"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

My Low Self Esteem Signs

by Anon

My low self esteem symptoms look like something like this...

At work I struggle to focus and I'm really hard on myself if I don't reach all of my goals for the day. I'm very hard on myself and punish myself for being so unproductive.

I'm irritable and yell at my dog a lot just because she demands my attention when I'm trying to rest at home.

At work there are some women who are going through menopause and are very moody and it takes all I have to ignore their pessimism and negativity in order to stay in a good mood. It's really hard to separate myself from that kind of terrible attitude they express at work, including the drama they choose to create. They end up making me feel like I'm the guilty one for not bending into their need to create drama and conforming to their frame of mind. On top of that, I'm trying to focus to get my work done and at the end of the day am punishing myself for not being sympathetic to their needs (are they genuine?) and not getting all my work done.

Still, I'm always wonderful to our clients who come in and they are a pleasant breath of fresh air sometimes, as they are coming from outside and bringing in conversation to distract me from all the chaos inside the walls of my job.

The women I work with are manipulators and have learned how to be that way from having to deal with people throughout their lifetime probably, in order to feel better about themselves. Sometimes I even say to myself at the end of a long day of this that they are just jealous of me in some way. One of the women told me to try not to constantly say I'm sorry for things because it shows a sign of low self-esteem. She is very often patronizing toward me.

I can't trust anyone with my ideas or words, as this is a small town and gossip flies generously. I don't trust people in general because I know what they are capable of. I do anticipate things and plan ahead for everything in my life because I want to be prepared for everything and don't want to be surprised by something.

I have a mild case of OCD and punish myself for that by pulling out my hair and hitting my head until it hurts with the heal of my hand. I've never told anyone this before.

I have very high, almost unrealistic expectations for people and get very disappointed when people don't go by the book like I do at work, when they dictate to me what has to be done and then they don't follow the book themselves. Why are people like that? If they could be more disciplined like I am sometimes I think the work day would go smoother. But then, I feel guilty for thinking like that? I do feel guilty...but I still that think they are jealous.

Comments for My Low Self Esteem Signs

Feb 07, 2012
Other symptoms include...
by: Steve

Thank you for sharing your symptoms of low self esteem here, especially details that you've never shared with anyone - that's very brave of you, and I hope it felt good to share like that.

There's lots I can learn in your list of symptoms - lots I can identify with, that apply to me. So I hope you will not be offended by the following observations that I believe to be also true, namely some more low self esteem signs that are also evident from what you say:
  • Judging others - we're all of us imperfect, and the less this 'bothers' us the more we are okay with ourselves, the higher our self-esteem

  • Fear of being judged by others - again, if somebody judges you it says more about them than you, so live out your life without fear of what others might think or say!

Having said all that, it's great that enjoy your clients and maybe it's a sign to you that this work, with these colleagues, may not be for you.

Thanks again, and I hope you can find peace in who you are (and who others are, too) - believe me, I hope I can find this enviable peace too...


Feb 06, 2012
Did you know?
by: Sandy

Did you know that men go through menopause ( a male menopause) as well?

Yes, you work with women; but not getting along with people is based entirely on gender.
One has to be careful not to overgeneralize. This can exacerbate the problems.

Who knows why they act the way they do? What's important is how are you going to handle this? and will you move on? or discuss the issue with HR to see what else can be done? It doesn't help to personalize and try to rationalize behavior through stereotypes. For every workplace like yours that seems apparently dysfunctional, there are many that are not.

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