Did you know that low self-esteem is almost always curable? Because it is usually not caused by hereditary or ancestral influences, the cause of low self-esteem can be treated by removing it from the picture. Most psychologists agree that when people have a critical or negative view of themselves, the cause is usually environmental. So you simply remove the environment that is causing a low self-image and healthy self-esteem begins to blossom. For instance, stop a bully from physically and mentally abusing a child, and self-esteem begins to return to normal.
Psychology Today has pointed out several key influencers of low self-esteem. Are any of the following factors present in the life of a child or adult you know that has a poor self-image?
- Emotional, sexual or physical abuse
- Parents constantly in conflict – Children often blame themselves for parents that are always arguing and fighting, leading to a poor self-image and undeserved guilt.
- Critical authority figures and teachers – This happens more frequently with children and teens. Young people look up to authority figures, and when the field they do not measure up, low self-esteem can crop up.
- Poor performance in the classroom combined with a lack of parental and teacher support
- Bullying behavior from peers – This can also include bullying behavior from adults and older people, and can foster a poor self-image even when parents and friends are supportive of a child or adult.
- Guilt caused by belief systems or religions – When a person constantly feels guilty because of a particular set of beliefs, it is difficult for that person to have a positive self-image.
- Media and other societal influences that paint unrealistic expectations
This is by no means a complete list of factors that may be causing low self-esteem in someone you know. If you noticed, all of these top causes of an unhealthy, poor self-image originate outside of a person’s behavior. It is not normal or natural for human beings to feel negatively about themselves – that behavior has to come from outside influences.
In other words, these are all exterior causes. And that is great news, because it means when that negative influence is removed, a healthy, positive self-image can be nurtured.
Think about someone you know who suffers from a constant feeling of failure, the inability to “measure up” and other areas where they lack self-confidence. Look through the above list, and see if you can locate some negative influences. Get involved with the caregiver, parents and authority figures involved in that child’s or adult’s life.
Discuss your concerns, and constantly foster a positive, high level of self-esteem in the individual in question. In most cases, counseling is not needed to regulate a healthy self-image, since removing the exterior, environmental causes does wonders for someone’s self-esteem.