Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#Self Esteem


Stated in simple terms--self esteem is the opinion you have of yourself--your worthiness,strengths,defects & the dignity which you think you deserve from others.A healthy self esteem is a potent weapon which will assist you to meet life's challenges & come out on top.But a deviation from it does not augur well for the person.Broadly speaking,self esteem could be of three kinds:
1) Healthy
2) High
3) Low

Healthy Self Esteem
A person having healthy self esteem is fully aware of his caliber & weaknesses.He is confident of his ability to solve any problem which may obstruct his path.Difficulties or failures do not stump him.He springs back with new hope & strategies.He abides by his principles & knows that he commands respect.Even disregard or disrespect from someone will influence him only momentarily because he has firm faith in his own merit.He can bounce back after a down-fall.He enjoys strong & rewarding relationships,because he gives equal respect to others.

High Self Esteem
This person thinks the world of himself.You could call him a narcissist.He holds an exaggerated view of his personality,his charm,his abilities & his importance on this globe.He cannot tolerate criticism.Since he always overestimates his own acumen & ability,he often falls flat on his face but the blame will always be laid at someone else's door.He is likely to face many disillusionments in life but you won't catch him admitting it.Since he looks down upon others,he fails to forge strong relationships.

Low Self Esteem
As a child grows up, some of his acts are appreciated by the people around him,while some others are rejected as being bad,immoral or distasteful.The child forms an image of himself on basis of these approvals & chidings--this is his self image.Simultaneously he also constructs a picture of how he is expected to be--this is the ideal image.If there is a lot of discrepancy between the two, low self esteem will result.The parents may not always be right--they may  be too strict,uptight,prudish or even unlawful & selfish.But the ideal image grasped by the kid stays with him,as does his dejection at not meeting the norms.The child's self image could relate to his appearance,intelligence,attitudes,emotions,abilities,strengths,faults & his perceptions.

If his inferiority complex is related to his appearance then steps can be taken to rectify the drawbacks wherever possible.For example one could get into shape,take care to be neat & clean & dress appropriately.

This is easy.But changes are challenging when you are required to modify your personality traits & habits learnt over the years.Self image is a very nebulous concept--so many vague,fluctuating thoughts & perceptions coalsce to compose it.Each & every demeaning thought has to be handled & set right.It becomes doubly taxing if you base your self concept upon others' reactions or responses.The other person may not necessarily be a positive human.He may have his own reasons for pulling you down.If you construct your image according to others' reactions or responses to you, then you can never be at peace.It is essential to replace old coping strategies with new ones in order to attain a healthy self esteem.Here are some suggestions:

1) Learn to put your own self ahead of others & say adieu to people pleasing.Take care that you do not become obnoxious in the process!

2) Get rid of your favorite hobby--criticizing yourself for every mistake.Even the well known high achievers made plenty of mistakes before they succeeded.

3) Do not be hyper sensitive to others' criticism.

4) The fear of making mistakes may hold you back from trying anything new or difficult,but how will you achieve something remarkable if you desist from trying?Go for it,and if you fail,go again!

5) Forsake those feelings of guilt which you nurse in your heart.After all, you did not start a world war did you?

6) Whenever you come face-to-face with a crisis or a tough choice,cogitate over all the pros & cons and then take your  own decision.You took all factors into consideration;therefore there is no need to be apprehensive or fearful of the outcome.

7) Do not ask others for advice.

8) Rely on your own resources as far as possible.If it is essential to ask for help do it without being obsequious.

9) Never allow anyone to discourage you.

10) Take care that no one manipulates or uses you.You were unsure & vulnerable till now & this must have given people wrong ideas.Put an end to this trend.

Improving upon the psychological aspects of a bad self concept is fine but it is only half the battle won if you dislike certain facets of your personality which are mainly responsible for your low self esteem.Of course none of us is perfect but if something is eating at your self confidence it ought to be removed.Unless & until you get rid of the elements which drag you down,you cannot hope to achieve a healthy self image.Therefore:

1) If you find that you are not well informed about the happenings in the world & hence cannot join in a discussion;take steps to rectify this.

2) In case you are not doing well at your job,upgrade your skills & knowledge.

3) If you feel alone & left out of groups & gatherings,make conscious efforts to meet people half way--or full way if need be.After all you are the one who needs companionship.

4) Do you admire a particular quality in someone?It could be a simple thing like being punctual,following a healthy routine or vocalizing your thoughts.Cultivate this habit so that you feel better about yourself.

5)Last but not the least--indulge in activities you consider respectable if you want to earn your own respect.If you are straight & honest in your dealings nobody can shake your faith in yourself.

When you are happy in your skin, self doubt & pessimism will give way to a cheerful outlook,attracting people to this new you.Old ties will improve & new ones will be formed.Freedom from self-imposed restrictions will open up a new vista for greater achievements because:

"If we did all the things we are capable of doing,we would literally astound ourselves"Thomas A Edison.

36 comments :

  1. First of all thanks for the post.very informative. Sometimes a person doesn't know he/she is suffering from this kind of personality disorder. This information will help identifying the problem and deal with it effectively.

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    1. Yes Meenakshi,it is in our hands to improve the quality of our life through self help.Thanks for liking it.

