Friday, August 7, 2015

SELF-ESTEEM

Self esteem is an important trait of a human being that has been under looked leading to the destruction of many people. many people have big problems dealing with this trait. there are basically two types of self esteem. The Low self esteem and High self esteem.
what is self esteem?
In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person's overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent", "I am worthy") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) defined it by saying "The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it." Self-esteem is attractive as a social psychological construct because researchers have conceptualized it as an influential predictor of certain outcomes, such as academic achievement, happiness, satisfaction in marriage and relationships, and criminal behavior. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good singer and feel happy about that") or a global extent (for example, "I believe I am a bad person, and feel bad about myself in general"). Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic ("trait" self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations ("state" self-esteem) also exist. Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect,and self-integrity.
LOW SELF ESTEEM:
Low self-esteem can result from various factors, including genetic factors, physical appearance or weight, mental health issues, socioeconomic status, peer pressure or bullying.
Children growing up in a misogynistic environment can suffer low self-esteem, but more research is needed.
A person with low self-esteem may show some of the following characteristics:
  • Heavy self-criticism and dissatisfaction.
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism with resentment against critics and feelings of being attacked.
  • Chronic indecision and an exaggerated fear of mistakes.
  • Excessive will to please and unwillingness to displease any petitioner.
  • Perfectionism, which can lead to frustration when perfection is not achieved.
  • Neurotic guilt, dwelling on or exaggerating the magnitude of past mistakes.
  • Floating hostility and general defensiveness and irritability without any proximate cause.
  • Pessimism and a general negative outlook.
  • Envy, invidiousness, or general resentment.
  • Sees temporary setbacks as permanent, intolerable conditions.
Individuals with low self-esteem tend to be critical of themselves. Some depend on the approval and praise of others when evaluating self-worth. Others may measure their likability in terms of successes: others will accept them if they succeed but will not if they fail.

The three states

This classification proposed by Martin Ross distinguishes three states of self-esteem compared to the "feats" (triumphs, honors, virtues) and the "anti-feats" (defeats, embarrassment, shame, etc.) of the individuals.

Shattered

The individual does not regard themselves as valuable or lovable. They may be overwhelmed by defeat, or shame, or see themselves as such, and they name their "anti-feat". For example, if they consider that being over a certain age is an anti-feat, they define themselves with the name of their anti-feat, and say, "I am old". They pity themselves. They insult themselves. They feel sorry. They may become paralyzed by their sadness.

Vulnerable

The individual has a positive self-image. However, their self-esteem is also vulnerable to the perceived risk of an imminent anti-feat (such as defeat, embarrassment, shame, discredit), consequently they are often nervous and regularly use defense mechanisms. A typical protection mechanism of those with a Vulnerable Self-Esteem may consist in avoiding decision-making. Although such individuals may outwardly exhibit great self-confidence, the underlying reality may be just the opposite: the apparent self-confidence is indicative of their heightened fear of anti-feats and the fragility of their self-esteem. They may also try to blame others to protect their self-image from situations which would threaten it. They may employ defense mechanisms, including attempting to lose at games and other competitions in order to protect their self-image by publicly dissociating themselves from a 'need to win', and asserting an independence from social acceptance which they may deeply desire. In this deep fear of being unaccepted by an individuals peers, they make poor life choices by making risky choices.

Strong

People with strong self-esteem have a positive self-image and enough strength so that anti-feats do not subdue their self-esteem. They have less fear of failure. These individuals appear humble, cheerful, and this shows a certain strength not to boast about feats and not to be afraid of anti-feats. They are capable of fighting with all their might to achieve their goals because, if things go wrong, their self-esteem will not be affected. They can acknowledge their own mistakes precisely because their self-image is strong, and this acknowledgment will not impair or affect their self-image. They live with less fear of losing social prestige, and with more happiness and general well-being. However, no type of self-esteem is indestructible, and due to certain situations or circumstances in life, one can fall from this level into any other state of self-esteem.

