The Definition Of Self Esteem

Seeking the definition of self esteem is simpler than it sounds. It is simply a belief about our own worth. When you value something or size something up, you are esteeming it. Ergo, people with low self esteem do not respect themselves that much, or see themselves as people with low value. These people think themselves as inferior to other men and women around them.

The definition of self esteem includes emotions as well as beliefs. People with self esteem tend to be proud of their achievements and will talk about themselves without putting themselves down. People whose self-esteem is below average or worse often engage in spiritual self-immolation and frequently embarrassed by themselves.

In 1969, psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden came up with a definition of self esteem that remains reliable up to today. As Branden said in 1969, self esteem can be defined as “the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness”.

If you look at the above definition, there are two words to highlight – “competent”, meaning you are able to do something about how things are, and “challenges”, which means you use this competency to tackle those challenges. A person with a poor sense of self-esteem would often rip into himself or herself if he/she feels positive emotions, and think that everything good should have a “warning” or “danger” sticker on it.

Self esteem is different from self confidence, which is more about the way that we present to the world. It is possible for a person to believe he/she can do so many things and perform when counted on, but still have a low self worth.

For example, somebody could be very successful and confident at work, but their low self esteem could mean that they have a lot of trouble with relationships. Their low value of themselves might make them reluctant to seek a relationship. Another sign of this would be if the person goes out of his/her way to please other people, going the extent of giving gifts and being available any time, anywhere. And it could bring out the worst in the person, making him/her abusive or overly controlling. At the end of the day, these are all possible reasons why someone may think being in a relationship can never be unconditional.

Sometimes, there are underlying factors like the way we were brought up that may make us unaware that we are actually guilty of not valuing ourselves as highly as we should. And unless someone notifies us about them, they can often be largely ignored.

Therapy can be a helpful tool if this is the case. This could help us realize that we can always change the way we see ourselves and improve for the better.

Self esteem is usually measured by means of a questionnaire or quiz. These can be very revealing, as people who take these tests answer questions, often personal, about how they see other people and outside stimuli.

Some psychologists consider that high self esteem can be dangerous too. According to their studies, people who think of themselves too highly can get defensive, and sometimes act out in anger if their views are questioned or made fun of. However, other psychologists would argue that this tendency is not self esteem but narcissism. Their definition of self esteem is a feeling of self worth that is stable, no matter what other people say or think.

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