They’ll tell you impossible, crazy fantasy stories about the time they gave CPR to a person on public transportation, the vacation where they wrestled an alligator and how they got a perfect score on their SATs. In every revealed tale, they are the victor, the hero and the savior. They think you couldn’t possibly appreciate them if revealed to be an ordinary human.
1. Knock you down
You finally got the job you’ve wanted or you’ve achieved a new weight goal. You’re excited to tell someone about it but are given a quick blow with a response like, “Oh really? I heard that company is going bankrupt soon,” or “My cousin lost a ton of weight like you did and gained it all back and more a few months later.” They’re too insecure to let you have a glorious moment because it separates them from you.
2. One up you
Ahhh, the one-uppers. You talk about a cold you had and they’ll tell you about how they almost died from pneumonia and bad antibiotics. You mention a fun wedding you went to and they’ll describe one even more elaborate. It’s exhausting talking to someone like this as they can’t just take the information in, they have to throw it back at you with more “ummmph,” like a table tennis match.
3. Discredit and argue with anything you say
You can make an opinionated statement like, “Thanksgiving is just the best holiday,” and they will argue the opposite just to be difficult. You have the feeling that if you told them that the sky was blue, they’d find a way to tell you you’re wrong. Bashing someone’s opinions makes them feel smarter.
They’re posting accomplishments on Facebook by the hour. They’re employee of the month. They’re training for and running races and love to share their distances and times. They post every detail of the expensive vacations they go on. They start listing their professional accomplishments in conversation like they’re on an interview. Nothing pleases them more than letting the universe know how amazing and successful they are so we can feel the same way about them.
5. Make you feel guilty
They’ll want to see you constantly and will use guilt tactics if you have other plans. “I thought you were one of those people who didn’t need to hang out with their significant other all the time,” you’ll hear or, “Relationship comes and go; friends remain forever.” You’ll get a speech every now and then about how you’re needed, expected to be there and how “it’s not fair” that they don’t have someone special in their lives.
6. Are indecisive
When faced with choices, they often recoil and spend way too much time debating. They need to engage the advice and opinion of every person they know and will continue to second guess the choice made.
7. Take attendance at social functions
They have a birthday party and should you show up late, have other plans or leave early, you’ll hear about it for the indefinite future. They can’t just have a small handful of close friends. They thrive on large groups of people showing up to their social events and will literally make a list of people who called to check in on them after a break-up, a bad day or a cavity filling.
8. Can’t spend time alone
They always need to fill up their calendar with plans because being alone forces them to think about how unhappy they are. They also would never think to go to the movies alone, hit a pizza joint to grab a slice alone or spend a Friday night at home reading a book. Each of these scenarios would feel like some sort of lonely failure to a person with low self esteem.
9. Wear tons of make-up
They cake on tons of make-up and top it off with even more. False eyelashes, plumped up lips, crazy eye shadows – all to prevent people from seeing their true self. Unless this person is on camera all day long and needs the heavy makeup to combat the bright lighting or is trying to hide poor skin issues, it can often be a person’s way of hiding.
10. Are high maintenance
They go to a restaurant and drive the server crazy with their particular meal order. They want to go out but refuse to take public transportation. They are interested in having plans but reject every suggestion you make. This is all a way taking control of a situation instead of feeling powerless and uncertain.
11. Put others down and talk behind backs
They can’t have a conversation without bad-mouthing someone or making harsh comments about the people around them. They think it’s a form of entertainment or will make themselves feel better about themselves, but it just seems cruel.
12. Are surrounded by extremely controlling, dominant family members or close friends
Often times people with low self-esteem have been directed and belittled their whole lives by the people around them. They fear voicing opinions or taking a stance as they have only received a negative reaction by doing so. Over time, this can strongly beat down a person’s confidence.
13. Pretend they love big, loud and wild crazy events
They’ll talk a big talk about planning an all night rager but when it comes down to it, they prefer a quiet night with friends. They feel the need to rave about what they think is the “cool” thing to do, but don’t have the self-esteem to voice their real opinion.
14. Needs to be part of all gossip and all plans
If this person finds out that you’ve been making plans with another friend and haven’t included her, you’re going to get berated. If you find out information about a mutual friend and don’t reveal it, it’s interpreted as a betrayal. A person with low self-esteem thrives on knowing things before everyone else does and being included in all potential plans before they are even a formalized idea.
A good night out is “the most epic late night social encounter in the history of time,” to this person and a bad date is “the most hideous, vile human specimen every created.”
16. Drama creator
A person with low self-esteem thrives off of creating, being involved in or escalating drama. Their own lives are too boring to not meddle with others.
17. Kills chances at relationships
They couldn’t possibly date someone too short, too fat, not the right job, too bald, too needy, too old, too young, too available or too poor. They come up with reasons why any potential relationship will not work and can’t actually believe that someone would be interested in them.
18. Refuses to go out on a limb to meet someone new
They refuse online dating. They think being set up on a blind date is the worse way to meet someone. They’d never actually pursue someone because of feared rejection. They have all the excuses in the world but all tie back to low self-esteem.
19. They’re glass half full kind of people
No matter what great things are going on their life, they can only think about what they don’t have and feel sorry for themselves. They’re not capable of being happy for others because they are not happy with themselves.
20. Quick to judge and remain stubborn on an opinion
Once they form an opinion on something, there’s no changing their mind because it would mean that they have made a mistake. They like to put people into buckets of categories and keep them there because discovering who someone is takes too much time, effort and requires you to put yourself out there. This is the biggest fear of someone with low self-esteem.