The following is from the definition of low Self-Esteem on Wikipedia:

A person with low self-esteem may show some of the following symptoms:[21]

  • Heavy self-criticism, tending to create a habitual state of dissatisfaction with oneself.[16]
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism, which makes oneself feel easily attacked and experience obstinate resentment against critics.[16]
  • Chronic indecision, not so much because of lack of information, but from an exaggerated fear of making a mistake.[16]
  • Excessive will to please: being unwilling to say “no”, out of fear of displeasing the petitioner.[16]
  • Perfectionism, or self-demand to do everything attempted “perfectly” without a single mistake, which can lead to frustration when perfection is not achieved.[16]
  • Neurotic guilt: one is condemned for behaviors which not always are objectively bad, exaggerates the magnitude of mistakes or offenses and complains about them indefinitely, never reaching full forgiveness.[16]
  • Floating hostility, irritability out in the open, always on the verge of exploding even for unimportant things; an attitude characteristic of somebody who feels bad about everything, who is disappointed or unsatisfied with everything.[16]
  • Defensive tendencies, a general negative (one is pessimistic about everything: life, future, and, above all, oneself) and a general lack of will to enjoy life.[16]

As well, individuals with low self-esteem may have feelings of insignificance.

The good news about self-esteem is malleable. That is, you can work on it and actually feel better ……not only about yourself, but the world around you.  No matter how long you’ve been thinking negatively , you CAN change.  It is NEVER too late!

Wikipedia also lists the following traits that those with healthy self-esteem possess:

People with a healthy level of self-esteem:[15]

  • firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when finding opposition, feeling secure enough to modify them in light of experience.[16]
  • are able to act according to what they think to be the best choice, trusting their own judgment, and not feeling guilty when others don’t like their choice.[16]
  • do not lose time worrying excessively about what happened in the past, nor about what could happen in the future. They learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the present intensely.[16]
  • fully trust in their capacity to solve problems, not hesitating after failures and difficulties. They ask others for help when they need it.[16]
  • consider themselves equal in dignity to others, rather than inferior or superior, while accepting differences in certain talents, personal prestige or financial standing.[16]
  • take for granted that they are an interesting and valuable person for others, at least for those with whom they have a friendship.[16]
  • resist manipulation, collaborate with others only if it seems appropriate and convenient.[16]
  • admit and accept different internal feelings and drives, either positive or negative, revealing those drives to others only when they choose.[16]
  • are able to enjoy a great variety of activities.[16]
  • are sensitive to feelings and needs of others; respect generally accepted social rules, and claim no right or desire to prosper at others’ expense.[

Where do you see yourself?  Each one of you has gifts to appreciate.  I hope you can begin to recognize and appreciate what you have to offer.  Once you learn to appreciate yourself, you’ll be amazed how much better the world will feel.  Confidence in yourself will improve all of your relationships.  If not, it may be an indication that the relationship is unhealthy.