helping those with low self-esteem

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  1. Ken Crow profile image60
    Ken Crowposted 13 years ago

    I want to start a discussion because, frankly I feel as though low self-esteem is a major problem today.
    1. How did you overcome low self-esteem?
    2. Do feel that by being a Christian aids in the recovery from suffering from low self-esteem?
    3. Do you feel that praising children encourages that child and helps them to build a positive self image?
    4. Do you feel as though having a low self-worth/self-esteem hinders you in relationships and friendships?

    Give your advice, give your thoughts. I am sure their are plenty of people that would relish positive feedback on how to overcome this traumatic problem. For me, yes at one time the only thing I knew about a positive self image was reading about it in a dictionary. I was the poster child for zero self-esteem..Have a great day and God bless each of you.

    1. Seafarer Mama profile image77
      Seafarer Mamaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Dear Ken,

      Recovering from a lifetime of receiving messages that somehow one does not compare well with others is a lifelong process. Recently, I came across a creativity practice that draws from a heavy spiritual tradition, including Christianity. It recommends that we concentrate on what we are grateful for...the things that are going well, and to rely on our own assessment of our lives, vs. the values others want to impart to us.  If you visit, you will find a page that gives more information about John's book.

      One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is Wise Counsel, and that means we ask God what is best for us, and not rely on others' judgments.  There is a saying I have heard, and my be considered "cliche," but I will include it: "Those who matter don't judge and those who judge don't matter." Probably a wise principle when deciding which acquaintances will become lifelong friends and which will not.

      Often, when we want to change the way we do things, we are met with harsh resistance. It can make things difficult if there are people around us who rely on our keeping a "status quo" in our lives, but how are we ever to grow from that?

      So...are there moments and decisions that you have been especially proud of? List them. Remember how they made you feel, why you made them, and who supported you.

      When it comes to encouraging children, there is a way to do so that is better than others that increases their self-esteem. Praising actions instead of their person often gives them a more powerful message. If they make mistakes but have grown in developing a particular skill, acknowledging that helps. Acknowledging how they may feel when they resist a certain direction also goes a long way.  One book that was particularly helpful to me is "How to Talk so Children Will Listen and Listen So Children Will Talk." We must be gentle with ourselves. Any hurts can be healed with some work on both sides....the other is the "Attachment Parenting" movement. Just Google "Attachment Parenting" and find the web site that is related to that movement.  We cannot go back. We can only forgive ourselves for being human, thank God for the things that have gone well, and move forward in the best way we can.

      Peace and love to you,

    2. DellNixon profile image61
      DellNixonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Stop blaming yourself or the others.

  2. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    I don't disagree that a lot of people have low self esteem, but I think a bigger problem is that too many people have higher self esteem than they ought to have - and if their self esteem isn't already high enough, they keep on finding ways to look down on other people and reinforce their own inflated, and misguided, self esteem.

    Regardless of whether they have low or high self esteem, people have a tendency to find external things that help them build their own.  People with high incomes sometimes lean on that as a way to build self esteem.  Some will lean on their appearance if they're someone who is attractive.  Some will find, and build, their self esteem on level of education, how many friends they have, whether they have "good" or pretty or "smart" kids - the list goes on and on.  Some puff up their self esteem by finding something to belong to (like a religion or a country club or even just a circle of work cronies or neighbors).  When they find a group to which they can belong, it's usually a group of people with similar values - and the whole lot of individuals involved serve to boost one another's sense of self esteem.  You see it in suburban neighborhoods ("We all measure up and have the same kind of great landscaping and sun room.")  You see it in church groups, ("We all believe the same thing, and the rest of us believe what we do - so, hey, we belong to 'the majority' in our own little group.") 

    Some religions even help people feel better about themselves by spreading the word that wealth, beauty, or any number of other things valued in society aren't "good".  Instead, being "poor" is "holier".

