7 Negative Effects of Poor Self-Esteem

Negative Effects of Poor Self-esteemThere is a reason you may struggle in life with the negative effects of poor self-esteem. If you look at the people in your life you will begin to notice some have healthier relationships than others. This is not by chance but absolutely relates to the degree of healthy self-esteem in both you and them.

The good news is that it’s not your fault and it is fixable. The “not-so-good-news” is that it takes a lot of work, and most likely also the help of a professional who is trained in this area. 

For starters, let ‘s take a look at some examples of how this happens. Then we can move on to signs of poor self-esteem and can finish with a healthy plan of how to move forward.


Our Self-Esteem Begins in Childhood

Basically, the more we feel valued as a child, the more we will learn to value ourselves. Conversely, the less we feel valued, the less we feel positive about ourselves. The value we believe about us determines the health of the friends we draw to us. 

The experiences we gain from our friends and family tell us what to expect in our life, such as good experiences or the negative effects of poor self-esteem.

It’s not so simple to blame parents for all of our childhood negative experiences. Our parents likely felt that negativity with their parents and their parents felt it before that, and so on. 

It doesn’t mean that those negative and hurtful things were OK. It means that family experiences tend to carry on to the next generation unless someone makes a change and moves forward in positive ways.

Now let’s look at the negative effects of poor self-esteem.


1. The Negative Effects Of Poor Self-Esteem Impede Our Happiness

The degree of our happiness in life depends upon what we choose to do about events in our life. Just because we experienced an unhappy childhood doesn’t mean that we can’t move forward in a more positive direction. 

This may require a lot of work and the help of a professional. But sometimes it’s about moving forward in terms of valuing one’s self and the belief that we deserve to be happy. This belief will determine our course moving forward at any time in our life. 


2. Promotes A Poor Choice of Friends

The better we feel about ourselves, the healthier our choices in our friends, and eventually a mate. The less we value ourselves, the more we tend to attract those who also will not value us and will often take advantage of a lack of our boundaries. Or they will not make healthy choices themselves and this can affect the friendship negatively.

As we attract healthier friends, they also serve as models of creating a healthy lifestyle. 


3. Diminishes Our Success

People with healthy self-esteem believe they control their destiny. They understand that if they work very hard they can be successful. This does not mean they will be the head of a large corporation necessarily, but they will be relatively successful in whatever they choose as their work or career.

Those who believe in themselves understand that we don’t always “succeed” at everything we do. What is most important, I believe, is that we learn from our experiences and move forward in a positive way. 

Those who suffer from the negative effects of poor self-esteem will be limited in terms of their ability to move forward in life unless they learn to improve their belief in Self. Without that belief, they are much less likely to be successful in most areas of their life. 


4. Affects The Quality Of Our Decisions

Who we choose as our friends, mate, jobs, or career choices, where we live, etc all determine our circumstances. The healthier our choices, the more likely we are to enjoy our life. If we believe we don’t deserve to be happy, we are more likely to make poor choices in our life.

For example, we accept a job that we know we will not like, but it was the “easier” choice to make because it was offered to us. Or perhaps we felt too much pressure to choose where to work, so we took what was handed to us. And then we ultimately come to regret that decision.

It is also common to marry someone because you’re getting older and fear you will be alone in life. However, your decision has little to do with your true feelings about the person and the quality of your relationship.


5. Causes Us To Date and Marry The Wrong Person

We tend to date and marry someone with about the same degree of self-esteem. It may look different in terms of how one behaves, but overall, it’s approximately the same degree of mental health.

The negative effects of poor self-Esteem may show itself in how one treats his mate. Is he kind, considerate, trustworthy, honest? Is she generous in words and actions? 

Not surprisingly, we unconsciously often look for someone who has similar traits to a parent who also suffered the negative effects of poor self-esteem. This is often because it is what we know and unconsciously carried with us from childhood.

Although these negative effects of poor self-esteem are detrimental, these experiences are familiar to us, and are more comfortable than “the unknown”.

Someone who is looking to feel “free” and unencumbered in his marriage will choose someone who struggles to set healthy boundaries. Once again, likely, both people in this example never felt valued in childhood. Consequently, this absent belief in their own value unknowingly follows them into adulthood.

Childhood images of our parents can also involve positive attributes we unconsciously carry with us in choosing a mate. The process of early impressions is the same.


6. Causes Us To Avoid Challenges

With life, comes challenges. And with challenges, there is a risk of failure. What we do about those challenges determines if those experiences will be successful or not. When someone fails a class in college or is not chosen for a promotion at work some people will shy away from other challenges for fear they will “fail” again.

What people often don’t understand is that life is not about perfection and an expectation that we must always “succeed” in our life experiences. Our experiences do not define our worth. What we do about our experiences shapes our experiences in the future, both negatively or positively, depending upon our choices.

For example, someone may really struggle with college courses and yet find himself very successful in his career, or vice versa. The two experiences don’t always predict the future.


7. Destroys The Belief That We Deserve a Good Life

Those people who genuinely feel good about themselves and tend to have good experiences in their life overall, tend to value themselves more than those who feel “less than” others.

When we value ourselves we look for positive and nourishing people and experiences in our life. When good things happen, we accept and appreciate them because we believe that we truly deserve good things.

Conversely, if you don’t value and believe in yourself, you not only avoid going after healthy experiences, you don’t believe you can have them in your life even if you try.


Closing Thoughts

The more you value yourself, the more positive experiences you will have for all of the reasons we have discussed: better self-esteem, ability to risk in positive ways, accepting challenges, having healthier friends, stronger belief in yourself, as well as the belief you deserve to be happy. 

The choice is yours, you just need to make the decision to move forward and do the work to eliminate the negative effects of poor self-esteem. Remember, there is always professional help available.

For Related Articles on Self-Esteem See This Link: http://lifeandrelationships101.com/blog/improving-self-image/

About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Dating, Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on YourTango.com and on MSN.com.

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