It can be difficult trying to make your way through this world convinced that you’re not good enough.

And those beliefs manifest themselves in all kinds of ways.

What screams “I have low self esteem” ?
byu/dudeARama2 inAskReddit

Here are some things to look out for, according to the people of Reddit.

1. Getting angry when you’re wrong

Clearly their brain is going through a lot of paces to convince themselves that they’re smart/capable/what have you.

When they’re shown to be wrong about anything it’s like a rug is pulled from them. Mind you, this isn’t just mild annoyance.

– ConneryFTW

2. Always laughing

This has the potential to be a controversial suggestion, but laughing at the end of every sentence.

I didn’t believe it at first, as it was something I did myself, and I truly believed that I was just doing it to be friendly. The more I looked into it though, the more apparent it became that I was nervous all the time.

After some self-reflection I realized that it’s fine to end a conversation simply and bluntly if I’ve got things to do. Before I would have hung around trying to make small-talk and jokes.

– Erlana

3. Hogging the spotlight

I know someone like this. She’s always bragging about how everyone loves her, but the second I get a compliment she’s quick to get all eyes and ears on her again.

I’m just now realizing this too, I used to look up to her a lot. But now I just feel bad for her bc she needs so much validation.

– msbeliever8

4. Not believing in your spouse

Constantly needing reassurance that your spouse loves you still.

Feeling super insecure in the relationship, even after being together through thick and thin for 30 years.

Breaks my heart.

– Indy_Fred_Momma

5. Resigning to solitude

Planning to live alone for the rest of your life because you think everyone h**es you but also thinking you won’t be able to because you think you won’t be good enough to get a job.

– BlackHazIt

6. Being overly careful

Apologising and clarifying every time you say something you think may possibly have been misinterpreted in a way which could maybe cause someone to feel offended.

By all means correct yourself when you word something stupidly, but at some point you have to have confidence that reasonable people will understand what you’re saying.

– aerojonno

7. Poor personal hygiene

It’s a very common symptom of depression and low self-worth.

Of course it can come from extenuating life circumstances, but it’s definitely a good reason to check in with someone.

– Kokopelli615

8. Fixating on “h**ers”

There’s a fine line. Learning how to vet unsupportive people from your life is a key part to being healthy. if “h**er” helps people realize that, it’s a fine word.

That said, the people who use it as an excuse to avoid criticism rather than look critically at their relationship are being the opposite of healthy.

– ArthurBonesly

9. Needing to “inspire”

I always think there’s something a bit off about people whose stated motivation for social media posts and Youtube videos is to “inspire others.”

You can’t categorize yourself as inspirational – that’s not how it works. That’s something other people tell you.

– mikehive

10. Extreme cosmetic surgeries

I got not judging people for their choices but too many people are PRO plastic surgery and ENCOURAGE it as a way to “express yourself”.

But, the fact of the matter is most people seek plastic surgery for something they’re insecure about regardless of whether or not it’s rational.

So, you have young people getting extremely expensive surgeries that they literally do not need in order to feel like they fit in.

That’s straight insecurity and has nothing to do with expressing yourself.

I’m 22 now and almost every girl I know my age has already scheduled a nose job, it’s extremely depressing.

– LeaChan

11. Badmouthing the interests of others

I cross stitch, and some of my pieces are very intricate and take a long time. I am really proud of them, and the focus it takes to complete them.

I had a date tell me that cross stitch was the most useless hobby he had every heard of, and I was just flabbergasted. First off, why do hobbies have to be ‘useful’? Secondly, it provides me with entertainment for a long time, and it then serves as decoration! But even without all that, if I enjoy it, why try and take that away from me?


– AhFFSImTooOldForThis

12. Assuming it’s all about you

Constantly assuming other people are looking at you, judging you, making comments about you, etc.

Believing that other people are overly fixated on you or your life I think is a huge sign that your self esteem is low- most other people, especially strangers, don’t really go out of their way to obsess over a stranger, and if you’re constantly trying to read malice into a random person’s subtle actions, you probably are too concerned with how you’re being perceived to the point of imagining negative attention where none exists.

– counterboud

13. Constantly apologizing

My mom used to put me down constantly for speaking up and I just learned to apologize for everything just in case I actually did something to deserve her anger.

As an adult it’s just one of those things you have to be mindful of. When I find myself starting to over apologize for every little thing I take a moment to think about what I actually need to apologize for. Sometimes it’s just as simple as changing an “I’m sorry for being late” to “thank you for being patient”.

– UhOhSparklepants

14. Peacocking

People flashing huge name brand logos on clothes, gold jewelry, and driving an expensive leased car.

It screams I my self esteem is tied to material goods, and waste all my money on disposable items.

It implies they likely don’t have real wealth in an investment account and are likely living paycheck to paycheck.

– VulcanMind1

15. Outward vs. Inward

It’s interesting how the answers in this thread are very polarized.

Some insecure people turn outward and project confidence or meanness, while others turn inward and self-doubt/apologize for their existence.

