5 Reasons for low self-esteem


Low self-esteem is referred to as a thinking disorder where a person’s thoughts revolve around notions such as low self-worth, a state of being unloved, lack of confidence, etc. It has been identified as a mental health issue and isn’t a trivial matter. An ample percent of the population is succumbed to low self-esteem and thereby its associated behavioral changes like social anxiety, alcohol use, suicidal attempts, drug addiction, etc.

To boost your self-esteem, the key strategy lies behind finding what the reasons for low self-esteem are. Teenagers going through their adolescence period were seen to be most affected by low self-esteem. Since adolescence is the phase where a person’s rapid social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth development takes place, an end number of factors can influence and determine the state of a child’s self-esteem. Extensive research shows that parameters like ascribed status, physical appearance, academic performance, and employment status are few influential factors that sow the seeds of low self-esteem in the mindset of an individual.  

Are you a person with low self-esteem? 

If you are someone who does not believe in yourself and is constantly worried about how others would evaluate you, it is a sign that you are a person with low self-esteem. Such people possess a high tendency to withdraw themselves from social gatherings, are sensitive to criticisms, compare their weakness against other’s strengths and evaluate themselves with respect to others, frequently engage in self-negative talk, and may even resort to aggressive behavioral practices to relieve their frustration and stress. 

Common reasons for low self-esteem

The reasons for low self-esteem may vary from one person to the other. Being constantly compared to others may diminish your perception of self-worthiness, or being trapped in the mesh of constant negative thinking patterns can lessen your confidence level. The reasons are endless. Certain situational, contextual, and influential factors are contemplated as the elemental reasons for the same. The common causes that sprout feelings of low-self esteem are discussed below in detail.  

1. The stigma around physical appearance

Concerns about an individual’s body image are a major factor that can incite feelings of low self-esteem. According to a report published by The University of Washington’s The Teen Health and the Media webpage, nearly 53% of teenage girls are concerned about their physical appearance and are unhappy about the same. In addition to this, about 50% of the girls and 30% of the boys indulge in unhealthy practices like fasting, skipping breakfast, vomiting, smoking, and use of laxatives to lose weight and maintain their shape. There exists a preconceived notion in society regarding how women or men should look. Anybody whose image lies contrary to this ideal stereotypical physical appearance unknowingly tends to welcome a stigma around it. As a child grows, they get influenced by the world around them and they may perceive these misconceptions as the right ideologies. These misconceptions may develop feelings of insecurity within them and affect their emotional stability of self-esteem. This explains why the stigma around physical appearance stands out as the major reason among all other reasons for low self-esteem

 2. Inappropriate parenting 

To a child, their parents are like a door that opens the world before them. Love, care, and affection is what guide a child to choose the right path in life. There are some instances when children are born into families where their parents are least bothered about their kids. Parents with mental health issues, abusive behavior, or even intense addiction to alcohol and drugs may fail to give the support and care the children deserve. This may leave the children with a feeling of being unloved and can greatly impact their self-esteem. 

3. Peer group 

reason for low self-esteen
Cheerful woman showing phone screen to her excited peers. Group of friends using smartphones, sharing content and drinking takeaway coffee outdoors. Digital news concept

Not only are you surrounded by your parents and teachers, but also by the peer group with which you spend time with. The way you are treated by the peer group holds a great influence on your self-esteem. Your self-esteem can go down if you don’t feel well respected by others in the social group. You may feel intimidated, neglected, and pressurized to do things. Not validating your opinions on a particular subject matter being discussed can hurt your ego. You may feel like the odd one out, for being mistreated by others. When being constantly treated as an outcast in the peer group, you will no longer feel important, but rather unworthy and invaluable. This is a major reason that brings down the self-esteem of an individual. 

4. Childhood trauma 

Have you ever been a victim of abuse, be it emotional, sexual, physical, or even verbal? If so, the prime reasons for low self-esteem points to your childhood trauma. Being a victim of the aforementioned abuses can incite feelings of guilt, shame, fear, or even anxiety when triggered by similar situational factors. Lack of self-confidence, feelings of insecurity, social anxiety, lack of faith in one’s abilities, and even fear of judgment can haunt a person for a lifetime. When reminded of the past, it can affect the mental health and emotional stability of the person leaving them on the edges of depression and suicide. The root cause of the trauma being engrained deep in our hearts must be cut off even before its sprouting phase. 

5. Past choices 

Humans make mistakes and it’s nothing unordinary. But what’s more important is to repent for the mistakes and ensure that you don’t repeat them. But there are instances when a person regrets the wrong choices made and ends up blaming themselves instead of correcting them and living ahead. Being overly criticized for doing something wrong and persistently blaming oneself for the choices made takes away the opportunity to change your ways of living. Having visualized a negative image about your inner self will eventually bring you down, let alone your low self-esteem.  Above listed are addressed as the common reasons for low self esteem in an individual.


If you identify yourself as a person with low self-esteem, retrospect and reflect on the situations that might have paved the way for these feelings. Analyzing the same and taking small actions can help boost your self-esteem. Change your focus from everything that brings you down emotionally and change your attention and energy to various other aspects that can enhance your growth as a human. Despite the reasons for low self-esteem, bring your mind and body at ease and get aligned with a positive pattern of thinking to heighten your self-esteem. 

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