Self Esteem

Topics: Self-esteem, Assertiveness, Aggression Pages: 6 (1469 words) Published: September 25, 2011
1. Introduction

Through self-knowledge people can know who they are. To achieve any attempts of self-knowledge we directly try to evaluate and analyse ourselves (Baron et al, 2009:117). A part of self-knowledge is our self esteem and social psychologists perceive is as the overall attitude towards ourselves, which in turn people can know who they are (Baron et al, 2009:129). This assignment of self esteem will consist of the definition of self esteem, characteristics of a positive self-esteem, the role of inner speech, development of self esteem, definitions of aggression, passivity and assertiveness as well as the characteristics of a person who is assertive towards others and a conclusion.

2. Self esteem
2.1Definition of self esteem

“Self esteem is an individual’s sense of self worth, or the extent to which the individual appreciates, values of likes him or herself” (Passer et al, 2009:608).

“Self esteem is the degree to which we perceive ourselves positively or negatively, our overall attitude toward ourselves. It can be measured explicitly of implicitly” (Baron et al, 2009:129). Self esteem is basically how positively or negatively we see ourselves. Some may don’t know it but it plays an important role in our everyday lives. It plays an integral role in how we do everyday things in life. If a person has a positive self esteem the person is more likely to accomplish everyday difficulties and tasks in a more positive and effective manner.

3.2 Characteristics of a person with a positive self esteem “A healthy self esteem or positive self regard is about feeling competent and feeling loved and approved of” (Plummer, 2005:14). According to Plummer (2005:19) a person with a positive self esteem displays the following characteristics: * A person with a positive self esteem is more likely to cope with everyday difficulties in life and can deal with failures. * Such a person is more able to make responsible and informed decisions. * Open to try new ways of doing things, learning from the mistakes they make and have confidence for future challenges. * Can cope successfully with changes.

* A person with a positive self esteem is more likely to enjoy life and develop fulfilling and successful relationships. Also according to Plummer there are ways for people to maintain a positive self esteem. Firstly the person needs to stay aware of what he or she is already doing and to believe that what you are doing is achievable and beneficial. A person with a positive self esteem usually has the support and the encouragement from others but actively strive to finding their own solutions to problems. Most importantly such a person reaps the benefits of the achievement of goals and enjoys the process (2005:39). As we can see from the above characteristics, self esteem is multi faceted and abstract as it can be difficult and challenging to explain and there are different factors that can contribute to a positive or negative self esteem. Through self actualization a person can discover his or her own potential and can in turn contribute to a positive self esteem (Helms & Turner, 1995:68).

3.3 Role of inner speech associated with self esteem
The student could find any relevant literature on this topic. The student thinks that inner speech plays an important role in self esteem and what a person will say to him- or herself, whether it is negative or positive can influence your self esteem. Negative inner speech can lead to a person not believing in him- or herself and can make a person feel incapable of achieving goals.

3.4 Development of a person’s self esteem
According to Louw and Louw self esteems starts to develop in early childhood (2007:183). As a child develops their self esteem develops because of the interaction a child has with other children and starts to compare themselves with their peers. Pre-schoolers starts to see themselves in terms of...

References: Alberti, R.E., Emmons, M.L. 1978. Your perfect right: a guide to assertive behaviour. Impact publishers: CA
Baron, R.A., Branscombe, N.R., Byrne, D. 2009. Social Psychology. 12th ed. Allyn and Bacon: MA
Davis, R.H., 1993. Freud’s concept of passivity. International Universities Press: USA
Helms, D.B. & Turner, J.S. 1995. Lifespan Development. 5th edition. Harcourt Brace College Publishers: USA
Louw, D. & Louw, A. 2007. The development of the child and the adolescent. Psychology publications: South Africa
Louw, D. & Louw, A. 2007. The development and aging of the adult. Psychology puclications: South Africa
Passer, M., Smith, R.E., Holt, N., Bremmer, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M. 2009. Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour. McGraw-Hill Education:UK
Plummer, D. 2005. Helping adolescents and adults to build self esteem. Jessica Kingsley Publications: GB
Van der Westhuizen, L., Pieters, H.C. 1989. Assertiewe leer: teorie en praktyk. Universiteitsuitgewers- en boekhandelaars. Stellenbosch:RSA
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