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If you feel inadequate you are not alone. Author Dr. Paul Otke is a  psychologist mellowed by  a kaleidoscope of experiences. In this autobiographical account, he openly describes personal feelings and insights relating to struggles with feelings of inadequacy from early childhood to retirement, and transformation to fulfillment.
MANIFESTATION OF POOR SELF IMAGE
How is your self Image? Is it healthy, or you are also a victim of poor self image? There are a number of ways in which poor self image manifests its self. And it is worth knowing the various manifestations of unhealthy self image. If you do not have any of the symptoms that I am discussing in this section, then accept my 'CONGRATULATIONS.' You may have a healthy self image and you are on a fast track to success.


An 'I don't care' attitude
If you look around yourself, you will find people who are unkempt and shabby. There are people who are obese but still never control their diets or take up physical activities. There are those who dress up in a fashion that may be plain stupid or even hilarious. And they show as if they give a damn or don't care.' In fact this kind of attitude is adopted by people with poor self-image. They do not really see themselves as decent, acceptable and appreciable individuals. They sub-consciously feel miserable, and to overcome their internal misery, they wear this 'don't care' attitude. These people have accepted themselves as a failure and do nothing to change that.


Indecent behavior
Making objectionable gestures, using profane language or any kind of indecent behavior is another manifestation of poor self image. Such people do not see themselves as a part of the civilized society and thus behave in a fashion that is socially unacceptable but definitely consistent with their own self image.


Lack of Assertiveness
People with unhealthy self image do not see themselves worthy enough to have acceptable point of view. Such people will allow others to walk all over them, let themselves be bullied, or let others take advantage of them. They will not be assertive in front of their colleagues, friends and even children. They feel if they assert themselves, they will not be acceptable to others. Such people live a helpless and lonely life, and every time they fail to assert themselves their self-image plunges down further.


Critical and jealous nature
People with low self-image never see themselves as a success, and therefore never succeed. In order to overcome their feeling of failure, they exhibit jealous tendencies towards those who are successful and actually are critical about their success rather than appreciating it. Show them a person who is successful and they will talk about the 'skeletons in his cupboard'. 


Gossip mongers
These whispering Eavesdroppers talk behind your back, causing incredible chaos by criticizing everyone imaginable-family, friends, relatives, co-workers, bosses, and especially strangers. These Busybodies start rumors and put others down. In fact these characters have an extremely low self image and they sensationalize issues about others, thus making their lives miserable and thus deriving a sense of pseudo superiority.


Emphasis on material things and habit of showing off
These exaggerators are people with poor self image, who will spend a fortune on trendy cloths, jewels, cars. They are loudmouth about their exploits and achievements that may even sound outlandish. They always want to be center stage, and admired by other people. Since they feel low inside, they try to cover it up by looking great outside. However, such show-offs end up as the objects of contempt and a laughing stock for others.


The Yes People
These are people who are too scared to offend others by saying 'No'. So they say 'Yes' every time and end up making promises that are impossible for them to keep. Eager to get themselves liked by all and sundry they are too scared to turn anyone down. Over-zealous to please, unfortunately, they over commit themselves and hence are unable to deliver in spite of their best intentions, As a result they loose respect in eyes of others as well as themselves, thus further lowering their self-image.


Uncomfortable feeling when alone
People with low self image are not their own friend. In fact they are their own worst enemies. They always need to talk to somebody, or have company. Left alone they feel scared and uncomfortable. After all they are alone with the enemy who thinks poorly of them. They, in order to ward off the uncomfortable feeling, will listen to loud music, or keep the television switched on, or may even take to alcohol and drugs.


Unable to accept criticism
People with unhealthy self-image are always scared of their reputation and crave for recognition. Slightest words of criticism appear to them as a threat to their reputation among the peer group. So, they usually take criticism as a personal attack on their position within the group and hence react negatively to even friendly criticism by getting angry or by throwing a tantrum.



Poor sense of humor
These are pranksters and practical jokers who are always cracking jokes, and passing rude and insulting remarks at all and sundry, thinking that they are being very funny. They derive satisfaction and fake sense of superiority by hurting others. However, they can not tolerate when same happens to them. They can not bear anyone laughing at them. They even react unnaturally at innocent laughter as they always suspect that they are the topic of the joke. Since they do it themselves, they always feel others are doing it to them. (Actually their self-image is so low that they consider themselves as a perfect victim of the pranks and jokes they play on others).


Lack of genuine friends & broken relationships
A person with a poor self image will deny anything good for themselves. And one good thing they always deny is good decent relationships. Usually they fail to get genuine friendships as they can not accept criticism. They are unable to enjoy healthy relationships with their lovers, spouse, other family members or children, as they allow their internal insecurities to take better of them, and they do not give much required space to their relationships. Because, they do not consider themselves worthy of love, respect and friendship, they can never recognize them when they get it, and become over demanding, possessive and controlling, that ultimately kills the relationship.  Alternatively if they lack assertiveness they will let everyone walk all over them, and never really earn any respect and will not enjoy the relationship.


Making excuses
Success and failure are personal responsibility of every individual. People with low self image are unable to owe up the responsibility of their actions, whether it resulted in failure or success. They will blame their circumstances, people around them and may be their own inadequacies for each of their failures. By making excuses they try to protect their already low self image. Surprisingly, even if they do achieve something, they are unable to accept the credit for the same. They exhibit excessive humility, and pass


Rebel outlaws
A dog barks when it needs attention; children act naughty or throw tantrums when they are seeking attention of their parents who are busy elsewhere. Similarly, there are many individuals with low self image who continuously need attention to feed their fragile egos.  They actually never grow up.These radicals crave attention so much that they will join cults, gangs and wrong crowds. They will reject accepted authority and be involved in acts such as terrorism, rebellion, and many other criminal activities. Though, unacceptable in society, it definitely gets them attention that they so desperately seek.

In fact self-image plays such an important role in a person's life that all his problems and reasons of failure can be attached with unhealthy self image. Apart from the manifestations of low self image discussed here there are many other character traits that have their seed in it. Compulsive liar, Power fanatic, Angry maniac, Stressaholic, Chatterbox, Spoiled Brat, Conceited looker, Selfish people etc. are all examples of people with poor self-image.
A Story About Self Image
Getting An Adequate Self Image
"The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image."
- Brian Tracy
 
"An individual's self-concept is the core of his personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life."
-Dr. Joyce Brothers