Dr Jozelle Miller
July 18, 2017
Having low self-esteem-part 1

Have you ever wondered how some persons find it so easy to speak ill of others? Why they seemingly take great pride in pointing out the flaws in others instead of taking the time to celebrate the positives? The answers to these questions are embedded deeply in the understanding of the effects of having low self-esteem and self-confidence.

Signs of Low Self-Esteem

Constantly comparing yourself with others, gossiping about others, putting others first, even being excessively on Facebook are all signs of low self-esteem. You may say you do these things to stay connected, or because “I want to”. The truth is when one is content with themselves, and has a healthy self-esteem, external validation is simply an additive, not a necessity to their lives. A person with healthy self-esteem spends the bulk of their time doing things that promote positivity within themselves and exude this in life.

Characteristics of Low Self-esteem

Heavy criticism of yourself or others: When you criticize yourself, you are reinforcing negative self-talk. Your brain hears this and believes it. When you criticize others, it shows that you are mirroring how you feel about yourself. Have you ever noticed that happy, positive people don’t gossip? They have enough self-regard to keep these thoughts to themselves, or to change them into positive, loving comments.

Being a people pleaser: The truth is it is nice to be nice, but it is also a problem when you consistently put others before yourself. Going out of your way to constantly be there for someone else, especially at the risk of your happiness, can have an adverse emotional effect on you. One must put their health and mental health first in order to be the best they can be for everyone else in their lives.

You love to gossip: All of us like to keep up with what’s happening to the people in our lives, but people with low self-esteem like to “dish the dirt” and “stir the pot” and focus on people’s failures and shortcomings. There’s a distinct difference between telling someone about a person’s good news and gossiping that makes a person look bad, weak, evil, stupid or incompetent. If you say what you’re saying about a person directly to the person, it’s not gossip. If you are uncomfortable or horrified if the person you’re talking about overheard you saying it, it is gossip.

Continued next week

Dr Miller is Health Psychologist at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital