Teens are wonderful but they can be so elusive at times. Oftentimes we don’t know if we should be worried or if we are simply witnessing typical teenage behavior. If you have a hunch that your teen might be more than just moody, this post is for you.
Three behaviors often displayed by teens who are experiencing low self worth:
1. Body Language
Teens who suffer from low self-esteem find it very hard to make eye contact with others. They avoid making this connection because they often assume that others are judging them or have the same negative view of them as they do. Additionally, teens who feel worthless often walk with their head down with their chin fixed to the top of their chest. This can be a physical expression of shame and embarrassment and an indication that they want to hide from social situations and go unnoticed.
2. Bragging and Exaggeration
It’s not uncommon for teens who are struggling with low self-worth to mask their true feelings by bragging about themselves and their achievements and/or appearance. Teens who are constantly telling larger-than-life stories about how good they are or how good they look are trying to convince themselves and others that they have worth. Many teens are desperate for external validation that will drown out the internal voices that hurt them.
3. Negative Self-Talk
The way teens talk about themselves will often convey what they truly believe about themselves. Teenagers who commonly refer to themselves as stupid or worthless are expressing a belief about who they are. Phrases like “What’s wrong with me,” “I never get it right” or “I shouldn’t have been born,” are examples of someone expressing negative beliefs about who they are.
Please remember that nearly every teen will exhibit negative behaviors from time to time. However, if you notice that some of these behaviors are becoming the “norm” please consider talking to a teen coach, therapist or other professional to gain added clarity concerning your teen.