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20 Things That Low Self-Esteem Steals From You

Things Low SelfEsteem Steals From You

Low self esteem can gradually corrode all your self-confidence and happiness from within. But what is low self esteem and how does it manifest? What are the effects of low self esteem? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you understand and heal.


  • People with low self-esteem tend to believe that their feelings of self-hatred are fully justified.
  • People who believe that self-hatred is valid fuel the belief that they don’t deserve love, hope, and other emotional birthrights.
  • Viewing the symptoms of low self esteem as “thefts” or things taken from them unfairly can help sufferers reframe pain.

The worst part of self-hatred is believing you deserve it, and it’s also the defining characteristic of low self esteem. Those who suffer from low self esteem tend not to fight it because they view their self hatred not as an affliction but as the sole possible reaction to facts.

Whatever or whoever facilitated the belief, whether self-hatred was wired into our limbic systems by trauma, abuse, or our own DNA, as studies suggest, the first weapon must be to realize that self-hatred, low self esteem’s main trait, is tragically unfair.

The following is a list of comforts, milestones, or states of mind that people with high and even medium self-esteem consider birthrights or givens. To those with low self esteem, such comforts are impossible luxuries because they were stolen by self-hatred.

Maybe you have never felt these. Maybe you dimly remember some from long ago, before they vanished—yoink!—from your consciousness. Attached to every listed item is the twisted low-self-esteemy logic that facilitates its theft.

Related: Do Empaths Have Low Self Esteem And Confidence

20 Things That Low Self Esteem Steals

1. Confidence

Because how dare we believe that we can contend, compete or win?

2. Trust

Because why would anyone treat us fairly or well?

3. Accomplishments

Because we lack the confidence to even try.

low self esteem
Low self esteem

4. Free time

Because we must spend every second overcompensating, pleading, fretting, and regretting.

5. Serenity

Because what right has anyone so grossly flawed to remain calm?

6. Courage

Because courage is strength, and we are weak.

7. Fun

Because we don’t deserve it, haven’t earned it; at its first spark, we must suspect trickery or doom.

Related: 10 Signs Of Self-Hatred And How To Overcome

8. Compliments

Because, although we might receive them, we cannot believe them, thus can’t keep them.

9. Companionship

Because expecting rejection and mockery, we don’t reach out.

10. Pride


11. Accurate memories

Because our rear-view mirrors, splattered, warped, and cracked, blur and distort every reflection.

20 Things That Low Self-Esteem Steals From You
Low self esteem

12. Spontaneity

Because we must micro-manage every thought/word/action to avert our next big blunder.

13. Outward-directed anger

Because whatever anyone has done that harmed or maddened us, surely we asked for or deserved it.

Related: 3 Secrets For Silencing Your Inner Critic

14. Passions

Because desire, pursuit, and pleasure bring us only failure, shame, and pain.

15. Satisfaction

Because surely we have done too little or too much.

16. Hope

Because what right have we to expect betterness or ask for anything?

17. Love

Not because “you can’t love others if you cannot love yourself,” which isn’t true, but because our relentless self-abasement scares others away.

18. Faith

Because what deluded deity could ever love us?

19. Certainty

Because how can someone so wrong ever be right?

Related: 4 Signs Of An Inferiority Complex In Your Body Language

20. Self-compassion

Because … see this entire list.

Theft is a funny, stark, harsh word. Does asthma steal the uninflamedness of the lungs? In some sense, yes. And just as we would never say that someone with asthma “deserves” to choke, we can ask whether we deserve the symptoms of our ailment and its cost.

Want to know more about the signs of low self esteem? Check this video out below!

Symptoms of low self esteem

Check out S. Rufus’s personal website to know more about her and her work.

Written By S.Rufus
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today
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S. Rufus

S. Rufus, M.A., is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared at Elle, Salon, The Daily Beast, and other venues, and — under the byline Anneli Rufus — the author of twelve books including Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself; Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto; Weird Europe; and Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On. Translated into five languages and now in its fourteenth printing, Party of One has been cited as a landmark work on (and for) introverts.View Author posts

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