How we treat ourselves is how others treat us. Low self-esteem is a syndrome that can lead to serious problems in both career and personal life.



Perfectionism can be both a manifestation of low self-esteem and its cause. A perfectionist who strives for non-existent perfection or simply high standards rarely gets satisfaction from his work and is, therefore, more susceptible to criticism. He strives to conform to the ideal image he has created for himself and, failing to achieve it, feels disappointed in himself, up to and including contempt.



A person with low self-esteem constantly uses certain words in his speech. First, these are negative phrases expressing denial: “impossible, not sure, not ready, do not have the appropriate knowledge; yes, but…”. Secondly, constant apologies. And thirdly, phrases that disparage the value of a person’s deeds and work. Surely you know the excuses: “I just got lucky,” “most of the work was done by my colleagues, and I just helped them,” and so on. People with low self-esteem do not accept compliments and gratitude, seeking immediately to argue with the praise and prove otherwise. Why? It’s all about a guilt complex. It doesn’t matter what for. Perhaps the work is not done well enough in their opinion, or they put little effort into fulfilling the request, even if they did it. Feelings of guilt are the next sign to identify a person who does not think too much of themselves.


Sense of Guilt

Guilt, like perfectionism, can be a cause of low self-esteem. According to psychologist Darlene Lancer, if a person feels deeply guilty and cannot forgive himself for a long time, he will constantly reproach himself for it, remind himself of his “burden on his heart” and constantly be ashamed of his actions. Eventually, he will lose his self-respect and with it his self-esteem. Dependence can also be inverse. A person with low self-esteem suffers from constant self-criticism and is unable to adequately perceive past mistakes. Hence, the neurotic feeling of guilt in insecure people.


Lack of initiative

What hinders people with low self-esteem in the professional sphere is the lack of initiative. Such a person, given certain powers, at any opportunity will pass them into someone else’s hands. No wonder, because he is not sure that he can cope with his task, even if he is an “ace” in his field. In a dispute with the interlocutor, he is also unlikely to be able to defend his position, preferring to agree with his opponent. It is even if it is about doing some everyday thing or how to play pragmatic games.



According to many studies self-doubt can also be the cause of recurring depression or constant bad moods. Self-esteem is the key to both developing and curing depression, which is considered a serious psychological problem, she says.



People with low self-esteem tend to make excuses for others, even if their actions go against all norms of behaviour. They usually argue that everyone has different circumstances and that everyone can be understood. Psychologists explain such a position in an attempt to avoid criticism in one’s address, which one may well encounter when judging others.



Such people are not ready to take responsibility for their decisions. They generally prefer not to decide anything. What if they make a mistake, and the decision turns out to be wrong. In this case, it is impossible to avoid criticism. The worst thing for insecure people is criticism of loved ones: relatives, friends, whom they are afraid to lose. After all, this, in their opinion, will be the payment for a wrong decision.


Trying to avoid conflict

“If you’re not sure, stay out of it.” This is the attitude held by people with low self-esteem. They are willing to do anything to avoid conflict situations or tension between people. Everything should be in harmony, even if it is achieved by “lying to save”, which sooner or later will lead to more serious problems.