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  • Writer's pictureRuchi Sarna

Self-Esteem: Why It Matters

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem refers to a person's personal perception of their self-concept, which can vary from positive to negative. It is how a person thinks and feels about their own qualities and characteristics, and it is described as either high or low. A person with high self-esteem has positive thoughts about themselves, while a person with low self-esteem has negative thoughts about themselves.

Self-esteem is a crucial component of a person's mental well-being, as it influences their motivation and overall quality of life. However, having self-esteem that is either too high or too low can have negative effects. For instance, having self-esteem that is too high can lead to arrogance and overconfidence, while having self-esteem that is too low can lead to feelings of inadequacy and depression.

It is important to recognize that self-esteem is a subjective experience, meaning that it can differ from person to person. Additionally, self-esteem can be improved or diminished depending on a person's experiences and circumstances. There are various steps that a person can take to improve their self-esteem, such as identifying troubling conditions or situations and paying attention to their thoughts about them, as well as stepping back from their thoughts and practising self-compassion.

What are the types of self-esteem?

One way to categorize self-esteem is to list three types: inflated self-esteem, high self-esteem, and low self-esteem. Inflated self-esteem refers to an exaggerated sense of self-importance or overconfidence that is not grounded in reality. High self-esteem, on the other hand, refers to a healthy and positive view of oneself and one's abilities. Low self-esteem refers to a negative perception of oneself and one's worth, often characterized by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Additionally, self-esteem can also be categorized as either global or specific. Global self-esteem refers to a person's overall sense of self-worth, while specific self-esteem pertains to a person's evaluation of their abilities in a specific domain, such as academic or athletic performance. It is important to note that while high self-esteem is generally considered healthy, inflated self-esteem can also be problematic and negative.

How self-esteem affects your life?

Self-esteem plays a significant role in shaping one's life. It affects various aspects of life, including relationships, work, and health. Low self-esteem can negatively impact these areas, leading to a lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy. On the other hand, healthy self-esteem can positively influence motivation, mental well-being, and overall quality of life.

Our self-esteem develops and is shaped by our experiences and interactions with people and situations from childhood to adulthood. It is crucial to recognize situations and take steps to reverse them. Building and maintaining healthy self-esteem can improve various areas of life and increase overall well-being.

How does self-esteem affect relationships?

Self-esteem can have a significant impact on relationships, both positive and negative. Individuals with high self-esteem tend to have more positive relationships, whereas those with low self-esteem may struggle with maintaining healthy relationships. Here are some ways in which self-esteem can affect relationships:

  • Trust and Intimacy: People with high self-esteem are generally more trusting and open with others, which can facilitate deeper and more intimate relationships. Conversely, individuals with low self-esteem may struggle to trust others, which can create barriers to intimacy and closeness.

  • Communication: Good communication is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. Individuals with high self-esteem tend to communicate more effectively and assertively, which can help them express their needs and feelings in a constructive way. In contrast, those with low self-esteem may struggle to communicate effectively, leading to misunderstandings and conflict.

  • Boundaries: Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is an essential part of any relationship. People with high self-esteem tend to have a clear sense of their own needs and limits, making it easier for them to establish boundaries. On the other hand, individuals with low self-esteem may struggle to assert themselves, leading to boundary violations and resentment.

  • Dependency: Individuals with low self-esteem may be more prone to dependency in relationships, relying on their partners to validate their worth and meet their emotional needs. This can strain the relationship, as it can be difficult for one person to fulfil all of their partner's needs.

How does self-esteem affect work?

Self-esteem can have a significant impact on how an individual performs in the workplace and how much they achieve in their career. People with high levels of self-esteem are better able to focus positively on other people and their development, while those with low self-esteem may struggle to focus on their work and may be less confident in their abilities. Low self-esteem may also negatively affect career progression as it can impact the way an individual deals with colleagues and clients, leading to negative assumptions about their abilities and competence. Furthermore, low self-esteem can contribute to or be a symptom of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, which can interfere with an individual's ability to work effectively. To improve self-esteem in the workplace, individuals may try strategies such as reciting positive affirmations, practising self-compassion, and utilizing stress reduction techniques such as exercise, deep breathing and socializing.

How does self-esteem affect health?

Self-esteem can have a significant impact on a person's mental and physical health. People with low self-esteem tend to have negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and self-hatred. These negative beliefs and feelings can cause stress and anxiety, leading to physical health problems like headaches, fatigue, and even heart disease. On the other hand, people with high self-esteem tend to have a more positive outlook on life and themselves, which can lead to better mental and physical health. High self-esteem is associated with positive outcomes like increased life satisfaction, improved mood, and better coping skills.

How does self-esteem affect your confidence?

