Teens and Unhealthy Self Esteem

November 26, 2008 · Print This Article

Major Tasks of Development

One of the major tasks of adolescence is for the teenager to re-evaluate themselves. There are three main areas of evaluation:appearance, performance, and status. Teens conduct on a daily basis a self-evaluation of their functioning in these three areas. This self-evaluation helps create their self concept.

Causes and Effects of Unhealthy Self Esteem

While there are many factors that may contribute to unhealthy self esteem there are several that
clearly impact self-esteem: abuse, perceived parental rejection, and ‘stinking’ thinking.
The effects of unhealthy self-esteem are the teens attitude toward his/her world and the ability to cope
with challenges. They will tend to believe they cannot influence their world and are victims of life circumstances.

Symptoms of Unhealthy Self Esteem

Some symptoms of unhealthy low self esteem are:

  • pessimistic outlook on life
  • lack of confidence
  • extreme sensitivity to criticism
  • view of others as competition
  • defensiveness in behavior and conversation
  • attitude of chip on shoulder
  • constant anger
  • inability to accept compliments
  • pattern of self-defeating behaviors

Some other symptoms of unhealthy high self esteem:

  • overinflated ego
  • unrealistic appraisal of ability to complete a task
  • overly optimistic look of life that denies reality
  • lacks empathy for others
  • defensive
  • puts others on the defense chronically
  • does not use their past as a learning experience
  • life is a one way street
  • takes the path of least resistance as a way of life
  • refuses to be held accountable
  • blames others frequently

A poor self image is not formed overnight and takes time to nurture and develop a positive self image. Help is available


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