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4. Seeking constant validation

4. Seeking constant validation

Despite their intelligence, these individuals may struggle to believe in their own worth. As a result, they often look to others for affirmation, constantly seeking praise or validation to reassure themselves of their competence and worthiness.

This constant need for approval can lead them to make choices that aren’t necessarily in their best interests, but are aimed at pleasing others. They might agree with others even when they don’t truly feel the same way, or take on tasks they don’t want to, just to earn praise or avoid criticism.


156 reads


Self-Worth and Success

Self-Worth and Success

They might be exceptional at what they do, but they downplay their skills and accomplishments. This can hold them back from reaching their full potential, as they fail to recognize and appreciate their own worth.


216 reads

The fear of making a mistake or being judged and criticized is often amplified in intelligent people with low self-esteem. This fear can lead to constant self-doubt, resulting in indecisiveness and procrastination.



697 reads

Self-Esteem and Intelligence

Self-Esteem and Intelligence

Being smart doesn't always equate to high self-esteem. In fact, it's not uncommon for some of the most intelligent people to struggle with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy.

Highly intelligent people often exhibit certain behaviors that hint at their low self-esteem, despite their intel...


939 reads

2. Perfectionism and fear of failure

2. Perfectionism and fear of failure

I've always been driven to excel academically and professionally. However, beneath my drive for success, there was a deep-seated fear of failure and a relentless pursuit of perfection. I would spend hours refining a single paragraph in an essay or rehearsing a presentation to the point of exhaust...


354 reads

Common Inner Struggles

1. Overthinking Every Decision

2. Perfectionism and Fear of Failure

3. Underestimating Abilities

4. Seeking Constant Validation

5. Avoidance of Risk

6. Struggling with Self-Acceptance

7. Fear of Success

8. Difficulty Accepting Compliments

9. Constan...


913 reads

Perfectionism and Growth

Perfectionism and Growth

However, this type of perfectionism does not lead to excellence, but rather inhibits growth. It is a self-sabotaging behavior that stems from low self-esteem.


344 reads

1. Overthinking Every Decision

1. Overthinking Every Decision

Smart people with low self-esteem often have a tendency to overthink even the smallest decisions.

Their intelligence allows them to see multiple perspectives and potential outcomes, which, while beneficial at times, can also lead to indecision and anxiety. They might spend hrs contemplating...


678 reads

Avoiding Opportunities to Shine🌟

Avoiding opportunities to shine or seeming uncomfortable with achievements, could be a highly intelligent individual struggling with low self-esteem and a fear of success.


115 reads

8. Difficulty accepting compliments

8. Difficulty accepting compliments

Instead of simply saying “thank you,” they might downplay the compliment, dismiss it, or even deflect it back. They may feel uncomfortable or undeserving, and might question the sincerity of the compliment.

This difficulty in accepting compliments is not about false modesty, but rather a g...


19 reads

5. Avoidance of Risk

5. Avoidance of Risk

Risk-taking is often necessary for growth and success, but smart people with low self-esteem tend to avoid it at all costs.

  • They often avoid taking risks.
  • This is due to a fear of failure and potential damage to their self-esteem.
  • Their...


122 reads

7. Fear of success

7. Fear of success

Even those who have achieved high grades or excelled in their career may find themselves feeling anxious rather than happy. The expectation to maintain or surpass that level of achievement can be daunting.

Success can be scary because it raises the stakes, brings more attention, and increas...


96 reads

3. Underestimating abilities

3. Underestimating abilities

They often underestimate their abilities and skills. They may excel in certain areas, but they'll dismiss their achievements as luck or timing rather than acknowledging their own capabilities.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect


209 reads

Self-acceptance and Self-critical

If you see someone who is excessively self-critical or struggles to acknowledge their own worth, they might be a highly intelligent person dealing with low self-esteem. It’s important to show empathy and understanding towards these individuals, as their journey towards self-acceptance might be a ...


118 reads

6. Struggling with Self-Acceptance

6. Struggling with Self-Acceptance

Despite their intelligence and potential, they often fail to see their own worth. They focus on their perceived flaws and shortcomings, while overlooking their strengths and capabilities.

Their internal dialogue is often one of self-criticism and self-doubt. They might be their own harshest...


118 reads




φ 𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚘𝚙𝚑𝚢 | ⚖ 𝒑𝒔𝒚𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒚 𝚿 | ѕριяιтυαℓιту 𖦹

We will delve into behaviors commonly displayed by smart people with low self-esteem. By understanding these behaviors is the first step towards addressing and improving self-esteem. So let's get started.

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Narcissistic characteristics

Narcissistic characteristics

  • having an inflated sense of self
  • needing constant praise
  • taking advantage of others
  • not recognizing or caring about the needs of others

People with narcissistic tendencies are often very sensitive to criticism, despite their high self-esteem.

Exaggerated need for attention

Narcissists need constant attention—even following you around the house or constantly saying something to grab your attention. 

Despite all their self-absorbed, grandiose bragging, narcissists are actually very insecure and fearful of not measuring up. They constantly tr...

Emotional Validation

Emotional Validation

  • Many people need approval from others when it comes to one’s shortcomings and the inability to be perfect. It is comforting to seek and get some sort of validation, but there is a price to pay for this.
  • The trap that people fall into is called the ‘borrowi...

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