People with low self-esteem rarely live their life to the full. They distance themselves from others, and are thus denied their love and support. They rarely, if ever, make full use of their abilities. Instead, they end up brooding about the injustices of life. Such people are a loss to themselves, their family and to society. Some of them even take to crime, alcohol and drugs.
Invariably, people with low self-esteem are uncomfortable with success. They tend to believe that they don’t deserve success, and they have no clue as to how to savor success. At the same time, they do not hesitate to blame themselves if things go wrong. They take sadistic pleasure in telling the world that they knew things would go wrong. This is an important symptom of low self-esteem, and needs to be treated at the earliest.
People suffering from low self-esteem also have the habit of putting themselves down. They repeatedly tell themselves that they are not good enough and that they are bound to fail. Over a period of time this negative self-talk turns into a negative self-belief. More than that, they try and implant these seeds of negativity in people around them. They also gravitate towards people who suffer from similar problems. The end result is that they feed on each other’s negativity, and become much poorer individuals than they initially were.
A high level of dissatisfaction is another indicator of low self-esteem. There are people who spend all their time complaining. They neither see a positive thing in others nor in themselves. This cynicism eats away their self-belief, and erodes their self-confidence. In contrast, people who value their abilities enjoy high self-esteem.
Also, people with low self-esteem spend most of their time brooding about the past and worrying about the future. They don’t spend enough time living in the present. As a result, they don’t enjoy the present, even though it may be full of success. The net result is that they prevent themselves from enjoying life, and make themselves unhappy. It finally becomes a vicious cycle that feeds upon itself, and prevents them from breaking out of their negative mould.
Such people are rarely relaxed and at ease. They keep looking for different jobs and lines of work. The reason why they are always looking for something else to do is that they are lack self-confidence. They drift from one crisis to another, and blame fate for their woes.
A few of them take to alcohol, drugs, food, sex etc to get a temporary “high”. But this rarely helps them in the long run. They fail to generate a sustainable feeling of happiness and contentment.
People with low self-esteem also have problems getting close to others. They are not comfortable with intimacy and create barriers to prevent people from coming close to them. They don’t like to open up to people and to reveal their innermost thoughts. They may be nursing some old bad experience with someone who caused them a lot of pain or who let them down when they were most vulnerable. By forcing themselves to live in a world of self-denial they are doing a great damage to themselves. They fail to benefit from the company of others, and keep entrenching themselves deeper and deeper into their negative world. They may ultimately reach a stage where they may be declared beyond salvage.
But this is not good for society. People with low self-esteem must be helped. Their symptoms must be diagnosed, and help provided if they have to be turned into useful members of society. This help can be given by family members, friends, teachers or by trained psychologists.