As mentioned in our video blog this week, low self-esteem presents itself in many different forms. We are more frequently familiar with the stereotypical signs of low self-esteem—those students who are quiet, sad, withdrawn, or just so clearly insecure. However low self-esteem can manifest itself on the other end of the spectrum as well. Our students who act over-the-top qualified, boastful, or over-confident are oftentimes demonstrating these behaviors from the same root of low self-esteem. To take it a step further, students who show bullying behaviors are most likely doing so to mask or cope with their own insecurities.

So what do we do with this information? Don’t be fooled by an over-confident or arrogant student. These behaviors should serve as an indicator to us that there are some deeper presenting issues of insecurity and low self-esteem. It may be harder to recognize and have sympathy for this type of behavior, but our students desperately need our support, encouragement, and genuine praise. We don’t want to reinforce their negative behaviors, but we do want to reach down to the heart level and replace their confident façades with genuine self-confidence.