What starts low self-esteem?

There are many situations that can contribute to someone developing low self-esteem. One main, and possibly most obvious contributor is our past experiences.

  • At home. Growing up with very critical or even abusive parents.
  • At school. This could include bullying from other students and teachers
  • Not keeping up with peers. Of course not everyone is academic, or fashionable, or good at every extra curricular activity. However, the importance of academic performance is something that is drilled into us from a young age. It is therefore unsurprising that if someone isn’t academic or below average in ‘core’ subjects, negative conclusions would be drawn.

As we experiencing these situations, we collect all this as negative feedback. With this information, we begin to draw conclusions about ourselves as well as the world around us.

The reason we focus on childhood and early experiences. We are generally more mentally malleable at a young age and begin self-reflecting quite early on.

What starts low self-esteem? Brighter Life Therapy

The self-esteem theory encapsulates all the examples above. That other people’s opinions and reactions to us help us derive our own opinions about ourselves. If reactions to us are generally negative, we find ways to explain and understand this aversive response. And one of the easiest conclusions we can draw is a negative self-view.

Another contributor can be mental illness or poor mental health. This is particularly the case with depression. Depression can be characterised by negative thoughts and attention bias. This means an individual with depression ‘attends’ to the negative whist finding it it easy to ignore the positives.

Continue on to see what impact low self-esteem can have…