Signs of Low Self-Esteem in a Woman

Written by: Dr Joseph Kekulawala
Last updated date : March 30, 2022

Self-esteem is how we see ourselves, our self worth or the opinion we have of ourselves. Our self-esteem changes over time. It depends on what is happening in our lives, temperament and past experiences. These external factors can negatively impact our self-esteem. How we think about ourselves is significant because it impacts our everyday choices and our motivation. In this article, we will explore low self-esteem in women. Dialling in on the different signs of low self-esteem in a woman.

Chapter 1:
Prolonged Hurt from Disapproval

When someone criticises us, it is natural to feel upset. If that criticism lingers, feeling upset for a long time could signify low self-esteem. If your self-esteem is healthy, you will be able to bounce back soon. Someone with healthy self-esteem and a growth mindset will take that criticism and make something out of it or just let it go.

Criticism comes in all forms. It could be a magazine you are reading or social media accounts you follow. We are programmed by them to focus all our efforts on our appearance. Anything but perfection can lead to internal criticism, disapproval and a further drop in our self-esteem.

Woman with low self-esteem challanges thoughts of a crowd booing and laughing at her

Chapter 2:
Avoiding Challenges

Another one of the signs of low self-esteem in a woman to be aware of is avoidance. What we might think is due to anxiety, could actually be a sign of low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem just don’t back themselves.


Chapter 3:
Not Taking Compliments

People with low self-esteem think they are not worthy or deserve compliments. Someone might tell us that you look beautiful or that your dress is amazing, you struggle to accept the compliment.


Chapter 4:
Try to Please or Impress Others

If you catch yourself trying to please or impress others, that could be a sign of low self-esteem. Whether it is in our relationships or at work, needing to impress others to get external validation is a red flag to keep an out for.

Chapter 5:
Negative Outlook

Life is tough and competitive. Whether it is the beauty treadmill to nowhere or obsessing about diets, eventually, this all takes a toll. It’s hard to feel positive about the future with all these pressures. Having a low self-esteem can just make things worse.

Chapter 6:
Not Standing up for Yourself

Another one of the signs of low self-esteem in a woman to be aware of is not standing up for themselves. At work, women with low self-esteem will be self-deprecating. They will minimise their accomplishments and let others take credit for their work. They are the last to move upwards. Low self-esteem means you can be easier to push around. They end up doing favors they do not have the time for.


Chapter 7:
Low Self-Esteem and Body Language

More and more research is showing that body language and posture are linked to self-confidence and self-esteem. Ever heard of power poses? Postures linked to nervousness include tapping your feet, fidgetting, being hunched, poor eye contact or facing away.


Chapter 8:
Low Self-Esteem Causes

Abusive and hurt, especially for girls can tear into their self esteem. Abuse invariably sends a message that the person is worthless. This is true of both physical and verbal abuse. Not being loved, neglected during childhood can further add to low self-worth. Women with low self-esteem can say, “I was never noticed.. my brother got all the attention”.

Worse yet, low self-esteem can pass from one generation to the next. A mother is modeling what a woman is. Children learn behaviours by watching their parents.

Don’t fear, these signs of low self-esteem in a woman are by no means a life sentence. These women can get help. They can heal emotionally. It is critical to remember that everyone deserves care. If you are keen to learn more about self-esteem, visit our courses page. We have a six-week course on low self-esteem. It’s a self help courses that weaves into it psychology skills. You can also speak to a lisenced psychologist to get the help with low self-esteem.