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  • Writer's pictureAlwadi School


Low self-esteem can have an effect on various aspects of a person. A person with low self-esteem probably says a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticize themselves, their actions, and abilities or joke about themselves in a very negative way. They might put themselves down, doubt themselves, or blame themselves when things go wrong. Often, they might not recognize their positive qualities. When compliments are given to them, they might brush such comments aside or say that “it was all luck” or “it wasn’t that big a deal.” Instead, they might focus on what they didn’t do or the mistakes they made.

People with low self-esteem might expect that things would not turn out well for them. They might often feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated, and angry. They might have difficulty speaking up for themselves and their needs, avoid challenges and opportunities, or be overly aggressive in their interactions with others.

Low self-esteem can also have an impact on many aspects of a person’s life. It can affect a person’s performance at work or at school. They might consistently achieve less than they are able to because they believe they are less capable than others. They might avoid challenges for fear of not doing well. They might work extremely hard and push themselves to do more because they believe they need to make up for, or cover up, their lack of skill. People with low self-esteem might find it hard to believe any good results they get are due to their own abilities or positive qualities.

In their personal relationships, people with low self-esteem might become upset or distressed by any criticism or disapproval, bend over backwards to please others, be extremely shy or self-conscious or even avoid or withdraw from attachment or social contact. They might also be less likely to stand up for themselves or protect themselves from being bullied, criticized, or abused by their partners or family members.

People with low self-esteem might not engage in many leisure or recreational activities, as they might believe that they do not deserve any pleasure or fun. They might also avoid activities where they could be judged or evaluated in some way, such as competitive sports, dancing, art/craft classes or participating in any type of competition or exhibition.

Personal self-care might also be affected. People who do not value themselves might drink excessive amounts of alcohol or abuse drugs. They might not bother to dress neatly, wear clean clothes, style their hair or buy new clothes. On the other hand, they might try to hide any inadequacies by making sure that every detail of their appearance is attended to and not allow themselves to be seen by others unless they look absolutely perfect.



Dr. Louella Lim (DPsych1)

Centre for Clinical Interventions

Paula Nathan (MPsych2)

Director, Centre for Clinical Interventions

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience,

The University of Western Australia

Dr. Lisa Saulsman (MPsych2, PhD3)

Centre for Clinical Interventions


Centre for Clinical Interventions

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