Self-esteem is how someone values and perceives themself. It can affect a person’s ability to make decisions, assert needs, move past mistakes without unfair self-blame, practice self-kindness, and try new or difficult things. When one has low self-esteem, they may place little value on their own opinions and ideas. Instead of feeling secure, they focus on their perceived weaknesses and fear of failure, and they believe others are more capable or successful than they are. Low self-esteem can manifest itself in traits such as indecision, hypersensitivity to criticism, negative outlook, and guilt.
People with low self-esteem tend to exaggerate events as being negative. They may interpret neutral comments as criticism. Over time, this could lead to some degree of depression and/or anxiety. In talking with someone who exhibits these kinds of tendencies, it would be useful to understand how they are negatively affecting the person’s life.