True confidence comes from within. Most agree on that. But this ideal case turns out to be extremely tricky on closer inspection. Because hardly anyone will develop a healthy self-esteem if they experience neither success nor recognition nor appreciation from the outside. So it happens that very few people draw their strength and happiness exclusively from themselves.
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One only speaks of a lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem when a person perceives their weaknesses much more strongly than their strengths. The self-image is thus one-sidedly negatively distorted.
Such inferiority complexes are not always easy for others to recognize – for example through shy, withdrawn behavior. Rather, many of those affected try to cover up or compensate for their insecurity. That said, there are some indications that someone is having a hard time accepting and loving themselves:
1.) body language
Slumped shoulders, hands in pockets and an evasive look – this is how you generally imagine an insecure person. But the reverse can also be a symptom of low self-esteem: If someone pushes himself to the fore and desperately tries to catch eye contact with the other person after every joke, he is dependent on the attention of others.
2.) Defining yourself unilaterally through external appearances
According to Statista, 70% of women responded to the question “Where do you get your self-confidence from?” with “popularity and appearance”. 80% of men state “professional success and income”. It is therefore completely normal to base one’s self-image on external appearances.
In the case of people who want to compensate for their inferiority complex, however, this is particularly one-sided: They tie their entire happiness and unhappiness to a single thing, activity or supposed strength. To others, they sometimes come across as desperately vain or narcissistic.
If you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to appreciate others. It is not uncommon for people with low self-confidence to behave arrogantly. You are a know-it-all. They perceive differing opinions as a personal attack. If other people are successful, it fills them with envy and resentment. Weaker ones are laughed at.
4.) finger pointing
Everyone is equipped with an intuitive self-protection. If you have done something wrong, the program automatically starts with self-confident people: “It won’t be that bad. I’ll straighten that out.”
There are two types of people with low self-esteem. Some fall into self-reproach and shame after mistakes – they would prefer to disappear. The others simply block the blame: “It wasn’t me. The others screwed it up!”
A phenomenon that can be observed again and again in people with low self-confidence: they postpone decisions or try to pass tasks on to others. Due to their inner insecurity, they quickly feel overwhelmed. They often only succeed in concentrating their energy on one area – for example their career or appearance – while completely banal everyday duties are neglected.
6.) Relationship phobia
Inferiority complexes also make relationships difficult. For some of those affected, the lack of self-esteem can even lead to a real fear of commitment. You do not dare to open up to another person or to fall in love. It is not uncommon for people who frequently change partners and suddenly break off relationships to have a negative self-image.
A lack of self-confidence can manifest itself in many different ways. It’s not always the “gray mouse” that has to struggle with inner insecurities. On the contrary: those who frantically and exclusively derive their self-esteem from the recognition of their social environment, who always have to be the center of attention and at the same time are afraid to show their true self, threaten to get in the way of themselves and others with their feeling of inferiority.
Healthy self-confidence and a positive self-image cannot be conjured up out of thin air. However, if you admit your inner insecurities, you can work on yourself or seek professional help. Because every person has many sides to themselves that are worth accepting and loving.
Sources: working abc, understanding fear
Thumbnails: ©Flickr/Send me adrift. ©Flickr/Jessica Suarez