    As far as too much high self esteem goes, the world seems too full of people who believe that anyone who does what they do must be "OK".  Anyone who does something differently must do it that way because he's either stupid or naive or else has some other weakness or inferiority to the "judger" (the person who someone always "errs on the side of the other person's inferiority" if he doesn't understand, or approve of, what someone else does.  These too-much-high-self-esteemers often know they're plenty intelligent or plenty capable or plenty moral/good, but what they don't realize is that in this world there are many others who are even MORE intelligent, capable, moral/good, or whatever the trait/behavior in question is, than they are.

    As far as I can see, a little low self esteem can be dealt with.  Too much self esteem is hopeless.  Of course what may happen sometimes is someone with low self esteem builds better self esteem for himself through external and artificial reasons, so people ending up having BOTH low self esteem and over-blown self-esteem at the same time.

    What the world needs now is a little more "others-esteem" all around, as far as I'm concerned.  What people with low self esteem need to keep in mind may be that they need to learn to work with what they have/don't have for self esteem, but that can be done.   (My own experience with childhood church attending was that if the church had its way I would have had little self-esteem because the church talked about "big, black, sin" on souls, and how once a soul was blackened with sin there wasn't really any making it go back to "all white" again.  Then, they're point out that stuff like telling a lie or fighting with a sibling was a sin, so six-year-olds were led to believe they had gray or black stained souls that could never ever be pure.  Good thing I dumped the church before it had too much of a chance to wreck my self esteem.   lol

  3. tonymac04 profile image71
    tonymac04posted 13 years ago

    Self-esteem is the most precious thing a person can have and there are so many ways in which it gets damaged by society and people around us.
    Self-esteem is not about what used to be called vainglory, but about an accurate knowledge of ourselves and a proper prizing of what is good in us.
    I agree with Karen on how to improved self-esteem.
    I think there are two issues here - one is that it is easy to confuse self-esteem with pride or arrogance; and secondly, we tend often to compare ourselves with others, especially those who seem "better" than ourselves.
    Arrogance or pride actually are usually symptoms of low self-esteem. A person with adequate self-esteem does not need to put other people down. A person with adequate self-esteem feels comfortable "in their skin," as the saying goes.
    As for your four questions I would answer as follows:
    1. By seeking honest feedback and concentrating, as Karen has mentioned, on the many positives in your life.
    2. Not necessarily. In fact some things that Christianity (and other religions) often preach about sin and a "lack of godliness" actually make people feel worse about themselves.
    3. Praising a child for positive behaviour definitely helps build self-esteem. Praising a child for negative or unhelpful behaviour is simply dishonest and very unhelpful. Giving feedback about such behaviour in a way which tells the truth without damaging the self-esteem is possible and preferable.
    4. Low self-esteem definitely inhibits good relationships. It is very often difficult to be open and honest when one has low self-esteem.
    Ken, I hope that my answer will be helpful to you.
    Love and peace

  4. Daniel Carter profile image62
    Daniel Carterposted 13 years ago

    In some people, praise only creates an addiction for it, and they continually seek praise from external sources. These people usually are narcissists.

    Religion teaches that God loves us, and paradoxically teaches that we will never be worthy to be loved by him because we are not okay the way we are now.

    The inner security of well being and peace for anyone comes from acting consistently with ones core values. For example, if the value is to be honest, then dealing honestly with others will increase that sense of well-being and security of one's self. And so the list goes.

    The more consistently we act in harmony with our core values, the more we will be secure with ourselves, increase our self esteem and therefore, be able to offer our "gifts" of self to others. This in turn fosters healthier relationships, inspires others to also act consistently with their own core values.

    Self esteem must be generated from within to large degree. Receiving validation from external sources (people) helps, but unless the core inner work is done, then we become vampires trying to suck our self esteem for ourselves out of others.

