Five Traits of People Who Feel They're Not Worthy of Love

People who feel they're not worthy of love find it difficult to ask for favors. They feel really good when they receive the attention of others, however at the same time they feel they just don't deserve it. Find out more here.
Five Traits of People Who Feel They're Not Worthy of Love

Last update: 19 August, 2021

People who feel they’re not worthy of love often structure their lives in such a way that severely limits their performance. However, this lack of self-esteem proves to be a great drag on their personal development.

In addition, people who feel they’re not worthy of love also have difficulty establishing healthy relationships with others. For this reason, the risk of them forming toxic or abusive relationships increases.

In order to change, it’s important that they feel at peace with themselves. If this doesn’t happen, they’ll find it difficult to continue growing and to reach any kind of equilibrium or stability in their lives.

There are some common traits in people who feel they’re not worthy of love. Here are five of them:

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

Mark Twain-

1. The motivation to please others is extremely high

People who feel they’re not worthy of love live with the belief that they need to go the extra mile to receive acceptance from others. In fact, they pressure themselves to invest a lot of their resources in the achievement of this goal. This manifests itself in a constant desire to please others.

For them, social reinforcement is extremely important. Having someone recognize their work or its value is an indicator for them that their effort has been worth it. On the other hand, they feel a real fear of criticism. This is because they tend to take it personally. Indeed, deep down inside them, what exists is an extremely intense fear of social rejection.

Sad woman because she does not feel worthy of love

2. Doubt paralyzes them

Another feature that characterizes people who feel they’re not worthy of love is the constant doubt about what they think, feel, and are. Their fear of being wrong is as recurrent as it’s intense. They see opportunities or challenges as traps in which they can go wrong, showing others how little they’re actually worth. That’s why they hesitate before taking any step that may involve risk.

In these cases, the person starts from the idea that their opinions aren’t really worth much. For this reason, they prefer to keep them to themselves. In fact, they avoid elaborating on them and prefer to latch on to the opinions of others. When they work in a team, they usually leave the task of making decisions to others. As a matter of fact, they feel much more comfortable when they’re given tasks of medium-low difficulty.

3. They don’t ask, and certainly don’t demand

It’s very difficult for these kinds of people to ask for anything. This sometimes means they end up having to make extremely urgent last-minute requests. Naturally, this leaves very little margin for those who want to help them.

These people work on the basis that they don’t deserve any help from others. At the same time, they tend to think that requests for help project an image of weakness.

Furthermore, they fear the conflict that might arise if they make a request and it’s rejected. In this sense, they try to have the least possible influence on the lives of others. They think along the lines of “if they stay away from me, it’ll be easier for me to hide and they won’t see my weaknesses”.

Worried woman looking out the window

4. They hide their feelings

People who feel they’re not worthy of love also hide their feelings. In fact, they give little value to what they feel, to the point that they too often end up ignoring it. In these instances, they have a tendency to feel that they’re always somewhat out of context, in the wrong place, or being a nuisance.

It’s very difficult for them to express what they feel. This is because it seems to them that what they feel doesn’t really matter. Furthermore, they often apologize on the occasions they find that they can no longer keep their emotions bottled up inside them. This is especially relevant in emotions that involve assertion, like anger.

5. They overvalue others who offer them attention

Although in some way it seems like a contradiction, people who feel they’re not worthy of love do establish strong emotional bonds with others. However, it’s not uncommon for them to overlook disrespect, even from strangers. In fact, they look at it as just one more wound inflicted on their battered emotional body.  At the same time, they tend to overvalue anyone who offers them attention and affection.

As a matter of fact, it’s as if the other person possesses what they lack: affection for themselves. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t lead to a greater appreciation of who they are, but to an attempt of building a symbiotic relationship. Indeed, it’s extremely easy for them to end up idealizing the other person and to subsequently become dependent upon them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bourbeau, L. (2003) Las cinco heridas que impiden ser uno mismo. OB Stare.
  • Stamateas, B. (2012). Heridas emocionales. B De Books.
  • Vallespir, N. (2018). Del amor al amparo: La envoltura amatoria del cuerpo. Revista uruguaya de Psicoanálisis (en línea), 127, 125-142.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.