There are a multitude of reasons people develop low confidence or low self-esteem in their lives. They could have been bullied as a kid or moved around a lot when they were young, making them the new kid all the time. They could have been abused or neglected by their parents. The list goes on. For whatever reason, someone fails to develop belief in themselves, and feels that they’re not good enough or smart enough. They have been told that they are ugly, stupid or uncool so long that they have started to believe it themselves. They may not show it all the time, but there are indicators that someone has a low confidence level.
Here are 5 signs that reveal someone has a low confidence level:
1. Unable To Accept A Compliment
A person with a healthy level of confidence will accept a compliment and reply with a simple thank you. But, someone who does not believe in themselves will make excuses for why it isn’t true. They will unconsciously reject the positive view of themselves from a another person in favor of the false notion that they are not worthy of such a compliment. They may even become flustered by the uncommon attention and become visibly uncomfortable. If you want to raise someone’s confidence level, then keep complimenting them on a regular basis. Don’t argue with them when they reject it, but just keep building them up on a regular basis.
2. No Eye Contact
People who are not confident in themselves and their own abilities find it difficult to meet the gaze of someone else. They say the eyes are the windows of the soul, and a person with low confidence is afraid you will see right through them and notice their perceived flaws just like they have. If someone has a hard time looking at you when you are talking to them, they may have such a low confidence level that the act of looking someone in the eye makes them intensely uncomfortable.
3. Apologizing For No Real Reason
People who have a low confidence level will also apologize when they have done nothing wrong. They apologize for other people’s behavior. They apologize that they did not arrive earlier even though they are already early. They will hand in a project and apologize for its quality before you have even had a chance to look at it. They are staving off the perceived future criticism they just know is coming with a preemptive apology. They are trying to prevent future criticism by criticizing themselves first before you have a chance to do it.
Someone who lacks self-confidence will be unable to make a decision. Simple decisions like where to eat will be difficult because they are riddled with self-doubt. What if they choose wrong? They just know that if they make the wrong decision they will be criticized, so they avoid that unvoiced criticism by not making a decision to begin with or passing the responsibility to someone else. They do not believe they are capable of making the right choice and lack the faith in their own abilities to weigh the pros and cons objectively. It is much easier to just let other people choose so that they can take the heat if it turns out to be the wrong choice.
5. Self-Deprecating Humor
People who have been bullied or picked on in the past learn to either stand up for themselves or they learn to beat the bully to the punch, as it were. They will make the joke about themselves before someone else has the opportunity. Jokes made at your expense by someone else will hurt you, but if you make it before they can, it doesn’t hurt as much. It is like an inoculation protecting you from the cruel jokes of others. People will use humor and comedy as a shield to protect themselves from cruel jokes of others. It is also a symptom of their own lack of self-worth. They have heard that they are worthless, ugly or stupid for so long that they begin doing it to themselves.