    1. tonymac04 profile image71
      tonymac04posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Mmmmhhh! Our core values are not given us at birth. We develop them in our interaction with the world around us, which includes people. I agree with your statement, "The more consistently we act in harmony with our core values, the more we will be secure with ourselves, increase our self esteem and therefore, be able to offer our "gifts" of self to others." No doubt about that.
      And we often need input from others to know what our core values are. Certainly in my life I have experienced a great deal of feedback which helped me modify and mature my values (they are still maturing).
      My point is more about locus of control. If we have sound and healthy self-esteem we are likely to have more control over our behaviour, be less reactive to stimuli from outside. The lower the self-esteem the more likely it is that we will simply react to others.
      That is why I say the self-esteem is so precious. Yes, it is within us and we don't necessarily get it from others. But others can say and do things which damage, or can damage, our self-esteem, especially in childhood and early adulthood, before we have developed real ego-strength. Or when we are feeling low for any reason, like sickness, loss of work, divorce, bereavement. When we are extra vulnerable.
      That is why I define self-esteem as the value I place on my self-image. No-one can state that value for me - in other words no-one can create my self-esteem. But someone definitely can lower the image I have of myself, by careless words or deeds. That is why it is so important not to say things likfe "You're stupid," or, even worse, "You shouldn't feel like that."
      Anyway I've said enough, I think!

  5. Pcunix profile image92
    Pcunixposted 13 years ago

    I certainly see no need for religion to have healthy self esteem.

    I don't see what the relationship is at all, frankly.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image57
      Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Well, I think we may agree on this one. LOL

      Teach people they are worthless sinners that God needed to murder His only son for and you have a recipe for low self esteem right there.

      I look in the mirror every morning and tell myself how awesome I am - no low self esteem over here. big_smile

      1. Pcunix profile image92
        Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I doubt either of us has to worry about low self esteem smile

        Of course we have good reason not to think we are sniveling worms..  perhaps the problem with some is that they SHOULD have a low opinion of themselves.

        Yeah, I know, that sounds awful and no, nobody should keep kicking themselves their entire life. But reality is harsh and cruel and some people just don't have much to offer.

        Oh, gosh, I forgot about the Sky Guy.  He loves them no matter what, doesn't he?  Yet another reason to cling to religion, I suppose.  Don't try to improve, don't work to be better, because it does not matter: Big Imaginary Pal loves you regardless.

        So I guess there is a relationship.  A sick relationship, but there it is.

        1. kirstenblog profile image78
          kirstenblogposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          This does not sound awful to me, some people need to realise that we have to earn the good things in life, not everything is handed on a silver platter, not even self esteem. Messed up value systems, laziness and selfishness contribute to a low self esteem. Beating oneself up over does nothing to solve the problem and thus I wouldn't beat someone else up over their short comings but if they are not happy in their lives I will tell them to change their life then. Only you know what you can and cannot do, if you know on some level that you can do more then you are it seems logical that that is the root of the problem.

          1. Pcunix profile image92
            Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            OK, but let's be realistic here.  It's easy for me to have self esteem.  I'm smart, good looking, funny, well liked (except by the deeply religious!) and I have a very comfortable life.

            Anybody lacking those things could look at me and say "Duh! Why wouldn't you be confident and self assured?  I wish I had half of that!"

            Evvy_09 said they should not compare themselves, but sometimes you are surrounded by people who plainly are much better off than you are.  How are those folks supposed to feel great about their circumstances?

            Yes, some people look for negatives and give too much power to minor problems.  But some really do have a lot to be unthankful for.  Is the fantasy of religion their only solace?

            1. kirstenblog profile image78
              kirstenblogposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              In your first post you say that some people should have a low opinion of themselves, then say it might sound awful. I disagree with that, it does not sound awful to me, perfectly reasonable. Fact is people do pretty crappy stuff and should feel crappy about it.

              My personal opinion of religion is that for some its a tool or whatever and thats cool, far be it from me to turn into their opposite number and insist on what they should believe.

              On the other hand in terms of spirituality I think religion is sheer laziness, spiritually speaking. Look to some old book not your inner self, thats religion and its far easier, looking inward is tough, religion the lazy way out.

              Taking the lazy or easy root is not going to give a sense of esteem and any solace it provides is superficial at best. I guess I just don't get much from the automatic self back patting machine called church so find the whole experience hollow, the substance of life, is in life, not church. Anyway thats me rambling on a bit lol

              Point is you can work a low paid job surrounded by rich folks every which way you look, folks who wont make eye contact when you say mornin' and just shrug it off. Or you can figure stuff/possessions equal worth and feel like scum for not having what they have. Of course its my experience that in a vast majority of cases these people are completely miserable working like slaves for some job they hate and know does nothing good for anyone except the profit margin. There are 3 real necessities in life, food clothing and shelter. I could earn more living on full benefits but with what I earn I keep food in the house and can buy sewing needles to repair my clothing (can't buy new stuff all the time) and I even pay taxes! This gives me more joy then I can say, sure I could have more on benefits but I would not have the sense that what I have was earned. This is where my self esteem comes from, knowing I have earned the things I have, meager tho they may be.

