A person remarks that the weather is bad. Then, confused, they apologize that they didn’t ask if their interlocutors wanted to talk about the weather. Then they apologize for talking about the weather and, even more embarrassed, say they only bother everyone. There are obvious self-esteem issues here.
Do you remember people you bumped into who apologized to you? According to studies at the Self-Esteem Institute, this indicates huge problems with self-esteem, which makes a person sincerely believe that if something goes wrong, it’s certainly their fault.
- What to do: If you have such a problem, after any incident which makes you want to apologize, analyze the situation: did you really do something bad enough to apologize for it?
Some people, having achieved obvious success in life, respond to the praise with “I was just lucky!“ or ”It just happened this way!” They pretend to be just lucky, forgetting that they bent over backward to achieve the result. According to research, this phenomenon is called irrational or dishonest self-statement.
- What to do: Admit you’re great, dammit! And when someone praises you, learn to say “thank you” instead of making excuses.
According to scientists from the University of New Hampshire (USA), people with low self-esteem are more concerned about the opinion of others and cannot stand conflicts: they prefer to communicate with negative and unpleasant people (even if they treat them like trash) rather than have arguments and clarify relationships.
- What to do: In this case, you need to understand that, by and large, everyone cares only about oneself, and nobody thinks of you. Imagine that conflictful people are the dead weight, and throw them out of your life. It will only become easier.
According to Margarita Tartakovsky, one of the Psych Central editors, low self-esteem has not only behavioral but also physical side effects, such as fatigue and persistent unexplained drowsiness. In this way, a person simply avoids problems and worries.
- What to do: If you think this describes you, try to talk with your therapist. Together you can find an activity to replace naps.
If you constantly ask the waiter in a restaurant for another minute since you cannot choose a dish, you should think about your self-esteem. People with low self-esteem cannot quickly make the simplest decisions and often change their minds.
- What to do: Understand that life can be much easier and funnier. Small instant decisions won’t change it, but you’ll save your time and nerves. A life hack for the indecisive: if you don’t know what to order in a restaurant, always choose the Caesar salad.
Some people are fond of defending themselves, even without obvious reasons. They can interpret any phrase, even a compliment, as a reproach or criticism. For some reason, they begin to explain themselves and make excuses, starting their answer with “I just…“ For example, they reply to ”You look amazing!” with “It’s just my sister’s dress,” as if excusing their beauty.
- What to do: You should clearly understand what you’ve just heard — praise, compliment, criticism, or just a question — and respond appropriately: with gratitude to good, with an explanation or a question to bad. But not with an excuse.
Some people with low self-esteem constantly make fun of themselves and use derogatory words when talking about themselves. It seems to them that others think about their shortcomings all the time, so it’s better if they’re ironic about these drawbacks themselves. For example, “I cooked the grub“ instead of ”I made food.”
What to do: If you don’t attract attention to your problems, others most likely won’t notice them.
Constant use of such expressions as “sort of,“ ”if I’m not mistaken,“ “maybe,” ”kind of,“ ”most likely,” and so on is an excuse if the person’s thoughts suddenly turn out to be incorrect. (This doesn’t apply to people who consider their opinion to be the only true one and emphasize on purpose that it only “seems” true so that other people don’t burst with indignation.)
What to do: Start controlling your words, remembering that no one’s thoughts can ever be 100% true.
All these “Everyone does so,“ ”Most people think so,” “Everyone wants it” are examples of fear of personal opinion and following the stereotypes of society.
- What to do: Understand that only a formed personal opinion makes you a personality.
Have you seen people who, even in their professional subject, agree with the opinion of less competent but more charismatic people? They never argue, and they easily agree. This is not an easy nature: it’s a pathological fear of failure and a mistake in upbringing (the parents didn’t allow the child to express their “unnecessary child opinion”).
What to do: Finally understand that strangers cannot know what will be better for you and what opinion you should have.