Self-Esteem - How?

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Self-Esteem - How?

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:36 am

Yesterday, my boss brought up my obvious and profound lack of self-esteem, and it got me thinking about things. One thing that went around and around in my head is the question of how I ended up this way and other people didn't? What did I do? Or, more importantly, what did other people do to develop healthy self-esteem that I didn't? No matter how much I thought about it, I could only come up with one answer:

Not a damned thing.

They didn't make any special effort to develop their self esteem. They didn't make any effort to develop their self-esteem. They didn't have to.

All they had to do was be lucky enough to avoid decades of abuse, bullying and ostracism through no action of their own. As far as I can tell, that's literally all there was to it.

So, how do I develop self-esteem when there doesn't actually seem to be a process to go through? How do I get what everyone else got without trying?

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Re: Self-Esteem - How?

Post by Enail on Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:13 pm

Well, while you're correct that many people were lucky enough to have childhoods that helped them develop self-esteem naturally, the...not good news, obviously, but good news in terms of your specific question, is that you're certainly not the only person who didn't, so there's quite a lot of stuff out there devoted to those who didn't; self-help literature, therapy, personal accounts and so forth.

A few thoughts:

-If your boss is bringing this up, they're probably talking about something more specific than just feeling warm and fuzzy about yourself. Unless they're overstepping their bounds to show concern for you (which could be either nice or horribly inappropriate, depending on the relationship between you Wink), it seems likely that their concern is something work-related. Either that you're noticeably beating yourself up at work, or that they think you're underestimating your skills and they want to encourage you to take on greater challenges or be more confident about your work abilities. So if you don't want to be building self-esteem or you want your employer to butt out of your personal life, it's okay to just focus on whatever behavior is relevant to your working life and ignore the psychology they feel is behind it.

-We've had threads that touch on self-esteem before, but I want to particularly point you to this comment from Kleenestar which suggests an alternative to the whole idea of self-esteem.

-and one more thought is, what do you actually want out of self-esteem? What does it represent to you? An absence of self-hatred? Confidence that you can achieve your goals? An inner warm-and-fuzzy feeling? The ability to risk trying things? Sometimes, especially in the inspirational quotation end of the self-help pool, people talk about self-esteem like it's some kind of magical talisman that makes everything okay, that self-esteem is all a person needs to be happy and successful, that low self-esteem is an impenetrable barrier that inherantly keeps a person from all those things, and I don't think that's true.
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Re: Self-Esteem - How?

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:30 am

Enail wrote:-and one more thought is, what do you actually want out of self-esteem? What does it represent to you? An absence of self-hatred? Confidence that you can achieve your goals? An inner warm-and-fuzzy feeling? The ability to risk trying things?

Right off the top of my head, the biggest thing I want is to remove the huge target I seem to have painted on my back. Even by the time I started school, the treatment I received at home had already led to a lack of self-esteem that made me stand out as an ideal victim. As I've talked about on the forum, I don't think things have improved over the years, which just makes it harder.

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Re: Self-Esteem - How?

Post by Werel on Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:20 am

So maybe one of the first aspects of self-esteem you're looking to work on is ways to deflect/shut down that treatment in the moment, and then methods of caring for yourself (and minimizing lasting damage) afterwards? Does that sound useful?
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Re: Self-Esteem - How?

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:32 am

Just a thought: I don't know if having a healthy self-esteem will deter assholes from doing what they're already inclined to do i.e. hurt you. Best thing you can do is spend less time around these asswipes to begin with, but I realize that's way easier said than done. If anything, a robust self-perception may help with not allotting a sizeable headspace to the mean things that people tend to chuck at you Shrug.

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Re: Self-Esteem - How?

Post by BasedBuzzed on Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:31 pm

Take the lenses the petty people use on you and turn them back on the twats. This will help you see that it's a mode of viewing things that is immensely hollow. Of course, everything still hurts and you can't really rationalize away pain, but it gives control a bit. Deconstruct the people attacking you just as harshly as you deconstruct them, but don't say it out loud. Write it in a safe place they can't reach, then read it back later when you've calmed down. This gives you a perspective of how bitter it feels on the inside, and that you're way better than these folks for not lashing out in such a venomous way.

Number two, which sometimes works for me, radical inverted self-esteem. If you're worthless, your own way of perceiving your potential is also worthless. Ergo, you're not the judge of the fact that you're doomed to failure. Do you suffer from impostor syndrome? You're the type of person who would keep the joke going out of duper's delight, ergo by all means continue fooling those suckers who believe you are something. You're the lowest of the low? Look out how pathetic the ones who need to insult you are for the fact that they need to compare themselves to you in order to feel good about themselves. If somebody like you can keep up a veneer of morals even if you can't go any lower on the totem pole, look at the self-control you have for remaining good. If you're a coward yet still expose your weaknesses on the internet for all to dissect, imagine how cowardly the ones are that repress this tendency. Note of caution: use this sparsely to talk yourself out of low points, applying it too often just makes one sound like an edgelord. Theory may suffer from typical mind fallacy and thus work terribly on people with different emotional parameters.

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