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  1. “Low self-esteem” is a descriptive expression that can be used in any way you want.

    Objectively low self-esteem is probably when a person has objectively high results relative to other people, clearly measurable, and he believes that in these indicators he is an outsider. For example, a world champion swimmer, who for some reason would think that he swims like an axe. — This is hardly possible if a person is mentally healthy. Then you will have to think about depression or psychotic state.

    Usually, however, it means that a person simply evaluates himself more harshly, pessimistically, than most people with similar qualities, in a similar situation, evaluate themselves.

    Then how to understand – to answer your question – that this is happening.

    1) According to socially approved qualities: intelligence, appearance, competence, sociability, ability to drive a car (if a person drives it at all), general abilities, the average person from 0 to 100 marks himself in the region of 75, give or take.

    That is, the other day I consult a client, exclude depression with him (of course, approximately, I'm still not a psychiatrist, but I'm quite competent to determine whether “probably not” or “I should go to a specialized specialist”). – And he tells about his plans for the future, quite ambitious. I ask: how do you assess the probability that all this will really work out for you? – Well … percent… 85.�

    I see, right? – So it doesn't really look like low self-esteem anymore.

    If it is around 50, and even more so 40, etc. – yes, a person evaluates himself more harshly than people usually evaluate themselves.

    Please note: this may not have any special connection to real qualities. The bottom line is that normally the whole mass of ordinary drivers, average, believes that they drive better than average. A driver who is an average driver (by 50%) and notes that he is an average driver (by 50%) has low self – esteem relative to the usual level. Although in reality, just it can be accurate! – In social psychology, there is a special term for this: “depressive realism.” No matter how funny/ offensive, etc., just how much more depressing the assessment of their qualities and prospects is objectively usually closer to reality.

    At the same time, “rose-colored glasses” are quite useful, for reasons that are obvious…

    2) The general high percentage of depressive thoughts about yourself, the habit of thinking and expressing in the spirit of “everything is bad”, “I can't do it”,” I can't do it”, etc. – That is, it is a high percentage, a steady predominance of such thoughts, at the automatic level, over optimistic ones.

    • ..Hmm. Personally, I have a distinct tendency to low self-esteem. – But I hold on!)))

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