Symptoms of low self-esteem range from a faulty self-image and the inability to discern who and when to trust, to making irrational and distorted self statements. Other symptoms include the lack of self-confidence and obsessive compulsive and addictive behaviors. People suffering from low self-esteem will also make overly critical comments about themselves and others, as well as display very reactionary behavior patterns. Rigidity, self-focused behavior and storytelling are common traits of the struggle with low self-esteem in adults and children. One symptom of the truly low self-esteem sufferer is the unreasonable expectations placed upon others.
People suffering from low self-esteem typically tend to display a common set of behaviors associated with the illness. These symptoms are commonly believed to be derived from negative comments made to the person when he or she was a child, typically made by someone who should have been a person of trust. The symptoms of low self-esteem first show in the inability to properly discern who and when to trust. People with low self-esteem do not trust people to be kind, polite or trustworthy. This often leads to low self-esteem, such as making negative comments about oneself and expecting to hear the statements repeated by others.
While lacking any type of self-confidence, low self-esteem leads to the perceived mind reading of those the low self-esteem holder comes into contact with. The person projects their own feelings of lack of confidence into the perceived mind of the other person and thinks that everyone involved in their world also feels this lack of confidence in them. The lack of self-confidence often leads to other actions indicating low self-esteem, such as drug abuse, overeating or sexual addiction, which are often performed in an attempt to gain approval of those the person interacts with.
Perhaps one of the most indicative behaviors of those with low self-esteem is the practice of storytelling. This behavior causes the person to create a fantasy world where he or she believes that he or she knows what others are saying about him or her. This often leads to a person placing unreasonable expectations on other people. This leads to broken relationships as the low self-esteemed partner sets up test after test for the partner to prove how he feels about the relationship. The tests are commonly arranged in a manner so that the partner is incapable of ever winning or positively meeting the proposed criteria to prove his love.