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  2. Very useful post Indu...if we follow the guidelines we will have cheerful life!

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    1. You are right Ranjana,thanks for peeping in.

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  3. Another great and very relevant one!
    Thanks a lot!

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    1. Amit jee thank you for your support--always there!!!!!!

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  4. In Sanskrit there is the saying "Paradhinam prana sankatam". Dependence on others is distressing to the soul. When your self-respect depends on pulling down others (The High Self-esteemers) or on the approval of others (The Low Self-esteemers), it is a cause for distress. Self Esteem should come from within.

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  5. Lovely post Indu! This post is needed for me!
    Yeah, I have inferiority complex, trying to get over it now....Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Sri Valli,how can you feel inferior,being such a fine poet?In any case,if you feel thus then your efforts will give you reprieve i am sure.
      Thanks for appreciating my efforts.

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  6. I have come across cases of what I term as inverted superiority complex. Very poor self esteem and extreme self hatred makes some people act superior and bossy, to hide the inferiority complex. It is of course hard to recognise this at first glance, but it soon comes through.

    I have found that everyone is an achiever -- in something or the other. A good friend can recognise and nurture it if the person doesn't understand or appreciate the talent in her/himself. And how to find that friend? Follow your steps, of course :D

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    1. You are right Zephyr,i too have met people who try to act superior to hide their inadequacy.In the process they lose friends who could have supported them.

      Yes,as i said to Valli,everybody has some talent or the other,but low self esteem is sometimes deep rooted & difficult to pull out.

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    2. I tend to feel that all 'superiority complex' arises out of a sense of inadequacy in the concerned person, Zephyr! Even the need to throw your weight around in the area/situation/company in which you genuinely feel superior seems to me to arise out of the need of the person to bolster his self-respect because of a perceived strong inadequacy in some other area of importance to the person. (Something like yelling at your driver because your boss yelled at you) A genuinely grounded person would never need to throw his weight around.

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    3. You are right Suresh--you folks give me fodder for thought--i love it,thanks.

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  7. You need self-esteem, but it doesn't always come naturally. Find out what it means to feel good about yourself. Nice read.

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    1. Arumugam,that is the problem-it does not come naturally to some--esp.those who had a rough upbringing.
      Thanks for liking it.

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  8. Yeah ,you are absolutely right ..Respect yourself and the world will respect you...but don't forget to respect others too..ie. one should have a balanced approach towards life.. learning and enhancing his/her skills should be a continuous process. ..Say No-No to comparisons..
    hope i have caught the right track.. :)

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    1. Sure you are on the right track odyzz--sometimes when i am short of time i despair-when will i relinquish this urge to read & read-- & just relax!!!!!But it does add to my self esteem.

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  9. I take criticism too seriously, need to work on that.

    Always a pleasure to read your posts, Indu.

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    1. Hi Purba,
      Nice to see you here.
      Yes,not all critics are motivated by good intentions.

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  10. A very good post, Indu. I especially loved your pointers. Don't ask for advice. I think it is fine to elicit opinions but the final decision must be always taken personally. Also, as you said don't try to be a people pleaser at all times yet don't be obnoxious while doing it. Have you noticed how difficult it is to come across grounded people. I can count them on my fingers. The problem is in handling hypersensitive folks who may have self-esteem issues. Those who have a superiority complex are quite obnoxious to deal with as well. Food for thought as always.

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  11. Appreciation from YOU--i am in seventh heaven!!!!!!
    Coming down to earth--yes you are right about the superior ones...i was thinking who is a narcissist,& the big bee came to my mind...what do you have to say about that,i would love to know--i know i am going to raise many hackles with this remark,.

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  12. पठनीय लेख के लिए आभार

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    1. Thank you Gagadhar,please keep visiting.

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  13. As always, another insightful post..what you have pointed out is not at all difficult to follow. They all are simple techniques and quite easy to implement. Only if we allow our egos to go down. I completely agree with Zephyr. I have that sect of people in my life and I know the brunt of their superiority..

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    1. Latha it is readers like you who motivate me,i am very happy that you found it meaningful.Thanks a ton.

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  14. A very insightful post Indu.
    I have always felt that people who have a superiority complex actually have an inferiority complex at the core. And most of us cannot get rid of it on our own.
    I take critisism too seriously at times even when I know that it has been done to belittle me. Need to work on that.

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    1. Amit thanks a lot for this sweet comment.
      Oh yes,taking criticism seriously is no good when the other person is out to demoralize you...unfortunately in this competitive environment this happens quite often...take care.

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  15. People around me say I am very low on self esteem but after reading your description, I don't think U am. Thanks for sharing this post, I learnt a lot from it.

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    1. You know Saru,kuch to log kahenge---don't worry-be happy!!!

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    2. I am very happy. I live in my own world with lots of love and happiness.

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  16. A must-read post to shoo away the fear of inferiority complex. The pointers at the end just add cherry to the post. I learnt a lot. Thank-you ma'am.

    Silly Smiles... Take you Miles :)

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  17. Surbhi welcome to jeeteraho,i am very happy that i could help you.Please come again.

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Thanks for reading my post.I hope you liked it :).