Self-esteem can have an impact on how a person perceives their physical appearance, which can then affect their sense of beauty. A positive self-regard or self-image can contribute to an individual's confidence in their physical appearance. On the other hand, if a person has negative feelings about their physical appearance, it can lead to low self-esteem. It is suggested that practising self-compassion and reciting positive affirmations can help improve self-esteem. Additionally, physical beauty is often considered when searching for potential partners and can contribute to an individual's attractiveness and self-esteem. It is worth noting that makeup can help boost confidence and self-esteem, but it should not be used as the sole means of improving one's self-image.

When is self-esteem high?

Self-esteem refers to one's personal perception of their own qualities and characteristics. According to the results of the provided web search, self-esteem can be considered high in certain conditions.

Healthy and impaired self-esteem are preferred terms to describe one's perception of self-concept instead of high and low. Therefore, one condition that may indicate high self-esteem is healthy self-esteem. This type of self-esteem can be developed by building healthy relationships, especially familial relationships.

Another condition associated with high self-esteem is positive familial relationships. A 2014 study found that college students with higher self-esteem and more loving and supportive relationships with their families were more successful at prosocial behaviour, such as generosity and empathy.

Overall, self-esteem can be considered high when a person has a healthy perception of themselves, and they have positive relationships, which can lead to prosocial behaviour and success.

When self-esteem is low?

Low self-esteem is a condition that can have significant impacts on an individual's life. Some common signs or symptoms of low self-esteem include a lack of confidence, an external locus of control, negative social comparisons, trouble asking for help, worry and doubt, difficulty accepting compliments, negative self-talk, and fear of failure. Low self-esteem can affect nearly every aspect of life, including relationships, jobs, and health. It can also lead to mental and physical health issues like depression, anxiety, and anorexia, and may lead people to make negative decisions about how they live their lives, such as engaging in unhealthy habits like smoking, alcohol abuse, or drug use.

Low self-esteem often has its roots in childhood trauma, and being in a stressful school environment or having overly critical caregivers can also play a role. However, it is treatable and can be improved with coaching and techniques such as cognitive-behavioural therapy. It is important to recognize situations that affect self-esteem and take steps to boost self-esteem in order to lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Can self-esteem have cross-cultural variability?

The way individuals evaluate themselves and their self-esteem can be influenced by cultural values, norms, and practices. Research has shown that there are significant gender gaps in self-esteem across cultures, with males consistently reporting higher self-esteem than females. Additionally, cultural context can shape self-perceptions, which in turn influences various aspects of life, such as social relationships, health and lifestyle choices, political actions, and overall well-being. Despite cross-cultural variability, higher self-esteem has been associated with greater satisfaction, happiness, and fewer negative moods in various cultural contexts. It is important to note that some researchers have attempted to distinguish between self-enhancement and self-esteem, as the former may exhibit substantial cross-cultural variability, while the latter is regarded as a more stable construct. So yes, self-esteem can have cross-cultural variability.

Are self-esteem and ego the same thing?

Self-esteem and ego are two related but distinct concepts. While they may share some similarities, such as both being related to one's sense of self, they are not the same thing. Self-esteem refers to an individual's overall positive or negative evaluation of themselves, while ego can be described as a person's sense of self-importance or self-worth.

One of the main differences between self-esteem and ego is that self-esteem is based on one's true accomplishments and abilities, while ego is often unwarranted and based on entitlement and imaginary validation. People with big egos tend to have excessive admiration for themselves and may even develop narcissistic traits.

Another difference between self-esteem and ego is the way they manifest in behaviour. Those with high self-esteem tend to exhibit confidence and knowledge, and they do not need to put others down to make themselves feel better. In contrast, the ego always strives for attention and may divert attention to the self through boasting or putting others down.

Self-esteem and ego are not the same things, though they are related. Self-esteem is based on true accomplishments and abilities, while ego can be unwarranted and based on entitlement and imaginary validation. People with big egos may develop narcissistic traits and exhibit attention-seeking behaviour, while those with high self-esteem tend to exhibit confidence and knowledge without the need to put others down.

Can self-esteem be improved?

There are many techniques and strategies that can help boost self-esteem. Here are some tips based on the provided web search results:

  • Identify triggers: Take note of the situations or conditions that tend to lower your self-esteem. By being aware of what triggers these negative feelings, you can be better prepared to handle them when they arise.

  • Exercise: Regular physical exercise has been shown to improve self-esteem and overall mental health. It can increase feelings of empowerment and improve your mood.

  • Affirmations: Use positive affirmations to counteract negative self-talk. Make sure to make the affirmations believable by tweaking them to fit your situation. Focus on building your confidence and competencies.

  • Eat regularly and stay active: A balanced diet and regular physical activity can help improve your mood and energy levels, leading to a more positive outlook and improved self-esteem.

  • Seek therapy or support: Working with a therapist can help you develop skills to improve your self-esteem, as well as provide you with support and guidance. Animal-assisted therapy can also be a helpful way to improve self-esteem issues.

Remember that building self-esteem is a gradual process and takes time and effort. Be patient and kind to yourself, and celebrate your progress along the way.


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