Seven Psychological Characteristics of People with High Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem are self-confident, happier, and more successful. Do you want to discover what characterizes them? Find out here.
Seven Psychological Characteristics of People with High Self-Esteem

Last update: 06 September, 2021

Self-esteem is perhaps the most important pillar in our psychological architecture. Indeed, from our childhood until old age, perceiving and evaluating ourselves in a positive way helps us generate and take advantage of all the opportunities that come our way.

Recognizing our ability to make valuable contributions, to positively influence the environment, or to take care of our interests makes us more attentive to what’s happening in our ecosystem. Thus, being closer to reality, we’re also better able to take advantage of it. However, what characterizes people with high self-esteem?

We could define self-esteem as the emotional assessment we make of ourselves. This arises from our self-evaluation and includes what we think and feel about ourselves and how we behave in relation to it. Therefore, it’s associated with whether we feel worthy and deserving of love and respect.

Establish secure attachment relationships

Self-esteem is closely related to attachment style. Therefore, it starts to take shape in childhood, due to the relationship that the child establishes with its main figures of attachment. If they respond to the child’s needs appropriately and consistently, offering them love and respect, they grow up feeling valuable and worthy of affection. In fact, in their first years of life, they learn to trust both themselves and others, learning to manage relationships of interdependence.

The secure bonding style learned in childhood is later transferred to other relationships. Consequently, these people are capable of feeling emotional closeness without becoming dependent. They generally enjoy healthy and long-lasting bonds.

Mother holding her son in her arms

They enjoy greater subjective well-being

Subjective well-being is defined by feelings of happiness, pleasure, and life satisfaction and the absence of unpleasant emotional states.

This kind of well-being, which we all want to achieve, is more accessible to people with high self-esteem. Since we’re the most important people in our lives, maintaining a good relationship with ourselves ensures a greater degree of tranquility and joy.

Those who possess good self-esteem feel more satisfied with who they are. For this reason, they appreciate their achievements, qualities, and opportunities more fully. This translates into a greater presence of positive emotions.

They enjoy better social relationships

To properly relate to others, we need to feel confident in ourselves. It’s this security that allows us to be authentic, to show ourselves genuinely without fear of rejection, and without the need to put on a mask.

Indeed, people with high self-esteem don’t need to hide or defend themselves. Nor do they usually feel anxiety when interacting socially and they manage to relate to others from balanced and satisfactory positions. In addition, the love and respect they feel for themselves they pass on to others, in the hope of receiving the same in return. For this reason, they’re unlikely to engage or remain in toxic and damaging relationships.

They’re more optimistic and resilient

People who know they’re valuable, worthy, and deserving see their futures as more open and bright. Self-confidence allows them to expect good results since they know that they have the capabilities to achieve what they set out to do. In addition, they’re more likely to focus on what works in their life, and how to improve those aspects that don’t work. Therefore, they don’t get bogged down in victimhood and self-pity.

Furthermore, when adversities appear, people with high self-esteem are better able to cope with them, learn from them, recover, and come out stronger. Indeed, their levels of self-esteem mean they’re able to look after themselves, hence deal with difficulties quickly and with minimal suffering.

They’re assertive

Assertiveness implies being able to relate to others from a balanced position. People who are assertive don’t try to impose themselves onto others, nor do they allow themselves to be subjugated. In order to achieve this, good self-esteem is essential.

Assertive people manage to express their desires, emotions, opinions, and needs firmly but with respect. They know how to set limits and don’t resort to submission or aggressiveness in order to maintain their relationships.

They learn from their mistakes and are capable of taking on challenges

We tend to think that despotic and self-centered people who never admit their mistakes have high self-esteem. However, this isn’t so. As a matter of fact, those who genuinely appreciate and value themselves accept both their strengths and their weaknesses.They have no need to appear perfect and they’re capable of accepting their faults and facing criticism.

Since they understand that failing is a part of life, they’re not afraid of it. In fact, they learn from their mistakes and rise up with renewed strength. Their good self-concept allows them to take on challenges, knowing that they’ll be able to reach their goal. However, if it doesn’t happen, they’ll have learned valuable lessons along the way.

They’re autonomous, responsible, and easy-going

Finally, we can gauge a person’s level of self-esteem by observing how they take charge of their own life. Generally, they’re autonomous, determined, and independent. In other words, they stand up for themselves and take responsibility for their situation and their actions.

When self-esteem is lacking, people perceive themselves as weak and incapable. For this reason, they tend to look to others for approval or support that they can’t obtain from inside themselves.

Woman working proactivity

We can all be people with high self-esteem

As you can see, having good self-esteem has numerous advantages on both a personal and social level. For this reason, it’s a dimension that therapists frequently work on, either directly or indirectly, in consultations.

However, not all of us have had the right conditions to form a positive image of ourselves. Indeed, unfortunately, there are many people who haven’t had a teacher, someone to show them all the good there is inside them. As a matter of fact, some people have been surrounded by those who’ve done the exact opposite and continually undermined them.

If this is the situation you’re in, you need to know that you can work on your self-esteem. For this, you need to analyze what concept you have of yourself, how it’s come to be formed, and what you need to do to change it. There are several guidelines and tools that can help you improve your self-esteem. Nevertheless, having professional help is always the best way to achieve it. Therefore, if you feel that you need it, don’t hesitate to make a start on this personal project. Do it now.

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.

  • Castanyer, O. (2010). La asertividad: expresión de una sana autoestima. Desclée de Brouwer.
  • Bylsma, W. H., Cozzarelli, C., & Sumer, N. (1997). Relation between adult attachment styles and global self-esteem. Basic and applied social psychology19(1), 1-16.
  • Leiva, L., Pineda, M., & Encina, Y. (2013). Autoestima y apoyo social como predictores de la resiliencia en un grupo de adolescentes en vulnerabilidad social. Revista de Psicología22(2), ág-111.

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