Low self-image or low self-esteem are so prevalent in modern day society with all its pressures, stresses, persistent attainment of high achievements and our celeb culture screaming at society from all communications levels especially with the plethora of social media.

Confidence in self is at the heart of the matter.  What creates low self-image is a double whammy of fear and anxiety.   “I am not good enough” is the universal phrase that springs to mind.

Such low self-image can lead to feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, depression and dejection.  It is good to seek out good professional, experienced counselling if such feelings of inadequacy persist, so to help ‘correct’ such misperceptions about oneself.

Low self-image and attacks

Inadequacy here is the common denominator.  Self-esteem attacks, often erroneously called panic attacks, stem from a person often mistakenly thinking they have said, made or done something incorrect, insensitive, rash or thoughtless.  They judge themselves as idiotic or plain stupid.

Such attacks can last hours or days.  It would be good to seek good counselling.  With recovery, these attacks gradually become less frequent, less severe in their intensity, and shorter in duration.  Getting rid of these attacks is one of the goals of recovery.

Low self-image and other key related indicators

  1. Depression: Low self-esteem is the underlying cause of much of the depression people suffer.
  2. Hypersensitivity:  Inadequacy is the core of this facet.  People judge themselves – that they are not good enough.  This could originate in childhood and progress into adulthood.  People instinctively think that others view them like this too and are sniggering at their expense.  Rejection and taking advantage over them follows in this vicious self-demeaning pattern.
  3. Hypervigilance: low self-image sufferers scrutinise others so they know how to act, say and wear.  As their misperceived ‘role models’ change, these individuals are then confused about what is the correct behaviour.  Such changes then add to their anxiety levels and increases in their fear of rejection.  A net effect is that their social and relationship skills do not improve leading to many boundary issues for the low self-image party.
  1. Lack of Assertiveness:  Low self-image suffers do not have the solid boldness associated with assertiveness. They are often too afraid of upsetting/being rejected to tell the truth, ask for what they want, or share their feelings. Instead, they tend to become passive until their anger increases at which point they can become aggressive-defensive, sarcastic, or foul, even physically violent.
  2. Passive-aggressive: Examples in this manifestation of low self-image candidates are any form of manipulation, deliberate unpunctuality, throwing out bait for the other(s) to pick up on and then nailing them, making insinuations to manipulate the other person to do what you want, plus gossiping.

Essentially in building great, healthy relationships at work or socially, it is vital to (re)gain a balanced perspective and set out good behavioural patterns.  If because of say issues stemming from childhood, please seek out counselling to redress those ills.

It is not necessary to live with low self image. Contact Louw Alberts in the Centurion, Pretoria area if you need help.