If you have ever known a person with chronic low self esteem, you will not find it hard to remember them. This is the person who was extremely manipulative, insecure and toxic. According to them, everyone was always to blame for what ever was wrong in their life. Any new person you introduced to them was like “new meat”. They would judge, criticize and do anything to make themselves feel better about themselves because they felt like that person was “better than them”. In fact, funny enough, people with chronic low self esteem will often say, about other people, “she thinks she’s better than me (or us)”. This is just their insecurity talking.
It seems obvious that if you know a person like this, you would just get away from them and stay away from them! But what if they are someone you love dearly or they are a very close relative? Most importantly, what if you are that person?
The first step to overcoming chronic low self esteem is to start to understand it and its impact.
Impact of Low Self-Esteem Low self-esteem has its roots in a number of life circumstances. If you come from a family of origin in which your Mom and/or Dad had problems with: alcohol; drugs; mental illness; inability to show warmth and affection; being overly critical; rigidity of religious belief; or workaholism, then in all likelihood, your self-esteem suffered. If you were physically, emotionally, verbally or sexually abused or neglected by: a parent; a brother or sister; an adult caregiver; your spouse or lover; or a friend, your self-esteem was lowered. If, in a relationship with a parent, a family member or a spouse, you worked hard to overcome the other person’s irresponsibility, yet no matter what you did, it was “never good enough” to fix the other person’s problems, this `”codependent” relationship negatively affected your self-esteem. If, on the other hand, you were dependent on another person to make things right for you, your self-esteem was also hurt. If you were ever in a relationship at home, school, work or in the community that was disastrous and marked by ill feelings and bad will, your self-esteem was impacted negatively. If you or a close family member have a developmental disability or chronic illness, your self-esteem was lowered. If you have ever experienced a personal failure like a failing grade; dropping out of school; losing a job; bankruptcy; or divorce, your self-esteem suffered and was lowered.