive outlook and still be able to spread positive words to those within your inner circle.

Another sign someone may struggle with low self-esteem is if they feel like they have no control over their life. 

Individuals who feel they have no control over their lives may hesitate to take responsibility for their actions while always blaming others. 

This lack of control can be overwhelming, causing them to feel helpless and frustrated. 

By constantly blaming others, individuals give up their power and authority over their lives and become dependent on others to solve their problems. 

Moreover, refusing to take responsibility can lead to a cycle of negative behavior. If individuals do not take responsibility for their actions, they are unlikely to learn from their mistakes and make the necessary changes to improve their lives. 

This lack of self-awareness can lead to a pattern of harmful behavior that negatively impacts their personal and professional relationships. 

In contrast, taking responsibility for one’s actions can lead to greater control over one’s life and destiny. 

Taking responsibility allows individuals to learn from their mistakes and make better decisions in the future.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

Gently point out how they are not taking responsibility for their behaviors and explain how taking responsibility can enhance and lead to positive life changes. 

It is essential to approach the topic with sensitivity and empathy for a productive conversation. 

It is crucial to listen to their perspective and understand their reasons for not taking responsibility. 

By doing so, you can gain their trust and help them feel comfortable opening up about their struggles. 

When speaking with them, using kind and gentle language is essential to avoid making them feel attacked or criticized. 

7. Trouble Asking For Help

People with low self-esteem may be reluctant to ask for help. 

Having trouble asking for help may stem from seeing it as a sign of weakness or not wanting to bother others. 

Furthermore, those with low self-esteem may feel like they have failed if they have to ask for help or should be able to handle everything independently. 

While it is true that everyone needs help at some point in their lives, striving never to require assistance may be an unattainable goal.

Therefore, if you notice someone having difficulty asking for help, it may indicate that they struggle with low self-esteem.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

If you notice someone needing help and is hesitant to ask for it, it is best to take the initiative and offer assistance. 

Going out of your way to help can make the person feel appreciated and supported.

It can also help break down any barriers preventing them from seeking future help, making it easier for them to ask others for help later. 

8. Doesn't Like Compliments

Have you ever encountered someone who is constantly dodging a compliment? Someone’s difficulty accepting a compliment may be due to low self-esteem. 

Individuals with low self-esteem may feel they do not deserve praise or may be unfamiliar with receiving it, making it uncomfortable for them to hear. 

Furthermore, they may reject compliments, downplay their achievements, or respond with self-deprecating remarks.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When someone has trouble hearing compliments, it is essential to continue to give encouragement, compliments, and support to help them build their self-esteem.

9. Negative Outlook on the Future

Another sign of someone that has low self-esteem is when they have a negative outlook on the future. By giving them a positive viewpoint can help help loved ones improve self-esteem.

Individuals with low self-esteem may have a pessimistic outlook on their future.

Individuals with low self-esteem may struggle to feel deserving of positive outcomes, which can cause them to feel guilty or uncomfortable when they occur. [Read also: Create a Positive Mental Attitude by Reframing Negative Thoughts

Furthermore, feeling undeserving of a happy future may leave them to believe their future may not be as promising as it could be, ultimately reinforcing their lack of confidence.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When someone around you begins to speak negatively about their future, navigate the conversation to become more positive. 

Furthermore, celebrate both small and big milestones along the way to increase self-esteem. 

Furthermore, celebrating milestones will make them feel worthy of achievements, helping them feel more optimistic about their future. 

10. Anxiety

When an individual lacks self-esteem, they may experience high levels of anxiety. 

Individuals who lack self-esteem may feel like they are not in control of their lives and view themselves negatively or even entertain harmful thoughts about themselves. 

Possibly, they view the world as a glass half full and always see the worst in situations, all of which cause anxiety. 

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

If you notice that someone has high anxiety, it is essential to identify the root cause. 

By understanding the underlying factors contributing to their anxiety, you can help the individual recognize their worth and potential and encourage them to focus on the positive aspects of their lives. 

Encouraging them to see the positive aspects of the world can help them develop a positive outlook and feel more optimistic about their life. 

11. Puts Others Down

Yelling is another red flag to look out for in a relationship. You may be in a toxic relationship or around toxic people if your partner or friends are always yelling. Furthermore, what kind of home environment does this create for your children.

Another sign that someone has low self-esteem is when they make derogatory comments or jokes towards others. 

Putting others down may take various forms, such as:

  • Making jokes at others’ expense
  • Belittling others
  • Backhanded compliments 
  • Intentionally sabotaging or damaging other’s reputation 
  •  Directly insulting others

Individuals who engage in such behavior may struggle with self-esteem and put others down to compensate for their insecurities. 

Putting others down may make them feel better about themselves and their shortcomings.

What to Do to Help Improve Others Self-Esteem

When in a situation where an individual is putting others down, approach the individuals with empathy to help them recognize the harmful impact of their actions.  

Try working with them to develop more positive ways to cope with their insecurities. 

By doing so, you can help them develop healthier ways to build their self-esteem and improve their relationships with others.

Bullet point image of signs that someone has low self esteem and how to help loved ones approve self-esteem.

In conclusion, identifying signs of low self-esteem is crucial in helping loved ones lead happier and more successful lives.

People who lack self-esteem may struggle with:

  • Establishing healthy boundaries
  • Trusting themselves
  • Comparing themselves to others
  • Engaging in people-pleasing behavior
  • Negative self-talk, feeling powerless
  • Difficulty asking for help
  • Not accepting compliments
  • Having a negative outlook on the future

By recognizing these signs and taking steps to boost self-esteem, individuals can overcome their self-doubt and achieve their goals. [Read also: How to Achieve Self-Reliance and Maintain Independence

Sara Elizabeth

About Author, Sara Elizabeth
Writer, Amora V Lifestyle
Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich Boutique

Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.

Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.

When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.

Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The authors of this blog are not liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided, nor for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the use of the information provided. I am not a professional relationship counselor, and my advice should not be considered as a substitute for professional help. It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner, friend or co-worker and seek guidance from a qualified professional if needed. Remember, every relationship is unique and requires individual attention and care. Any reviews or comments written are the subjective opinion of an Amora V Lifestyle member and not Amora V Lifestyle. Amora V Lifestyle performs occasional checks on commentary left by users. It’s worth mentioning that we may also use comments in our articles. By posting a comment, you are giving us permission to use it in our content. Please check out Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for full disclosure. Sources:


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