Counselling and Psychotheray

Do you have low self-esteem? Why?


Why do we have low self esteem?

Self-Esteem includes our perceptions of various aspects of ourselves. Within our personality, there are two distinct selves: the true self and the ideal self. The ideal self is shaped by society’s expectations, parental influences, and environmental pressures, while the true self represents our genuine identity, strengths, and weaknesses. Healthy self-esteem emerges from accepting both aspects, acknowledging strengths with pride and accepting weaknesses without judgment.

Signs of low self-esteem include feelings of:

  • worthlessness
  • self-hatred
  • harsh self-criticism
  • difficulty recognizing strengths
  • self-blame
  • reluctance to assert boundaries
  • a sense of unlikability
  • lack of confidence
  • challenges in forming or maintaining relationships

People with low self-esteem often seek approval from others, which makes them lose confidence in themselves. They focus more on meeting others’ expectations than being true to themselves. This can make them feel disconnected from who they really are, leading to anxiety, depression, and feeling fake.

How does Self-Esteem develop?

Self-esteem starts forming in childhood, mainly shaped by how parents care for and nurture their children. A loving environment with clear boundaries helps children feel safe and valuable. However, being either too indulgent or too strict can upset this balance, affecting self-esteem as they grow up.

The journey often begins with parents nurturing their baby, ensuring she feels content and secure with the care she receives. This fosters her ability to develop authentically, guided by her own needs rather than solely by her parents’ expectations.

In a normal environment, children continue feeling loved and free, but as they grow, parents add rules and guidance to teach them right from wrong. This mix of care and discipline helps children develop self-esteem without being too over indulgent or too strict.

From this point on, the child begins to internalize society’s norms and family values, understanding what’s acceptable and what’s not. She feels rewarded if she does something good, while feeling guilty when behaving badly. In adulthood, receiving praise from others helps her boost her confidence as she realizes her value through recognition from others.

How does it go wrong?

Negative experiences during childhood can create destructive beliefs about one’s worth, which may persist into adulthood. Traumatic events such as:

• Punishment and neglect
• Experiencing psychological or physical abuse
• Facing high parental expectations
• Facing a caregiver’s distress or anguish
• Insufficient affection and emotional support
• Being subjected to bullying or feeling socially isolated
• Constant comparisons to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy
• Struggling with a sense of unworthiness or low self-esteem

There are many other factors that can contribute to the formation of negative self-beliefs, which may persist into adulthood. If a child experiences continuous negative experiences during their early years, it’s more probable that they’ll develop low Self-Esteem as they grow older.

How does low Self-Esteem effect relationships?

Low self-esteem can make it hard to build and sustain healthy relationships. People with low self-esteem might doubt they deserve love or acceptance, which can lead to behaviors that hurt themselves or fear of being rejected. They might even push others away before they can get hurt themselves.

How does therapy help?

Therapy offers a supportive environment for exploring and addressing the root causes of low self-esteem. By fostering a trusting therapeutic relationship, therapists help clients navigate past traumas and negative beliefs, fostering self-awareness, acceptance, and resilience. Long-term therapy aims to cultivate a secure foundation for to reconnect with their true selves and build healthier relationships based on authenticity and self-worth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *