We all struggle in life, but girls with low self-esteem endure these struggles much differently than boys.
We endure pressure every single day of our lives, let’s face it. Although we might not recognize it, we’re always expected to do something, be something, or prove something. These struggles just file right in line with all the other struggles we endure just to keep a positive image of ourselves.
Girls with low self-esteem go through a grueling version of this, as most times, other girls can be brutal in playing on the weaknesses of others. Most of the time, boys, aren’t quite so cruel…or maybe, just in more physical ways.
How female self-esteem works
Insecure girls are teased and tormented by other girls who seem to have egotistic views of themselves or even have hidden low self-esteem themselves. The torments are verbal and sometimes subtle. With boys, most of the teasing and tormenting is done by fighting or physical bullying.
This is why it is so important to recognize the effects on an adult life that this low self-esteem can have on boys and young girls alike. But for now, we’re going to focus on what low self-esteem does to girls.
Adulthood struggles girls with low self-esteem face:
1. Poor body image
It probably comes at no surprise that low self-esteem contributes to poor body image, especially for girls. If you’ve grown up thinking negatively about your body or face, then you will become an adult who constantly criticizes the way they look.
Low self-esteem takes the fact that we are beautiful and turns it into questions that always keep us doubting our worth.
Adult depression comes from many things. It can be genetic, it can come from trauma, or it can actually come from childhood low self-esteem.
Girls with low self-esteem, all during their school years, actually experience changes in the way they think, so much that these changes in their brains become permanent. Depression as an adult can easily be linked back to childhood low self-worth.
I, personally have an anxiety disorder, coupled with depression and bipolar disorder. My anxiety can get so severe that I often have panic attacks. Yes, I went through trauma as a child, but I also experienced neglect. And, for some reason, I never could interact with children at school in a normal way. This caused them to tease me, and I developed low self-esteem.
My low self-esteem caused me to be afraid of school and the children there, helping me develop an anxiety issue. It’s true, step by step, the negative things connected and created an adult who has to deal with multiple struggles.
4. Risky or criminal behavior
While the boys with low self-esteem were busy going to jail, the girls were getting pregnant. At least that’s what was happening in my neighborhood where I grew up. The children in my family, mostly cousins, were stricken with low self-esteem as well.
The difference was, they hid it behind an inflated ego. As they grew into adults, many of them got involved in risky or criminal behavior. Even now, in middle age, they are still getting in trouble.
5. Suicidal tendencies
Unfortunately, you don’t always see the effects of low self-esteem in girls until it’s too late. But yes, girls with low self-esteem do sometimes grow up and commit suicide. I want you to think of all the pressure put on the female in this modern age.
Now, think of all the work it takes to live up to that pressure. If someone has low self-esteem as a child, it’s hard to make it in this world. Suicidal tendencies have become common due to this enormous pressure.
6. Substance abuse
Going along with criminal activities and risky behavior, substance abuse has become one of the things us girls have turned to because of our low self-esteem. A couple of years ago, I drank every night and secretly wished I liked myself a little more.
It took some time to appreciate the person I am, but I do now. Many women turn to substance abuse to help them forget their low self-esteem from the past and the remainder of their hurt today.
It’s not always the teenage girls who use self-harm to quiet the voices of self-hatred. Some adult women still indulge in some form of self-harm, including cutting, scratching, or just jeopardizing themselves in any way they can.
The low self-esteem that started in the past followed them and reminded them of the pain they felt as a child. Many women believe relieving psychological pain can be done by inflicting physical pain. It’s just another defense against the hopelessness.
8. Dysfunctional relationships
Many dysfunctional relationships continue because of girls with low self-esteem. Think about it this way, if you don’t think you’re worthy, then why does your partner need to treat you as if you are.
Some people, especially toxic individuals, will use a girl’s low self-esteem to control her. She will quickly become dependent upon her mate.
How to appreciate yourself
So, you’re an adult now, and yesterday is gone. Yeah, I get overwhelmed and saddened about that fact too. Well, you cannot change the past and you cannot change the imprint that the past has left upon you. What you can change is the future.
I am still struggling with self-worth, but let me tell you, it’s not anywhere as bad as it was 6 years ago. That’s because I got a divorce and moved out on my own. The reason this worked is that I was given an opportunity to get to know the real me.
I only associated with people who were genuine and positive. I spent time with my children and learned from them. YES, we can learn from our children. I painted, I wrote stories, and I spent time meditating as much as possible.
So, my offerings to you are my experiences. I had a horrible childhood, but I also remember good things. So, I try to focus on those good things. I knew monsters, real monsters, but I also was treated wonderful by a few angels in my family as well. So, I focus on that too. Also, I do have a support system, although small, which works wonders for me.
If you’ve been through this, hold on and don’t give up. I’m healing and you can too.