A sense of low self-esteem can be caused through inadequate nurturing as a result of emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child. Abuse is when a person uses their power or position to force another person to perform in order to meet their needs.

Low Self-Esteem produces a Game of Control

Those with low self-worth often convey a sense of control. To avoid others seeing the real person, and in fear of falling victim again, they may either control others by being assertive, or control themselves by being non-assertive.

The non-assertive approach of control

The person with a non-assertive approach sees self-worth as being based on what people think about himself/herself: it is important at any cost to gain the approval of others. Sufferers of anorexia go to extreme lengths to achieve their goal of acceptance.
It is important to note that in endeavouring to deal with low self-worth, a person can swing from being non-assertive to assertive, or vice versa. One can start out as an assertive achiever and swing to become a non-assertive, non-achiever or “loser”.
The non-assertive approach produces a cycle, which begins with denial and a desire to please because of fear of rejection. These people become resentful and angry with themselves and others when their goal is not achieved, which leads to depression and increased feelings of rejection of self or others. Then in order to feel better about themselves, they begin the cycle of control again

The assertive approach of control

The person with an assertive approach strives to feel good about himself/herself by meeting certain standards Feelings of never doing well enough or being good enough can create a fear of failure, which results in both a drive for perfectionism and control of self and others.
Life becomes a problem to be solved for anorexia nervosa sufferers. They are constantly caught up in doing rather than being content, restful and enjoying life. If you have feelings of never doing well enough or being good enough you will know what I mean!
The perfectionist has inflexible rules on how people should act or think. Deep down, it is felt that self-value is only obtained through achievement; therefore new challenges or other people’s opinions are threatening, as the perfectionist feels that mistakes are to be avoided at any cost to prevent shame.
The assertive approach also produces a cycle, which begins with denial and a desire to control self and others through fear of failure. To achieve this goal the assertive person is legalistic and critical of self and others. These people become defensive and angry when their goal is not achieved, which leads to feelings of loneliness and depression. To feel better about themselves they begin the cycle of control again to achieve their goal.

Source: Healthygenius

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