6 Subtle Signs that show you have "Low Self-Esteem"


Share on LinkedIn

Do you often find yourself in a situation where you overthink before saying or choose to avoid the situation altogether?

While you may think this is because you don’t want to say the wrong thing in front of people, it’s usually your low self-esteem making you do all this.

You didn’t realise, did you?

The way you react to things happening in everyday life can say a lot about it; a minor setback and you find yourself stuck between places. It’s easy to miss those signs of low self-esteem and wonder later why you couldn’t perform the said task.

It’s important to identify these self-sabotaging behaviours because they can take a real toll on your relationships and career.

But don’t worry, we’ll help you through it!

Here are 6 subtle signs that show you lack high-self esteem:

1. Extra effort to be noticed and make your presence felt

 a person with several post its showing signs of low self esteem

One of the most subtle signs is making extra effort to be noticed in your workplace, with friends, or with family. This happens in an attempt to make your presence felt when everyone is busy, no one is talking to you, and you feel ignored.

In reality, no one is ignoring you. But you make extra efforts to make your presence more prominent. This can include putting in late hours at work, pleasing your friends by giving them expensive gifts, or being over-involved in matters that barely concern you.

This makes everyone around you suspicious and takes a toll on you because you expect the same in return. This all stems from a place of not having enough faith in yourself and thinking you need external validation for which you will have to do extra than the next person out there.

What you should do: Acknowledge your presence and try to stay involved in the happenings around you.

2. Thinking you are superior to others

2nd sign of low self esteem

Superiority complex is a common problem among people worldwide, where they feel that they’re superior to other people around them.

Think for a minute. Do you often curtail information because you don’t think the person in front of you is worthy enough to know about it?

Do you often find it hard to accept your mistakes because you don’t think you can be at fault?

If you said yes to all or any of these, then you have a superiority complex.

This stems from an attempt to overcome feelings of insecurities, which are directly related to having low self-esteem.

When you’re not confident enough, you seek validation from others. So, when you feel superior, you constantly need to be appreciated by others because it boosts your self-esteem.

What you should do: Accept your mistakes. Understand that no one is superior or inferior to you.

3. You want to do everything on your own, even after being in a team

person irritated and working alone

People with low self-esteem find it hard to work in a team. They would rather take up all the work on their shoulders than work collectively with everyone. This is because they don’t feel confident enough to share their work or share their space with anyone.

Say, you’ve been assigned an office project or a school project with 5 more people where you’re required to exchange opinions and work together to make it a success. Instead of contributing, you say that you’ll do the entire project yourself on behalf of everyone.

This is one of the biggest signs of low self-esteem, yet it's the easiest to miss out. You do this because you're better off alone, even when it means you will have to do more work than usual.

What you should do: Get involved with your team. Contribute and don’t seclude yourself.

Poster of Perception Mastery program

Do you feel that your Career or Personal life has stopped Growing?

Are you stuck in the loop of Overthinking? Are you sitting on your problems, which is leaving you confused & Irritated all the time?

What if I tell you, that the source of all your problems is your Perception & mastering is very simple?


4. You don’t give information freely

person who doesn't give information

Curtailing information and letting it out only in front of the concerned person is another subtle sign of low self-esteem.

Have you ever known some vital information, but denied telling it to a friend, saying that you will only tell the boss, even though it’s not a very sensitive piece of information?

Keeping stuff to yourself, not feeling comfortable enough to share things because you fear that someone else may take your limelight account to a significant source of esteem problems. You think this piece of information makes you special, and if you share it, the concerned person won’t value the same.

What you should do: Possessing the necessary information does not make you special. Be your own sense of validation.

5. You apologize a lot

saying sorry a lot. sign of low self esteem

Apologizing and saying ‘sorry’ when you’re at fault is a definitive thing to do, but saying it when you’re not even close to making a mistake is wrong. People with low self-esteem often apologize for the tiniest of things.

This is because they have a faulty image of themselves, which is incapable of doing things right, so even if it’s someone else’s mistake, they make it their own and start apologizing. This further reinforces the negative self-image and transitions to self-loathing.

These instances could be as simple as taking up too much space on the bus, getting 2 minutes late or your friend missing your call.

What you should do: Think 3 times before you say ‘Sorry,’ in an event, analyze if it’s actually your fault or not.

6. Take criticism too personally and not acknowledge compliments

6th sign of low self esteem

Do you often find yourself crying at night because of your boss’s constructive criticism on your job performance?

Do you rarely know how to react when someone genuinely compliments you?

Taking constructive criticism to your heart, not being able to differentiate between feedback and criticism, and reflecting instead of acknowledging compliments are all signs of low self-esteem.

Your self-esteem is so low that you’re unable to take feedback, which is more positive than negative, nor are you able to embrace the fact that someone appreciates you. This is because you don’t feel you are worthy or good enough. You also feel that people hate you, and thus, they give you bad feedback or criticism.

In reality, both are positive aspects channelled towards you and are not meant in a negative light, but your self-esteem has conditioned you to only to receive hatred and/or sarcasm.

What you should do: Practice self-acceptance.


Low self-esteem shows certain behavioural signs that you can notice in your everyday life. The way you react to situations, both positive and negative, can tell you a lot about your self-esteem if only you pay attention.

A lot of times, things happen with us, and we don’t realise what’s happening. In those moments, it’s important to introspect and understand why you are behaving this way instead of blaming yourself.

Once you have gained clarity about the source of your behaviour, it’s best to indulge in actions that help you reform that behaviour and uplift your self-esteem.

While you can try to amend these behaviours on your own, it’s never wrong to seek a professional for help. This will ensure that you’re paying enough attention to your inner challenges and are effectively taking steps to take care of them.

So, stop suppressing your problems and start addressing them.

Make a change today!

Join our newsletter
Nehaa Beotra The Perception Changer


Nehaa Beotra – The Perception Changer & Founder - Thinq On Purpose. She is on a mission to give Powerful Systems to 1 million people to heal your Self-Worth, overcome your Self-doubts and make you an "Action-taker".

  • State President Maharashtra : Wellness & Wellbeing Council - WICCI
  • Awarded by Women Economic Forum - Iconic Woman
  • Unplugged by TEDx Gateway Speaker
  • NLP & Vipassana Meditation Practitioner
  • Alumni of TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Her Perception Mastery Program has helped people break their self limiting inner battles and take inspired action to grow ahead in life.