Low self-esteem

What is low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem is often developed in childhood, however there are times in adult-hood where low self-esteem may be developed. Self-esteem problems in adults can sometimes be caused by your partner. If your partner constantly criticises you, undermines your decisions or laughs at you rather than with you when you make a mistake; this can result in the lowering of your self-esteem. Sometimes your partner may not be aware of the effect of their actions, at other times it can be used by a partner as a means of control and may be classed as emotional abuse.

How low self-esteem affects us


  • unhappy

  • hurt

  • angry

  • frustrated

  • anxious

  • ashamed

  • guilty.


  • Negative, self-critical - I'm so stupid, I'm worthless, It's my fault, I'm a failure, I'm not good enough, I'm incompetent.


  • Try hard to please others.

  • Become defensive when we believe we're being criticised.

  • Under-achieve or work harder to compensate and cover up our believed incompetence.

  • Avoid situations and people, including social occasions.

  • Do not look after or abuse ourselves.

If this is happening to you, it is important to seek help or support from family and friends. Counselling can also help you with deal with these issues. You and your counsellor can work together to help re-build your self-esteem and provide support to help you make any changes you feel are needed in your life.  

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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