Ten Behavior Patterns Resorted to by People to Hide Their Lack of Self-Esteem

by Nimia Acebes on December 5, 2009

In the book, Creating Confidence, Rex Johnson and David Swindley define self-esteem as the feeling of worth you have about yourself; the value you place on you.  Like oxygen or electricity, you can’t see, hear, taste or smell it, but you know when it’s not there.

Lack of self-esteem means you feel yourself worthless and valueless.  It is important that we know who among our associates or co-workers lack self-esteem so that we know how to deal with them and help them.  This deficiency can cause low motivation, low energy levels, low physical activity and poor relationship with people.

Mistakably, we think that loud, arrogant people have high self-esteem and quiet people have not.  Generally, the most confident people are quiet about their achievements, get on with their lives, doing as they please and enjoying themselves.  Still waters run deep!

According to psychotherapists Rex Johnson and David Swindley, many desperately try to cover up their lack of self-esteem, but a well-tuned observer can spot the truth quite easily.

Here are the ten behavior patterns resorted to by people to hide a lack of self-esteem:

1.  The Critic

He is fond of criticizing and belittling people, especially those who are more successful than him; an unhappy way to justify himself.  He is unable to come up with constructive suggestion or positive action of his own.

2,  The Shrinking Violet

He avoids the limelight and shrinks into the background, convinced that he’s not worth anyone’s attention.  He could not accept a compliment because he’s spent many years believing he is inadequate.

3.  The Complainer

He can’t stop himself complaining, get great pleasure from it, and take every opportunity to practice his art.  Whatever happens, he’s not happy.

4.  The Addict

Eating disorders, phobias and addictive habits such as anorexia, bulimia, smoking and alcoholism are usually behaviors of a person who lack self-esteem.

5.  The Mouse

He is afraid to expose his true feelings because he cannot face possible rejection.  He creeps around like a mouse, too timid to express an opinion.  He avoids complaining even when he has every reason to do so.

6.  The Sheep

He follows the herd in order to be accepted into certain circles or groups.  He doesn’t trust his own individuality enough to go his own way.

7.  The Big Mouth

On the face of it, he is the opposite of the mouse.  He cannot stop talking, and this behavior comes in two categories.  The first is worried that he won’t get another chance to say his piece; once he engages you in conversation it is hard to get away.  The second is a habitual braggart, with little regard for truth.  He boasts and promises on anything he could not afford to fulfill.

8.  The Put-Down Expert

He has a quick insult, a barbed comment for everybody who crossed his path.  He thinks the only way he could impress is by using his sharp cleverness to put others down.

9.  The Begrudger

He is the jealous individual who feels that anyone who has something he wants doesn’t really deserve it.  Through jealousy, he dislikes people who are successful.  He doesn’t have the sufficient self-confidence to be able to say ‘Well done, I’m pleased for you,’ and mean it.

10.  The Blamer

He is always looking for scapegoats.  If something goes wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault.  He always finds someone to be blamed for any wrongdoings or failures even if he knows that he is responsible for his own actions.

I know there are literally hundreds of behavior patterns and I invite you to share your own list by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gavin McMurdo December 5, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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Nimia Acebes December 5, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Thanks Gavin.

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Munawar December 6, 2009 at 7:17 am

That is beautiful…..great

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Nimia Acebes December 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for your comments Munawar!

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John December 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Great post. People don’t talk about this stuff enough. If they did, I think we would have much more pleasant workplaces.

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Nimia Acebes December 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for your appreciative comments John. Have a nice day!

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Bottomless December 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Hello,
Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.
Bottomless

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Nimia Acebes December 11, 2009 at 12:32 am

Thanks also for your inspiring comments Bottomless.

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emt training April 22, 2010 at 2:07 am

this post is very usefull thx!

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Nimia Acebes April 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Thanks for your comments emttraining.

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