9 signs of low self-esteem in women that often go unnoticed

Low self-esteem can affect a woman’s life profoundly, from her career to her relationships, and it’s essential to recognize the signs to provide help when needed.

In this article, I will be discussing the 9 often-overlooked indicators of low self-esteem in women. My goal is to help you understand these signs better and offer guidance on how to support those who may be struggling with this issue.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1) Constant apologizing

Have you ever noticed a woman who says sorry for every little thing, even when it’s not her fault or when it’s unnecessary? This can be a clear indication of low self-esteem.

Apologizing all the time might seem like a harmless habit, but it could also be a sign that she doesn’t value her own feelings and thoughts as much as those of others.

It’s important to remember that while saying sorry when needed is a good trait, excessively doing so may point to deeper self-esteem issues.

Recognizing this pattern can be the first step towards supporting someone in their journey to boost their self-confidence.

Let’s keep an eye out for this habit and help those who may need it.

2) Difficulty accepting compliments

I remember my friend Sarah, who was brilliant at her job. Whenever someone praised her work, she would brush it off, saying she was just lucky or it wasn’t a big deal.

At first, I thought she was just being modest. But then I realized that she really struggled to believe any positive feedback about herself. She always downplayed her achievements and found it hard to accept that she was doing well.

This is a classic sign of low self-esteem. Instead of taking pride in their accomplishments, women with low self-esteem often feel undeserving of praise.

If you notice someone constantly deflecting compliments, it might be worth having a conversation about self-esteem with them.

3) Negative self-talk

The way we talk to ourselves can say a lot about our self-esteem. And in women with low self-esteem, the internal dialogue is often skewed towards negativity.

Negative self-talk involves harshly criticizing oneself and focusing excessively on flaws or mistakes. It’s like having a little critic inside your head, constantly pointing out what you’re doing wrong.

Our internal monologue significantly influences our perception of ourselves and the world around us. And persistent negative self-talk not only fuel low self-esteem but also contribute to stress, anxiety and depression.

4) Fear of failure

Women with low self-esteem often avoid challenges or new experiences because they’re afraid of not succeeding. They worry that failure will confirm their negative self-perceptions, so they’d rather not try at all.

It’s not just about avoiding big challenges, either. Sometimes, it could be something as simple as not applying for a job, not trying out for a team, or not learning a new skill because they’re convinced they won’t be good at it.

This fear of failure can hold them back from reaching their full potential.

emotional intelligence 1 9 signs of low self-esteem in women that often go unnoticed

5) Overcompensating

You might notice a woman who tries to go above and beyond in every aspect of her life, whether it’s work, social situations, or even her appearance. She might be constantly trying to prove her worth to others because she feels inadequate deep down.

This overcompensation can manifest as being overly competitive, working excessively long hours, or spending an inordinate amount of time on appearance and image.

While it’s great to strive for excellence, it can become unhealthy when driven by low self-esteem.

6) Difficulty expressing needs

One of the most heartbreaking signs of low self-esteem in women is the difficulty in expressing their own needs and desires.

Women with low self-esteem often put everyone else’s needs before their own. They might feel that their needs are not as important, or they may fear being seen as selfish or demanding.

This can lead to them suppressing their feelings and not speaking up when they’re unhappy or uncomfortable.

It’s a tough thing to witness because everyone deserves to have their needs met and their feelings heard.

Remember, it’s not selfish to prioritize oneself; it’s an act of self-love and respect that we all deserve.

7) Perfectionism

Let me tell you a story.

I had a colleague who was a perfectionist. She always strived for flawlessness and set excessively high performance standards for herself. While it seemed admirable at first, it was clear over time that it caused her a great deal of stress and anxiety.

The problem with perfectionism is that it’s often driven by a fear of making mistakes and being judged by others. It’s not about striving for excellence but about avoiding the pain of criticism or failure.

If you know someone who gets overly upset over small mistakes or who spends an unreasonable amount of time trying to make everything “perfect,” they may be dealing with low self-esteem. It could be beneficial to remind them that nobody is perfect and that making mistakes is a part of being human.

8) Indecisiveness

Women with low self-esteem often struggle to make decisions, no matter how big or small. They might fear making the wrong choice and facing criticism or regret.

This lack of trust in their own judgment can lead them to constantly second-guess themselves or defer decisions to others.

When you notice someone frequently struggling with decisions or seeking validation from others before making choices, offering reassurance and encouraging them to trust their instincts can be a helpful way to support them.

9) Avoiding eye contact

Eye contact is a powerful form of non-verbal communication. It signifies confidence, self-assurance, and respect. Women with low self-esteem, however, may avoid eye contact, as they may feel unworthy or fear judgment from others.

This seemingly small sign can have a profound effect on interpersonal interactions.

Encouraging open and respectful communication can help boost their confidence and reinforce the fact that their thoughts and feelings are valued.

Final thoughts: It’s about empathy and understanding

Recognizing low self-esteem in women isn’t just about identifying the signs. It’s about understanding the complex emotions and experiences that underlie these behaviors.

It’s essential to approach this issue with empathy and sensitivity. Women dealing with low self-esteem aren’t seeking pity or validation; they need understanding and support.

A woman’s sense of self-worth isn’t defined by her achievements, appearance, or social status. It’s about how she perceives herself.

When we start to see these signs in women around us, it’s not an invitation to fix them but an opportunity to support them. It’s a chance to remind them of their worth, their strength, and their unique abilities.

Because every woman deserves to see herself not through the lens of self-doubt or criticism, but with love, acceptance, and respect.

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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