Both are insecure, but they display in completely different ways.

– cinemachick

16. Beating others to the punchline

In my high school there was this pretty obese girl and we knew she was self conscious about her weight, so instead of waiting for someone to make fun of her she would make fun of everyone else

– PresaMayo

17. Always fishing

When someone fishes for compliments or constantly finds ways to get others to compliment you.

people with a healthy level of self esteem don’t do this and don’t have to seek out affirmation.

– orange_cuse

18. No eye contact

Not being able to speak looking at other people face or eyes, something I say by experience, you just start to think they may judge you, or may notice that pimple, or how bad u have your hair in that moment, or your nose form. It’s like if I don’t see their faces they won’t see my defects.

I don’t know if I explained my self well.

– Coque379

19. Constant need for reassurance

Needing a lot of reassurance for basic things.

In my last job the constant stress of the position/lack of support was causing me to question every element of my job, even the simplest stuff.

– ConneryFTW

20. Aping around

The gorilla-like behavior of young males in social situations. The overly loud talking, loud jokes, competitive remarks to people they hardly know.

Bizarrely enough, on many YouTube channels this is presented as “Alpha” – apart from the fact that this whole wolf-pack-alpha-beta thing is completely Bulls**t (and doesn’t even represent the actual animals, let alone their human counterparts) – if anything Alpha would be completely relaxed. And would just do and wear and drink whatever they like. Including apple-tini. Because they are relaxed and sure of themselves.

Their nervous barking in bars and on parties is the complete opposite.

– JoWeissleder

21. Constantly insulting other people

The cheapest way to gain self work is through juxtaposition. I.e. “Let me s**t talk someone else to make myself feel better”. Unfortunately, these gains are short lived so they need to keep s**t talking other people to keep feeling okay.

Bonus points if the s**t talking is hypocritical. Watch out specifically for people who seem like they’re looking for a reason to complain about other people.

– ConneryFTW

22. Constantly lying

I went to school with a girl who told various lies. She was homeless and captured pigeons for dinner, she was a trained clown, her mom was paraplegic and wheelchair bound among others, but then graduation rolls around and guess who shows up? mom, and she is not in a wheelchair. Someone in class declares “its a miracle!!”

But wasn’t my face red a few years later when I went to a Busking Festival and I saw Lying Girl painted up as a clown.

She was pretty good, excellent balloon animals.

– NewToSociety

23. Sock puppet accounts

Having more than 1 social media account and using it to like the posts on your other account(s).

Mostly goes for people who use their business accounts to like pictures of themselves on their personal.

Anytime I see it, a new mayor of Yikes City gets elected.

– heavymetalharlot

24. Over-clarifying

“So, Saturday night… I guess it was really Sunday morning… the sun wasn’t up or anything, but it was after midnight…”

People who grow up with a lots of criticism and invalidation usually lack self-esteem.

They often feel like they have to be super-specific to avoid more criticism or accusations of lying.

– copperdomebodhi

25. Careful how you frame it

I kinda h**e how so many people here talk so negatively about people with low self esteem like the person actually wants to have low self esteem.

I suffer with it pretty badly (obviously with this comment) and I’d love more than anything to not feel this way. It hinders everything in my life.

– El0nMusk0fficial

26. Overreacting to criticism

Insults and criticism aren’t fun for anyone, and it’s not a sign of poor self esteem to not enjoy that.

But the people who feel the need to go to extremes and get way too emotional in order to defend themselves over minor slights do so because their sense of themself is very fragile.

– DDThrowItAwayBB

27. Constant negativity

When someone always points out negative things or responds with a negative, especially when someone around them shares something positive.

A friend of mine got his first car, a 1999 Honda Civic, and brought it over to a friend’s house to show him. When he pulled up in the car, the friend said, “Why is it white? That’s so stupid.”

– uninc4life2010

28. The list

Avoidance behavior, regarding both people and experiences.

Blaming others for one’s own mistakes.

Fear of failure and even worse, fear of success.

Difficulty making friends.

Constant comparisons to others, always denigrating the self in doing so.

Inability to deal with frustration.

Low levels of motivation and interest.

Inability to take a compliment.

Visible signs of anxiety and stress.

– GlassDeviant

29. Hiding your body

I would say when someone doesn’t want you to see when they take off their shirt, or when they take off their pants or underwear.

I feel like people can play out the smaller things but when it comes to their body a lot of people really really try to hide it.

– Dopewaffles

30. Rejecting compliments

Compliments turn me into a stuttering mess.

Tell me I’m a piece of s**t or I can’t do something and I’ll calmly engage you and either agree or explain why you’re easily wrong.

Actually give me some affirmation and tell me I’m good at something?

I have no idea what’s happening right now and I can’t figure out what to do with my hands.

– country2poplarbeef

Pretty universal and uncomfortably relatable stuff there, I gotta admit.

What would you add to this list?

Tell us in the comments.