Picture this situation. In your head, you have run through a situation or a conversation umpteen times. It would seem so many reruns will make you ready to face the situation.
But at the time of delivery, your old fears surface again. And the niggling worry, “Am I showing all signs of low self-esteem in a woman?”
Stop right there before the self-blame begins. Remember, you are not alone. There are reasons for low self-esteem, and there are ways out. Listed below are some ways to identify and help yourself and others.
What does low self-esteem mean in a woman?
In relationships, mainly in a marriage, a woman is called ‘the better half.’ This statement is thrown around quite a lot. It is well-intentioned, of course.
With signs of low self-esteem in a woman, this phrase takes a beating! The ‘better’ can quickly turn to ‘bitter.’
Whether at work or in a relationship, a confident woman will do much better. She will take negatives and mistakes in her stride. She will learn from every situation. She will stride forward, believing she will make the best of any situation.
Not being able to go ahead confidently can damage a lot of things. A low self esteem girl will question her own beliefs.
She will grow more dependent on others. More importantly, she will lose that swag that says she knows what she is doing.
Self-esteem or lack thereof is something that is not exclusive to women. Both genders are susceptible. It is a fact that women have more self-esteem issues than men.
Studies show this quite conclusively. It is easier to spot signs of low self esteem in a woman than in a man. This is mainly because men, in general, are more confident.
Why is this so?
It is believed that the answer lies in biological differences. It is about complex chemical processes in women’s brains. It is about centuries of conditioning and belief patterns. It is about expectations of behavior patterns.
Men are physiologically more strongly built than women. It is a fact of biological evolution. In an evolving world order, gender equality is being demanded.
However, it will remain the fact that the majority of women have lesser physical strength than men. This does lead to physical insecurity and lack of confidence.
One of the signs of low self esteem in a woman is gravitating towards the negative. Women tend to judge themselves harshly. It is as if they are forever in search of perfection. ‘I am fat’ ‘I have flabby arms’ ‘My cooking is not good’ ‘I cannot speak confidently, ‘I am not competent enough, to name a few.
This reflects in the way other women look at you. Ultimately it becomes a norm how society perceives you.
There is a reason for all this.
According to Dr.Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, women are far too judgemental. They tend to worry more about everything. From ‘Am I being a good mommy?’ to ‘Will the chicken casserole taste good?’, it goes on. This is because the worry center of the human brain is bigger in women!
Signs of low self esteem in a woman feed upon hormonal changes in the female brain. We are talking of estrogen and progesterone.
When a woman has low self-esteem, she feels as if she has no control. As if she lacks power over herself or her surroundings. This can create a sense of instability and a feeling of being unanchored.
5. Substance abuse
One of the signs of low self esteem in a woman is an unhealthy physical attribute. This generally manifests as smoking, alcohol, or even drug use. The habit catches on as a support for their low self-esteem. It then becomes challenging to kick.
This is a sure sign of low self-esteem. Such women feel embarrassed to seek help. It may be as simple as finding their way. Or support about office work. They think others will think less of them or consider them incompetent.
9. Fearing failure
Self-talk in a negative fashion is one of the traits of women with low self esteem. This negative reinforcement causes a mindset that hampers any work at all.
They go about thinking they will not succeed. There is a constant internal conversation about failure situations. You are priming yourself for adverse outcomes.
It is seen that girls with no self respect or self esteem continually try to please. They are unsure of themselves and lack any opinion.
Going along with general opinion seems to be their answer. This is a commonly observed trait. Sadly this does not translate into likeability.
What causes low self-esteem in a woman
Why does a woman develop low self-worth? Neuroscience provides a scientific answer to this, saying women’s brains are different from men’s. Science shows women’s ‘worry centers’ are more extensive.
Because they worry more and negatively, their self-worth takes a beating.
But is that all? The answer is NO.
There can be several reasons for women having low self-esteem. Interestingly many of these reasons can be traced back to childhood. A young child is highly impressionable. This is especially true for young girls.
Insecure childhood with overly critical guardians.
Suboptimal performance in school, leading to comparison. This can eat away their confidence.
Having to deal with medical issues constantly can hurt self-esteem.
In the words of Barbara Corcoran, “I used to hate feeling embarrassed, but then I realized nobody’s watching and nobody gives a damn.”
“Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear,” goes another saying.
How can a woman be more confident? How to help a woman with low self esteem?
The journey from diffidence and low self-esteem to a confident woman is not easy. It is something that has to be worked on regularly. And it needs support from those around her.
A woman who is looking to turn herself around needs positive reinforcement. Constantly!
Whether you do it on your own or you wish to help some woman you know, these are some pointers to follow:
Talk to yourself
You are the one who knows yourself the best. Once you see signs of low self esteem in yourself, you have a task on hand. Become your best friend. Constantly give yourself positive reinforcement. Tell yourself you can do it.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.