1. Whenever someone flirts with you, or admits to having feelings for you, you’re suspicious. A part of you assumes they’re joking. Even if they’re serious, you assume they are going to change their mind sometime soon, once they see the real you. No matter how hard you try, you simply can’t imagine someone having a crush on you. You can’t imagine them smiling down at their phone when they see your name or daydreaming about what it would be like to kiss you. You aren’t crazy about yourself — so you can’t picture anyone else being crazy about you either.
2. You are used to settling in relationships, friendships, and your career. You feel guilty about wanting more because you feel like you’re lucky to have what you already do. How could you bother your boss about giving you a raise when you’re lucky you have a job? How could you bother your friends about texting you more when you’re lucky they put up with your bullshit? How could you bother your crush about treating you better when you’re lucky anyone finds you attractive? You don’t like to complain, because you feel like you don’t have the right to complain. You don’t ask for what you deserve because you don’t realize what you deserve.
3. You’re always hyping up your friends — but don’t believe it when they do the same for you. Even though you’re serious when you tell your friends how beautiful and hilarious and intelligent they are, you don’t believe them when they say the same things to you. You feel like they’re only complimenting you because they’re obligated, because they’re biased. You never believe a nice word anyone has to say about your looks or your personality, but you believe every nasty word that was ever uttered.
4. You only see your least favorite parts when you stare in the mirror. You never pay attention to your good qualities, only the qualities you consider poor. For some reason, it’s much easier for you to be hard on yourself than it is for you to compliment yourself. You can’t remember the last time you thought you looked beautiful. You can’t remember what it feels like to look at a picture of yourself and like what you see. You’re not always a pessimist, but when it comes to your view of yourself, you certainly are.
5. You hesitate to take chances because you assume you’re going to embarrass yourself. You don’t think you’re pretty enough to find a forever person, so you never join dating apps. You don’t think you’re smart enough to earn your dream job, so you never apply yourself. You don’t think you’re worthy enough, so you never chase after what you want. You let your dreams escape because you are convinced you are going to make a fool of yourself. You are convinced you aren’t good enough to see success.
6. You shake your head whenever people try to give you pep talks. But one day, you will realize you have value. You will realize your life has meaning. You will realize you are worthy of being loved, by others and by yourself.