Low self-esteem is an issue that can affect us at every stage of our lives. There are several examples around us where children, teenagers, and adults have all struggled to cope with the repercussions of their low self-esteem. This negative personality trait should be taken seriously, and efforts should be made to counteract this problem as much as possible. To understand the extent of the damages caused by low self-esteem, let us see how it affects our lives as children, teenagers, and adults.
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Low Self Esteem in Children
Having a healthy childhood, both physically as well as mentally, is very important. The foundation that is built in your early years should be firm and provide a solid foundation for your growth all throughout your life. Therefore it is crucial to realize the impact of low self-esteem on children.
As we discussed above, having low self-confidence breeds negative traits of anxiety, fear, self-doubt, depression, and other diverse effects that can be crippling for a child’s mental growth. Studies have revealed that a child with low self-confidence struggles to cope with his/her studies. They become socially reclusive and strive to make any real friends in school. They struggle to perform tasks that require teamwork, such as sports. These children rarely take part in school plays and debating competitions. The cause behind such behavior can be found hidden in the subconscious of the children. Most of the time, children with low self-esteem are often publically scolded by their parents for any mistakes that they might have made in the past.
Similarly, some parents shun their children from becoming overly expressive in family gatherings. This traumatic experience is registered in the subconscious mind of the child. And thus, any time they are required to address an audience, for example, their subconscious remembers that it is not supposed to open up as it is a bad thing. Hence, the child struggles to find words as they panic and are left red-faced.
These children might also develop obsessive-compulsive disorders as a consequence of low self-esteem. Especially those children with a disapproving father or mother. Children who are afraid of making mistakes often resort to lying in order to avoid angering their parents. This is a nasty habit to have, and it destroys the credibility of a person if he/she is caught lying.
Low Self Esteem in Teenagers
In the teenage years, it is often said that a person is ruled by his/her emotions. It can be a difficult time for some as there are a lot of physical and mental changes to cope with. Hence, a person needs to be mentally strong in order to come out of this phase unscathed. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone.
Experts suggest that adolescent girls are more vulnerable to low self-esteem issues than boys during their teen years. However, this may vary from place to place. For example, in developed countries like the United States, girls may become overly concerned with their physical appearance as they are exposed to fashion magazines that contain pictures of swimsuit models and fitness celebrities. This leads them to compare their own bodies and critique their looks. This might lead to confidence issues. Their studies can also suffer as a result. Surveys have revealed that over 70% of the girls between the ages of 15-17 in the United States avoid school activities because they feel bad about their looks. Low self-esteem is also known to be the cause of an increase in teenage pregnancies.
In the developing, male-dominated countries like India, adolescent boys can be affected just as much as girls of their age. In such countries, the number of male students is much higher than the number of female students. Hence, teenage boys with low self-esteem develop a complex about their looks. They start to doubt themselves and envy those that have a good relationship with the opposite sex. These boys often struggle to communicate with their female classmates, feeling flustered and annoyed with themselves. These young adults might resort to the use of steroids in order to develop their bodies and appear more appealing to the opposing gender.
These are some of the significant issues that plague teenagers and immensely hamper their development.
Low Self Esteem in Adults
Just like with children and teenagers, low self-esteem has a strong impact on the adult population. Because of their traumatic experiences, such adults have deep-rooted problems that can have a dire effect on their daily lives.
Because of low self-confidence, such adults are very risk-averse. They are afraid of taking bold steps and prefer to do everything by the book. They also find it challenging to communicate with others and lack decisiveness. Because of this, they are not considered as suitable leaders and are often overlooked for promotions. As a result, they start feeling disheartened and frustrated with themselves.
People with low self-esteem are often submissive and get stuck in abusive relationships. They are consistently ruled by the fear that if they stand up for themselves, they would have to go through a breakup and then struggle to find someone new. Hence they start hiding things from their partners as well. This is the perfect recipe for disaster.
As in the case of children, adults, too, can develop obsessive-compulsive disorders. For example, most of us are aware of the term ‘stress eating.’ People with low self-esteem are often stressed out, and as a result, they start eating more. Obesity is one of the major problems plaguing the general population in the United States. Low self-value can also have an impact on the willpower and determination of people. Such people give up easily and find it challenging to stick to simple tasks such as exercising or dieting etc.
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