Contingent vs. non-contingent

A distinction is made between contingent (or conditional) and non-contingent (or unconditional) self-esteem.
Contingent self-esteem is derived from external sources, such as (a) what others say, (b) one's success or failure, (c) one's competence, or (d) relationship-contingent self-esteem.
Therefore, contingent self-esteem is marked by instability, unreliability, and vulnerability. Persons lacking a non-contingent self-esteem are "predisposed to an incessant pursuit of self-value." However, because the pursuit of contingent self-esteem is based on receiving approval, it is doomed to fail. No one receives constant approval and disapproval often evokes depression. Furthermore, fear of disapproval inhibits activities in which failure is possible.
Non-contingent self-esteem is described as true, stable, and solid. It springs from a belief that one is "acceptable period, acceptable before life itself, ontologically acceptable". Belief that one is "ontologically acceptable" is to believe that one's acceptability is "the way things be without contingency". In this belief, as expounded by theologian Paul Tillich, acceptability is not based on a person's virtue. It is an acceptance given "in spite of our guilt, not because we have no guilt".
Psychiatrist Thomas A Harris drew on theologian Paul Tillich for his classic I'm OK – You're OK that addresses non-contingent self-esteem. Harris translated Tillich's "acceptable" by the vernacular "OK", a term that means "acceptable". The Christian message, said Harris, is not "YOU CAN BE OK, IF", It is "YOU ARE ACCEPTED, unconditionally".
A secure non-contingent self-esteem springs from the belief that one is ontologically acceptable and accepted.
High Self Esteem
People with a healthy level of self-esteem:
  • Firmly believe in certain values and principles, and are ready to defend them even when finding opposition, feeling secure enough to modify them in light of experience.
  • Are able to act according to what they think to be the best choice, trusting their own judgment, and not feeling guilty when others do not like their choice.
  • Do not lose time worrying excessively about what happened in the past, nor about what could happen in the future. They learn from the past and plan for the future, but live in the present intensely.
  • Fully trust in their capacity to solve problems, not hesitating after failures and difficulties. They ask others for help when they need it.
  • Consider themselves equal in dignity to others, rather than inferior or superior, while accepting differences in certain talents, personal prestige or financial standing.
  • Understand how they are an interesting and valuable person for others, at least for those with whom they have a friendship.
  • Resist manipulation, collaborate with others only if it seems appropriate and convenient.
  • Admit and accept different internal feelings and drives, either positive or negative, revealing those drives to others only when they choose.
  • Are able to enjoy a great variety of activities.
  • Are sensitive to feelings and needs of others; respect generally accepted social rules, and claim no right or desire to prosper at others' expense.
  • Can work toward finding solutions and voice discontent without belittling themselves or others when challenges arise.

Secure vs. defensive

A person can have a high self-esteem and hold it confidently where they do not need reassurance from others to maintain their positive self view, whereas others with defensive, high self-esteem may still report positive self-evaluations on the Rosenberg Scale, as all high self-esteem individuals do; however, their positive self-views are fragile and vulnerable to criticism. Defensive high self-esteem individuals internalize subconscious self-doubts and insecurities, causing them to react very negatively to any criticism they may receive. There is a need for constant positive feedback from others for these individuals to maintain their feelings of self-worth. The necessity of repeated praise can be associated with boastful, arrogant behavior or sometimes even aggressive and hostile feelings toward anyone who questions the individual's self-worth, an example of threatened egotism.

Implicit, explicit, narcissism and threatened egotism

Implicit self-esteem refers to a person's disposition to evaluate themselves positively or negatively in a spontaneous, automatic, or unconscious manner. It contrasts with explicit self-esteem, which entails more conscious and reflective self-evaluation. Both explicit self-esteem and implicit self-esteem are subtypes of self-esteem proper.
Narcissism is a disposition people may have that represents an excessive love for one's self. It is characterized by an inflated view of self-worth. Individuals who score high on Narcissism measures, Robert Raskin's 40 Item True or False Test, would likely select true to such statements as "If I ruled the world, it would be a much better place." There is only a moderate correlation between narcissism and self-esteem; that is to say that an individual can have high self-esteem but low narcissism or can be a conceited, obnoxious person and score high self-esteem and high narcissism.
Threatened egotism is characterized as a response to criticism that threatens the ego of narcissists; they often react in a hostile and aggressive manner.
(article created with some data from wikipedia)
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