Causes of Low Self-Esteem in Teenagers

Low self-esteem is prevalent among teenagers, but it can be difficult to tell if it is a symptom of something more serious. Fortunately, you can have a beneficial impact on your adolescent and assist them in developing healthy self-esteem. 

Here are some of the most common causes of poor teen self-esteem, as well as what a parent may do to help with each one. 

1. Having Trouble Understanding Moods and Emotions

Teens have a hard time recognizing and responding to feelings, as well as remembering that sensations aren’t permanent. Adults suffer from this as well, but the emotional anguish that a teen goes through is considerably more extreme. A teen may feel befuddled, inadequate, or alone as a result of this. 

A teen may feel unable to seek the assistance they require. A teen with low self-esteem is highly susceptible. Because of the popular notion that all teenagers are irritable, depression and anxiety among teens can be difficult to detect. 

2. Being Stuck in Negative Thought Patterns

Excessive concern, anxiety, and/or negativity are frequently associated with low self-esteem. Expecting the worst damages your teen’s feeling of possibility or capability, setting in motion a negative cycle of ideas and behaviors. 

For example, your teen may predict that a test will be difficult and hence avoid taking it or studying for it. Because of this inclination toward a lack of positive action when thinking negatively, low self-esteem is sometimes misdiagnosed as lethargy in teenagers. 

Teens’ negative thinking patterns can become habitual as they seek to make sense of the adult world. Your adolescent may adopt unfavorable beliefs about themselves or the world very fast. 

3. Experiencing Breakdowns in Communication

Low self-esteem can be both a cause and a symptom of difficulty communicating positively with those around them. Your teen will become estranged from you and other helpful adults, as well as from vital peer relationships if communication breaks down. 

Trouble in your teen’s social world has a detrimental impact on your teen’s internal world, and trouble in your teen’s social world is a critical element of his or her growth. A teen’s self-esteem might be harmed by negative or contradictory messages from the outside world. 

It’s not just poor communication (such as bullying or criticism) that contributes to a teen’s low self-esteem; it’s also an inability to express the feelings that accompany these challenges.  

4. Uninvolved/Negligent Parents

Parents who spend little time at home with their children, or parents and guardians who are dealing with mental health concerns, substance addiction issues, or other difficulties, may be unable to offer the care, direction, and attention that their children require and deserve. For young people, this can lead to feelings of abandonment and low self-esteem. 

Negative peers: Being a part of a social group that degrades others via disrespect, peer pressure, and bullying may drive others to feel that there is something wrong with them and that they are to blame.  These bad practices can become harmful over time, destroying a person’s self-esteem. 

5. Trauma

Abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or a combination of these, can leave victims feeling ashamed and guilty. A teen may believe that he or she did something to deserve the abuse or that he or she is unworthy of the abuser’s respect, affection, and care. Teenagers who have been abused may experience severe anxiety and sadness as a result of the trauma, which can make it difficult for them to live happy life. 

6. Body Image

Body image is a significant role in a teen’s self-esteem, particularly for young women. According to studies, 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies at the age of 13, rising to 78 percent by the age of 17, and 50% of teen girls and 30% of teen boys engage in hazardous weight-loss habits such as skipping meals, vomiting, smoking cigarettes, fasting, and using laxatives. In the media, female bodies are frequently objectified, making it appear as if they are there for others to look at, touch, or use. For many kids, puberty is a dramatic and frightening experience that causes them to compare themselves to what they see in the media, leading to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and powerlessness. While body image messages affect young women disproportionately, young guys are not exempt. Many young men suffer from low self-esteem as a result of their weight and body composition, especially when it comes to muscle mass.