3 Social Media Habits That Kill Your Self-Esteem And Confidence

You deserve to feel good about yourself.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Social media habits that kill confidence
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Every time you feel hurt, guilty, not good enough, or upset about your life, body, or relationship by comparing yourself to other people on social media, your self-esteem takes a hit.

Although it’s empowering to connect with the world with the click of a virtual button, it can be just as quick and easy to discover more ways you are not who or where you want to be yet — and that can feel absolutely terrible.

Feeling inspired and positively fired up by what you see on social media apps is great, but if you’re feeling dragged down by it, it has more of a negative impact than you realize.

Your self-esteem is a puzzle with three fragile pieces. And if any piece is bent, broken, or wadded up, your puzzle is incomplete and your confidence suffers — and that impacts every area of your life, every second of your day. Yes, it is that big of a deal.

There are 3 pieces to your self-esteem puzzle:

  1. Self-confidence: how you feel about yourself
  2. Self-respect: what you think of yourself
  3. Self-image: how you see yourself

Here are 3 social media habits that kill your self-esteem, confidence and overall self-image.

1. Comparing yourself

When learning how to be more confident in your own skin, comparing your body to someone who’s slimmer, more fit, or more attractive than you damages your self-image.

You need to feel good in your own skin. It’s completely possible for you to feel healthy, happy and whole even if you don’t look like a magazine cover model.

Stop comparing yourself by saying, “That’s for me” when you see something you like or want. Your subconscious mind loves direct requests so it can magnetize those things into your life.

Look at it like you’re ordering food in a restaurant. You don’t just say, “Bring me dinner.” You order what you want specifically and that’s what you get.

2. Pretending to be someone you’re not

Flirting or posting online to gain attention or acceptance instead of nurturing your real, personal relationships decreases your self-respect.

If your gut feeling tells you it’s wrong, it’s wrong, so stop doing it. Social media gets your basic psychological need for connection met very quickly but often at the cost of a healthy relationship with yourself and your partner and family — the real connections you need.

You can feel connected, energized, and empowered to be the woman you’re meant to be. There’s no need to settle for virtual, global acceptance or superficial drama delivered conveniently 24/7 to your phone. You deserve better.

3. Basing how you feel about yourself on other’s accomplishments

Feeling less than when you see someone who is more talented, doing a better job, or getting more business, money, or accolades than you can drop your self-confidence like a rock.

Being confident is about how you feel about you. Anything that makes you different or unique is where your power lies. Get to know who you are, what you believe, your values, and what you bring to the table. Your self-acceptance is more precious than anyone else’s opinion of you will ever be. Ever.

Of course, there are the posts that feel good, too. All of the kindness, rescue puppies, and positive quote posts can really boost your mood and attitude. However, mixed in with those uplifting messages are the ones that cut, burn, and hurt.

If building confidence is your goal, then you need to enforce strong boundaries when it comes to your bad social media habits.

Yes, other people can post and say what they want, just like you can. But, if you are connected to someone who regularly offends or lowers your mood, disconnect from them. They are not an energetic fit for you. Like in a relationship, sometimes, you just don’t feel the chemistry you’re looking for.

Originally published on

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Michelle Margaret Marques

The Power Of Our Habits Is Underestimated.

