Causes Of Low Self Esteem? Not Getting Those Dependency Needs Met! 

 What are the causes of low self esteem?  What happened to us that we don’t feel good about ourselves or our lives? Where did we get sidetracked?

Feeling low self esteem is not fun.  I’ve been there and either felt depressed or sad most of the time.  It wasn’t till I was a young adult that I took responsibility for my life and raised my self esteem. Mind you, that didn’t happen overnight, it was more like a gradual awakening.


Main Causes Of Low Self Esteem

Not getting our dependency needs met as children is the main cause of low self esteem!!! See dependency needs.


From an infant to school age, we have dependency needs that we can’t meet on our own and rely upon our parents or primary caregivers to get these needs met for us. These dependency needs are part of the critical childhood developmental stages of our lives. 

If we don’t get these needs met as children, we grow up to be dysfunctional adults with a wounded out of control inner child running our lives. The sad part is we are still trying to get these needs meet however get them met by inappropriate means.

More often than not, our own parents did not get their own dependency needs met, so were unable to help us get our dependency needs met.  This seems to be part of the human condition. 


For Example:

Infant children: 0 -9 Months.

Physical Dependency Needs:  Basic physical survival needs: shelter, warmth, food, diapers changed.

Emotional Dependency Needs:  The need to be bonded to a nurturing, mothering person.  The need for love and affection.  The need for closeness and to be held.

What happens when we get these dependency needs met?  What happens to the child?

When the infant gets his or her dependency needs met the child feels:  I have hope. I can just be. I can trust you. I am you. (part of the baby, Mother, Father bonding).

What Can Happen When We Don't Get These Infant Needs Met?

If the Mother is not there for the child, the child comes to believe that he has no right to depend on anyone. This will set up addiction issues later as an adult. 

The adult now thinks that because there was no one there for him or her as an infant, she or he now looks for belonging in other people, substances such as alcohol, drugs, sex, work, shopping etc.  The addiction cycle now takes hold. 


The causes of low self esteem could be many, however, the single most important cause is having our children, not get their dependency needs met. Getting these dependency needs met for our children is absolutely critical to their development into happy, healthy, successful adults. 

The world is full of dysfunctional people.  It’s time to learn new ways of parenting so our children can grow up to be functional and happy and learn how to get their own needs met in healthy appropriate ways.

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