Universidad del Turabo
March 13, 2013
Prof. Alexandra Galetti
Everyone, at some point or another, is uncertain about themselves, lacks self-confidence, doubts their abilities, or thinks negatively of themselves. However, if you think that you might have problems with low self-esteem, or are not sure if you have this problem but want to find out, then this information package might be helpful to you. In this module, we will discuss what low self-esteem is and what kind of impact low self-esteem might have on a person and their life. What is Self-Esteem
Before we talk about what low self-esteem is, let’s start with understanding the term “self-esteem.” You might have heard and seen similar words like “self-image,” “self-perception,” and “self-concept.” All these terms refer to the way we view and think about ourselves. As human beings, we have the ability to not only be aware of ourselves but also to place a value or a measure of worth to ourselves or aspects of ourselves. So, self-esteem usually refers to how we view and think about ourselves and the value that we place on ourselves as a person. Having the human capacity to judge and place value to something is where we might run into problems with self-esteem. What is Low Self-Esteem?
Have you ever been dissatisfied or unhappy with yourself on the whole? Do you ever think that you are weak, stupid, and not good enough, flawed in some way, inferior to other people, useless, worthless, unattractive, ugly, unlovable, a loser, or a failure? Everyone uses these words on themselves at times, usually when they experience a challenging or stressful situation. However, if you often think about yourself in these terms, then you might have a problem with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem is having a generally negative overall opinion of oneself, judging or evaluating oneself negatively, and placing a general negative value on oneself as a person. Here are some examples of what people with low self-esteem might say about themselves: “I get nervous talking to people I don’t know at parties”. “I’m socially inept and I hate it!” “I couldn’t understand a lot of what the instructor was saying today”. “I must be really stupid.” “I’m overweight. “I am so fat and ugly.” “I’m unimportant.” “I’m a loser.” “I’m unlovable.” In essence, people with low self-esteem usually have deep-seated, basic, negative beliefs about themselves and the kind of person they are. These beliefs are often taken as facts or truths about their identity. As a result, low self-esteem can have a negative impact on a person and their life. Impact of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can have an effect on various aspects of a person. A person with low self-esteem probably says a lot of negative things about themselves. They might criticize themselves, their actions, and abilities or joke about themselves in a very negative way. They might put themselves down, doubt themselves, or blame themselves when things go wrong. Often, they might not recognize their positive qualities. When compliments are given to them, they might brush such comments aside or say that “it was all luck” or “it wasn’t that big a deal.” Instead, they might focus on what they didn’t do or the mistakes they made. People with low self-esteem might expect that things would not turn out well for them. They might often feel sad, depressed, anxious, guilty, ashamed, frustrated, and angry. They might have difficulty speaking up for themselves and their needs, avoid challenges and opportunities, or be overly aggressive in their interactions with others. Low self-esteem can also have an impact on many aspects of a person’s life. It can affect a person’s performance at work or at school. They might consistently achieve less than they are able to because they believe they are less capable than others. They might avoid challenges for fear of not doing well. They might work extremely hard and push...
References: Burns, D. (1993). Ten Days to Self-Esteem. New York: Quill William Morrow.
Dryden, W. (2003). Managing Low Self-Esteem. London: Whurr Publishers.
Field, L. (1995). The Self-Esteem Workbook. An Interactive Approach to Changing Your Life. Brisbane: Element Books Limited.
McKay, M. & Fanning, P. (1987). Self-Esteem. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
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