by Michelle Margaret Marques
Ways To Boost Self-Esteem

5 Ways To Boost Self-Esteem And Feel Good About Yourself

by Shubham Shukla
People of today grow up with unfortunate, self-esteem degrading messages. Our media culture slaps humor on top of it in sitcoms or dresses it up in passionate looking cologne ads, but the underlying meaning is the same: who you are as a man is dangerous, perverted and not enough. The breakdown that is happening to the modern male psyche is creating a serious displacement of masculine power and vulnerability in our world today. There are so few places that men feel truly welcomed and even fewer places where they feel they belong. I grew up in a violent home where there was a daily psychological breakdown of my sense of self. I was made to believe that I possessed no intrinsic value and that everything I did only brought on more disgrace and shame. As I grew older, I became afraid that everything my tormentor told me was right: that I was worthless, cowardly, slutty, selfish and stupid. Any time we are put down, rejected or exiled, there is a shattering of our inherent self-esteem. The pieces scatter and we cannot go backward in time to retrieve the lost pieces of ourselves. We cannot change our past, but we can bear witness to and utilize our pain to help us move forward powerfully. The Difference between Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence The difference between self-esteem and self-confidence is an important one. Self-confidence is to have trust or faith in our abilities. It is about how well we perform, the quality of our work, our ability to connect, or our love making skills, in relation to others. Self-confidence is born from the strategies and tactics which, in ideal circumstances, we would learn from our parents and community as we grow up. Most of us did not grow up in the ideal and we've had to teach ourselves to have confidence in our abilities as adults. While this is incredibly important, I have seen men build confidence every way to Wednesday and still lack fulfillment. The trick to creating fulfillment is to first build self-esteem then self-confidence. The etymology of the word esteem is 'to value'. Self-esteem, then, is how much value or worth we place on ourselves. Unlike self-confidence which grows based on our achievements in relation to other, self-esteem is rooted in belonging to the whole. When we have a unique offering, and it is needed in the whole, we feel an inherent sense of value. Self-esteem happens when you give your true self to where it is most needed in the world. One Powerful Strategy & Instant Self-Esteem Boosting How do we find the gifts of our true self? To retrieve the power of your genius, look within your pain. The strategy looks like this: • 1.Find the Pain (words): Write down the top 3 most hurtful words anyone has ever said to you • 2.Specificity: Go deeper with each one, be specific about what the words were directed at (what were you doing or being in the moment?) • 3.Positive Replacement: If you could replace the hurtful-vomit-words with a positive version or a compliment – what would the positive replacement words be? (Try completing the sentence, "It's okay that ______ . or, I like that ______ .) • 4.Simplify: Simplify #3 until you the positive replacement quality that is 1-5 words in length – this is one of the gifts of your true self This powerful strategy uncovers the deepest gifts you have to offer. **Please note, however, that the instant self-esteem boost happens not when you uncover the gift, but when you give it to someone who needs it most. ** I've completed a quick example of my own to show you how it's done: • The Pain (word): chicken-shit • Specificity: when I visibly expressed any fear or anxiety, especially when going to a social situation • Positive replacement: It's okay that you feel nervous. It's good to feel what you feel – that way you can be honest with yourself and what you need. • Simplify: I am honest or I am authentic Instant Self-Esteem Boost: When I give the gift of my authenticity (which is insanely vulnerable!), people tell me it makes them feel safe, free and deeply connected, and when they tell me this it shows me the positive impact I create, it lets me know how valuable I am, and it increases my sense of self worth. That means wherever safety, freedom and connection are needed is where I and my authenticity belong. Our intrinsic gifts are not merely the opposite of what ever hurtful things people said to us, but are a deeper extraction of our true nature qualities that at some point caused social or familial exile. What is important is not so much that exile happens because at some point in everyone's life we feel outcast or alone. What is important is that we can come back to our selves fully when it does. Give your Gifts Away. Starting Now. Find a homeless shelter and volunteer for one hour, bring flowers just to say 'you're lovely and thanks for all you do', buy a coffee for the guy in line behind you. Do something kind and compassionate; implement your gift to help one person who really needs it today. Remember, when you give your gifts away to people who need it, it becomes strikingly apparent how powerful you really are and your self-esteem increases naturally. Commitments Solidify Learning. Part of building self-esteem is committing to something greater than yourself for the sake of something greater than yourself. Leave a comment below the blog and tell us what you're going to do TODAY that is kind and compassionate display of your true gifts.

Simple Strategies for Building Self-Esteem

by Kostas Papastathopoulos 1

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.