5 signs your low self-esteem traces back to an unhappy childhood


1. You neglect your own needs 

Low self-esteem involves neglecting personal needs, hesitating to express thoughts, disregarding self-care, staying excessively busy, avoiding self-discovery, settling for unfulfilling situations, resorting to harmful distractions, neglecting appearance, often stemming from childhood emotional neglect, as explained by therapist Jonice Webb, PhD.

2. You people-please to the point of self-sacrifice

People with low self-worth often engage in people-pleasing behaviors, like over-explaining, over-apologizing, automatic agreement, and an inability to say no, often stemming from childhood parent-pleasing, as explained by Marie Holmes from The Huffington Post, with some individuals taking on excessive responsibilities from a young age, which can have long-lasting effects on their well-being.

3. You believe you aren’t good enough 

Matthew Perry, despite his success, grappled with feelings of inadequacy and a lifelong sense of abandonment, stemming from childhood experiences, which is a common issue when children are treated unfairly or held to unrealistic standards, as noted by Darius Cikanavicius from Psych Central.

4. Anxiety always seems to be right around the corner 

People with low self-esteem often experience anxiety, which can be linked to childhood trauma and the development of panic symptoms and disorders due to unpredictable childhood environments, changes in perception of physical sensations, and alterations in brain structure and function, according to Vassilia Binensztok, PhD, LMHC, NCC.

5. You might have a number of narcissistic qualities 

Narcissistic personalities often stem from a low sense of self-worth and are defense mechanisms developed in response to a painful childhood environment, often involving a narcissistic parent, according to Cikanavicius.

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