What Causes Low Self-Esteem? Overview of Sources and Reasons

Megan Smith
 min read

Knowing what causes low self-esteem is the first step towards healing.

What Causes Low Self-Esteem? Overview of Sources and ReasonsWhen you are easily influenced or change your mind often, does that mean you can’t trust yourself?

Low self-esteem is usually caused by being too hard on oneself. It may also involve severe psychological illnesses like dysmorphophobia, and nothing that anyone can do or say will change that overnight. Sufferers, in both cases, often either withdraw from society or try to compensate in other ways.

It is important to know that complexes tend to take root more quickly, especially when you feel unable to tackle them.

What causes low self-esteem: Introduction

One could define low self-esteem as the establishment, according to criteria, of a scale of values on which one feels inferior to the minimum required to be accepted and loved by all.

No matter where you are on this value scale, all pretexts suit people with complexities to think they are outside the norm.

Indeed, they imagine and are convinced they have ugly hands, tiny eyes, or too big thighs.

But how many women who have a complex about their physical appearance and especially their body shape buy clothes they will never wear, even choosing too small clothes?

These purchases are a way to create, for a short time, a good image of themselves. However, this opinion of their physique is really just a personal representation of the so-called “norm.”

This article will try to understand why some people have a bad image of themselves.

Being too demanding on yourself

Wearing a dress, putting on a bikini, or wearing a halter top are all outfits can be difficult or even impossible to wear for some people. Indeed, a complex has settled and destroyed their confidence and self-esteem.

For people who are too hard on themselves, everything becomes complicated: hardness and severity are self-imposed, and even the encouraging remarks of others do not change anything.

In these situations, it is almost impossible to comprehend compliments or encouragement from those close to you because of permanent self-doubt.

Indeed, the gaze of others is becoming increasingly burdensome, even from the family. Therefore, real suffering will be expressed more or less discreetly. Some people will even find ways to camouflage and escape it.

Once doubt is established, it can spread more widely until it questions one’s overall self-esteem. Afterward, one ends up being isolated and withdrawn from everyone.

However, this attitude of isolation or distancing can be held responsible for future failures when this very attitude is responsible.

Why do we submit to our complexes?

But is it possible to live with your complex? Sometimes, by choosing to submit to it: to hide a defect, one organizes a change of behavior; for example, a lady may decide never show off her cleavage because she doesn’t like her chest.

However, this submission can cause frustration and, in extreme cases, lead to depression. Indeed, the physical complex will become obsessive for the individual suffering from it.

Currently, there is no advice or even rational logic that manages to “destroy the complex.” In addition, the opinions and encouragement of family and friends are not much help.

In fact, they will only have an effect if they are associated with self-image improvement, which is a much longer process.

Is it possible to replace a complex?

We may display a complex other than the one that really bothers us. So let’s take the example of someone who would say she has ugly knees when in reality, it’s her calves she hates.

Following the same replacement process, we notice that other people put forward a physical defect while their suffering is on another level (such as sickly shyness or stuttering).

How to compensate for a complex?

To live with our complexes, we can try to compensate for them by developing skills that will make us forget them.

For example, people who think they have an unattractive physique will try to emphasize other aspects of their personality.

Often, the self-confidence displayed by some people is a way to hide a complex. They generally do not wish to express themselves and simply agree that “everyone has complexes.”

Humor plays a key role in this area. Indeed, many complexed men hide behind a multitude of jokes to approach and seduce women.

Dysmorphophobia is a disease

For some people, minor flaws can become monstrosities. However, the importance of these imperfections (which are not severe) causes these people to behave differently.

Let’s take the example of someone who refuses to be photographed on the right side because they are convinced this side is ugly. They will want to show only the supposedly “good” left side.

When this type of attitude turns into an obsession, it can become a significant disorder or even a psychopathology to be considered.

This can be translated by the disease “dysmorphophobia,” which literally means the fear (phobos) of having a “crooked” (dys-) physique (morphos).

Dysmorphophobia is also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD.

This severe psychological illness is based on the belief that there is a physical defect, which will cause significant disruptions in daily life.

Dysmorphophobics are people who will spend their time scrutinizing their image at length or, on the contrary, will avoid mirrors.

They devote their energy to trying to correct or camouflage their defect. These people live in anguish and are convinced that they are being looked at because they have been noticed.

What causes low self-esteem: Conclusion

Whether you are a man or a woman, it is often possible to be complexed by a physical defect.

The obsession, which revolves around a complex, can become a nightmare for the person who lives it, even if it means not wanting to leave the house for fear of the gaze of others.

However, there is the “assumed complex,” which consists of accepting oneself or learning to live well with one’s image and be loved for oneself.

It is not easy to get to this point, but know that even if the journey is sometimes difficult, it is not impossible to achieve. Regardless, it has to start off by knowing what causes low self-esteem and feeling like a loser.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More