When we socially isolate ourselves, our self-esteem suffers. Our social life helps us to build and maintain our self-esteem in so many important ways. Friends, family, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, strangers – all these people can help to boost our self-esteem when it’s low, as well as allow us to view ourselves in a more realistic, down-to-earth fashion. (Of course, people can have the opposite effect on our self-esteem, too, but it’s important to distance yourself from such toxic people.) When you don’t surround yourself with others on a regular basis, when you are socially isolated, your self-esteem can suffer. Here are the reasons why this can occur.
Building Self Esteem
Baby steps are a great way to build self-esteem. It's kind of like climbing a mountain: From the distance, we see a simple shape. It looks easy enough to climb if we just start walking uphill. Yet the closer we get, the more we realize that what looked like a basic silhouette is actually filled with valleys, cliffs, detours, and falling rocks. Suddenly, we start to question ourselves. Where do we start? How much energy will it take? What happens if we get turned around? This is when we can turn to baby steps to build self-esteem. When we measure our progress in smaller increments, we have more opportunities to reflect on our progress and make sure we are headed in the right direction.
Getting diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI, once called a sexually transmitted disease or STD) can be a tough experience. An STI diagnosis can result in all sorts of intense emotions and feelings: shame, regret, self-blame, anger, depression, and anxiety. For many people, these feelings arise, not so much because of the physical issues linked to the STI, but because of the stigma associated with it. Due to the stigma linked to STIs, a lot of newly diagnosed people may also notice that their self-esteem drops – or even plummets. Here, we will take a look at how the stigmatization of STIs contributes to low self-esteem and what you can do about it if you’re experiencing this problem.
Mindfulness affects your self-esteem, and often, when we think about mindfulness, many of us picture a happy person meditating peacefully while the sounds of "ohm" echo in the background. Without our realizing it, this picture incepts a formula into our subconscious: mindfulness plus quiet serenity equals self-love. Yet for many of us, quiet serenity is not something easily check off on our to-do list–our days are filled with busy streets and office chairs, not Zen gardens and floor cushions. Does this mean self-love is unachievable? Not at all. Even when serenity is unavailable, one powerful tool we can use towards building self-esteem is mindfulness.
If you know someone who is struggling with low self-esteem, you may have many instinctive reactions about how best to help him or her. Also, when that person is someone you deeply care about, you may think that you have to go to a lot of extra effort to boost his or her self-esteem; which is understandable – it just shows you’re trying to be supportive. However, for someone who has low self-esteem, there are certain things you might say which – although said with positive intentions – can be quite unhelpful. In fact, certain comments can make that person feel worse about themselves. Here are some examples of things to avoid saying to someone with low self-esteem.
You might think relationships and self-esteem improve one another, and sometimes they do. But it's dangerous to rely on a relationship to boost your self-esteem. Here's why.
Bad habits--they're pesky little things, aren't they? I imagine just reading the phrase makes you picture one of yours. Maybe your bad habit is biting your nails, or not responding to texts, or leaving the dishes in the sink. It's the thing you do that deep down, you know you don't like. But sometimes our bad habits aren't just small annoyances. Sometimes they burrow into our identity and affect our ability to build self-esteem. When bad habits affect self-esteem, what do we do?
A toxic boss affects your self-esteem because, for many people, the workplace is a large area of their lives that affects their self-esteem. When you work in a healthy work environment, this can give you opportunities to build your self-esteem. If, on the other hand, you find yourself spending five days a week working with a toxic boss who tries to bring you down, then you may find yourself plagued by self-doubt and self-criticism. One of the most difficult things you might encounter in your career path is a bad boss – the kind of toxic boss who you dread seeing each day because you know those encounters will dampen your mood and hurt your self-confidence. If you’re worried that your boss is undermining your self-esteem, look out for the following tell-tale signs.
A quick story about toxic people and self-esteem: Imagine you decide to plant a tiny sprout in your garden. When it flourishes, it will bring you deep joy. But first, it needs your focus and care to grow. Those who come into your garden and see your sprout give you support and space, encouraging your progress. But occasionally, a different kind of person comes into your garden. Knowingly or unknowingly, they march across the soil, step on your plants, and in the worst-case scenario, grind your tiny sprout into nothing.
What is the crab mentality? When you have a bunch of live crabs in a bucket, you can notice something quite interesting. As a crab tries to escape out of the bucket, the other crabs will try to drag it back down into the bucket. This unique behavior of crabs has since been used as a metaphor for how many people behave when noticing the success of others. If someone else has made some great achievement or is making progress in some area of their life, there can sometimes be a tendency to diminish that person or their success. This is known as the crab mentality. And it may actually be a sign of low self-esteem.