We explain what self-esteem is, its characteristics and how to improve it. Also, how is someone with high or low self-esteem.
What is self esteem?
Self-esteem is the assessment that a person has of himself and that can be positive or negative . It is a psychological concept that is developed based on emotions and not on rational issues. The construction of self-esteem is related to the acceptance or not of the individual himself, his way of being, his character, his physical traits and his lifestyle.
It is made up of a set of subjective factors, such as emotions and value judgments , which can be made by the individual or can arise from influences and preconceptions of the environment in which they live.
The family, educational, work and social environment, together with the media, often promote stereotypes and standards that condition the lives of all people and also influence the conception of self-esteem, that is, in the assessment that a person formulates himself.
Characteristics of self-esteem
Self-esteem is characterized by manifesting itself at different levels that can vary according to each person and the stage of life that is being transited. Even different levels of self-esteem can coexist in the same person, depending on the area in which they work. For example: A person may feel very secure and successful at work and, at the same time, very unhappy or dissatisfied in affective relationships.
This perception that the individual has of himself is a very important aspect to maintain adequate psychological health . The levels of low or high self-esteem that are perpetuated over time can trigger depression and anxiety disorders respectively. Both alterations, which can be exaggerated, also affect the body. In those cases, the support of a professional is required.
Levels of self-esteem
A person with high self-esteem feels safe to speak in public.
Self-esteem levels can range from positive or high to negative or low.
A person with high self-esteem is characterized by:
- Have confidence in yourself to address or speak with other strangers or in front of a large audience.
- Have a more positive attitude towards life and, especially, when faced with adversity.
- Make your own decisions without waiting for the approval of others.
- Accept herself without being conditioned by the opinions of others.
- Not being easily manipulated .
- Be more compassionate with yourself in the face of a mistake or failure.
- Be more empathetic to other people by understanding their feelings and ways of thinking.
- Strive to achieve your goals.
- Have the strength to express your emotions and feelings without shame.
- Set limits or say no, when you feel or consider it necessary.
A person with low self-esteem is characterized by:
- Being very shy when talking to another person and, especially, when speaking in front of a large group.
- Having a pessimistic attitude towards life.
- Condition their own decisions based on what others think or expect.
- Have difficulty accepting yourself.
- Be more suggestible or permeable to the manipulation of others.
- Have a serious personality that does not adapt easily to jokes and even takes offense at them.
- Be less empathetic with others, because she is very submerged in her emotions of fear, insecurity and mistrust.
- Easily discouraged at the first obstacle that comes your way.
- Being ashamed and afraid of expressing your emotions and feelings.
- Having difficulty setting limits or saying no, when you feel or consider it necessary.
How to improve self-esteem?
Improving self-esteem is a process that requires time, patience, and mental exercise.
Low self-esteem can be improved: the first step is to recognize it and the second step is to ask for help from a family member, a friend and, especially, a professional specialized in psychology.
The concepts and structures that the individual acquires from childhood and youth condition the way of thinking and perceiving the world, consequently, they condition the individual’s personality and the way in which they value themselves. Breaking with certain obsolete structures allows us to understand the emotions of the person and strengthen their self-esteem.
Improving self-esteem is a process that requires time, patience and mental exercise to change the perspective with which life is perceived, that is, make the effort to see the positive side of reality, until that flows naturally and effortlessly.
Neither extreme is healthy: exaggeratedly elevated self-esteem can mean a distortion of the individual’s perception of himself. On the contrary, highly discredited self-esteem can mean a depressive disorder that requires professional help to regain a mental and emotional balance.
According to the American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970), developing a balanced self-esteem allows us to achieve self-realization and a full life.
Maslow formulated the theory of “ Human motivation ” which explains that, as people satisfy their needs, they develop new needs and desires. For this reason, self-esteem can vary throughout life and maintaining its balance is a constant exercise.
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