Low Self Esteem in Philadelphia

Low Self Esteem

Is It Low Self Esteem?

How to recognize Low Self esteem in Philadelphia and come to terms with a poor self-concept when it is at the root of your problems.

Everybody has bad days. You might have a  run in with a coworker you don’t like, get poor feedback on a project or a bad  grade on a test, have an argument at home, or get stuck in traffic. Sometimes,  it seems to happen for no reason at all — there are days when you just wake up  on the wrong side of the bed. Moods fluctuate between negative and positive from  day to day depending on our experiences, and that’s normal.

However, self-esteem is much more than just how you feel from day to day.  Self-esteem is the relatively stable image and understanding that you have of  yourself and self-worth. If you consistently spend more of your time in and  emotionally negative area than out of it, it could be more than just a “slump” or a “phase.” It could be an indicator of low self-esteem.

A Real Problem: Low Self Esteem in Philadelphia

Often, adults in Philadelphia are much too quick to dismiss the idea of low self-esteem. They  think that encouraging self-esteem is a practice that should be used only with  children, and that adults should be “tougher” and above needing this  reassurance. However, by not acknowledging that low self-esteem is a very real  issue for people of all ages, these individuals may be emotionally crippling  themselves. Too often, society thinks of poor self-esteem only as the symptom of  other mental and emotional problems — poor self-esteem is something that happens  to those who suffer from anxiety, personality problems and eating disorders. The  truth is that poor self-esteem may be the root cause of an individual’s social  or emotional problems, not the other way around.

Low Self Esteem Archetypes

Low self-esteem shows itself in many different ways, and of course it is  different for each person. Low self-esteem usually develops early in life, and  by adulthood many people suffering from the problem have found ways to hide it.  However, there are three general archetypes, or behavior categories, that many  people who suffer from poor self-esteem fit into:

The Bad Boy  (or Girl)

This person  seems almost too confident. They claim openly that they don’t need  anyone’s approval; that they will do what they want, how they want, and when  they want. They tend to rebel against authority, and usually remain aloof. While  this individual may seem to have too much self esteem rather than too little,  this is actually not the case. The Bad Boy puts on an act to try to prove that  he does not need the kindness or acceptance of others. However, this is actually  a method for keeping people at a distance — he feels that no one would accept  him or want a close relationship with the “real” him. In his mind, he has  already decided that others will reject him, so he lashes out preemptively by  pushing them away, usually by acting hostile or callous. This is a person who  feels that his or her real self is never good enough, and is prone to  self-destructive behaviors like drinking.

The  Defeatist

This is a  person who feels that she is worthless, and is prone to severe bouts of  self-pity and depression. She cannot seem to accept responsibility for her  actions and the state of her life and so she cannot affect positive change;  instead she tends to act helpless and victimized. She has little confidence in  her own abilities and is certain she will fail before she even begins a project.  Because of this, she is uncertain and always seeking approval from others; in an  intimate relationship she becomes needy and desperate for constant attention and  reassurance. She has a strong fear of rejection and poorly developed social  skills because of her dependency on other people, and she avoids situations that  are new or that she feels may present a confrontation. She usually spends her  free time alone. This person is consistently unproductive, and has a steady  mindset of “What’s the point?”

The  Perfectionist

Although this  individual is often seen as driven and successful, he feels that his value as a  human being is dependent how others evaluate his work — he has no stable  self-image and is prone to sudden, extreme mood shifts. He is outwardly positive  as long as he experiences continued success, but he is devastated by even small  failures, real or perceived. If he did not receive a glowing review from the  boss over his last presentation, The Perfectionist sees it as a failure of his  entire self. This leads him to obsessively review his work over and over again,  down to the most minute detail. The Perfectionist is a very high-strung  individual and often experiences a variety of problems related to tension, high  stress, and burnout. In addition, he is usually very competitive, leading to a  tendency to mistrust peers and coworkers, and to blame others for the places  where he falls short.

Causes and Symptoms

Though it develops in many ways, low self-esteem almost  always begins in childhood. Many victims of child abuse grow up to have poor  self-esteem. A little girl who is beaten not only devalues herself, but also  learns to lash out at others as a response to problems. And by no means is a  background of something as severe as physical or sexual abuse necessary to plant  the seed of poor self-image. A child who is ignored when he really needs someone  to listen to him or help him understand his problems may develop low self-esteem — he is being treated as inferior, not worth the time to anyone important (his  parents), and he will eventually come to see himself this way. A child who is  expected to perform exceptionally well in school or extra-curricular activities  and is held up to overly demanding standards is another example. She comes to  believe that her parents hinge her self-worth on how well she performs, not on  who she is as a person. These children may very well become The Bad Girl, The  Defeatist, and The Perfectionist.

Despite the differences in how people manifest low  self-esteem, most of them share some common traits:

  • Overly critical of themselves and others. They often  feel they are victims and find ways to blame others for their unhappiness.
  • Tend to emphasize the negative facets of their lives  and themselves instead of focusing on what they do like.
  • Many experience a great deal of loneliness and feel  isolated even in groups.
  • Most have difficulty accepting praise or compliments.
  • In close relationships, people with low self-esteem  tend to be needy, demanding constant signs of approval and reassurance.
  • Avoid situations that involve emotional risks, where  they feel they are exposed and vulnerable
  • Create irrational and illogical ideas about what  others are thinking or feeling, i.e. “Bob was frowning in the elevator — it’s  because he thinks I’m ugly.”
  • Take small loses and disappointments as massive  failures of their whole self

If someone exhibits most or many or these traits, it may be a  sign that low self-esteem is a central problem in his or her life. If you feel  that these points or any of the archetypes above describe your behavior, don’t  ignore it! Low self-esteem is not something that you have to live with,  but you must take the first step and recognize that it is a problem.

The Road to Recovery from low self esteem

Everyone is dissatisfied with themselves on occasion, but for some people it is  more than “just having a bad day.” Recognizing a chronic problem with low  self-esteem may be the first step in getting your life back. Remember that poor  self-esteem is a very common problem and nothing to feel ashamed about, and that  when you pinpoint low self-esteem as something that is causing you to be  unhappy, you are actually empowering yourself to begin taking control by taking  action. Honest self-evaluation is the key to figuring out if dissatisfaction  with yourself is a source of dissatisfaction in your life. Low self-esteem is  something that anyone can improve and there are people who are willing to help,  but it starts with you — you have the power to question yourself, you have the  power to recognize problems, and you have the power to initiate change. The road  to a positive self-image starts with understanding, but only you can take that  first step.