    2. profile image0
      Jake Gene Barnesposted 13 years agoin reply to this


  6. Inspired to write profile image77
    Inspired to writeposted 13 years ago

    We are all created equal & it is only our own perceptions of ourself that creates either low self esteem or high self esteem.

    Others around us also impart perceptions concerning how we feel about ourselves both in the past & currently because others have the ability, or call it 'power' if you will, to make us feel either inferior, or even quite the opposite, good!

    One must look inside & become responsible for the notion that no single person on this planet is either above, or below anyone else here.

    It is how you feel about yourself & your own capabilities concerning your abilities towards you & towards others!

    We have only one life right at this very moment & we are living it so we must learn to understand we are all responsible for our own choices & doings that we commit to & act out so a good positive self esteem is essential as not to lower yourself to instil the feelings & sensations of un-worthiness in your role here as this can hold you back from your dreams!

    Regards Dale

  7. kirstenblog profile image78
    kirstenblogposted 13 years ago

    I was often told as a teen that I had low self esteem, what teenager does not seem to fit the low self esteem bill?

    I have in recent years realised that I feel a high sense of self esteem and also noticed that it is down to something in particular. What I realised is that I do things of esteem and value, I do things that contribute to living in a community that feels decent and friendly. I walk around with my head held high because I do things that I feel pride in.

    I wonder if this idea of low self esteem often misses the point, that we need to do this of esteem to feel self esteem. In valuing pop culture and celebrity as opposed to genuinely positive contributions to the lives of real people we stop aiming to do those sorts of things. Is it any surprise that we can find it difficult to feel self esteem if we do not value activities of esteem? Our culture looks down on house painters and plumbers and other jobs that make this world work, we value instead celebrity culture and when we cannot attain celebrity status or find that the whole experiences is hollow we miss out on the chances to do things that don't feel hollow, things that will give us a sense of being of value. Think for a moment how the world would change if the celebs disappeared as opposed to if the janitors disappeared? Who would you miss?  I gotta say for me its the janitors. If you feel yourself to have a low self esteem have a look at what you do, what you contribute to your family, community, society. If you cannot see the value you contribute to your society/community that might just be a big clue as to why self esteem issues are a problem, could be that you can fix the problem easily big_smile

  8. evvy_09 profile image60
    evvy_09posted 13 years ago

    The best way to correct low self esteem is to stop comparing yourself to other people.  That is where it all starts.  If we can learn to be honest with ourselves, truly honest, we will see the world for what it is.  We will find out that everyone is messed up in their own unique way. There is no way to please anybody all the time.  Stop caring so much for people's opinions of yourself and live for yourself and the people you love.

  9. fucsia profile image59
    fucsiaposted 13 years ago

    I had read a book very useful to increase self-eteem: " The six pillars of self-esteem" by N. Branden.
    obviously the first step was to understand to have a problem of self-esteem. This is not easy, believe me!
    I arrived to understand this after I decided to know me: a fantastic journey!
    The second step was read this book with creativities: a book is only a book,  to make it important are our interpretations.
    The third step is put into practice, every day, the teachings learned.

    A very important person helps me in this work. Alone I would not have succeeded.
    He follows my journey,  gives me many stimuli, spurs me, and listen me.

  10. Ken Crow profile image60
    Ken Crowposted 13 years ago

    Wow, I guess I stirred the pot today. Ton's of great stuff in here today. I do hope that those suffering from a very low self-image or self-worth will read some of this. Personally I do have to disagree (but do so respectfully) with "Pcunix" thoughts regarding Christianity. But that is because I a Christian. I do feel as though that when we all realize how precious we are in God's eyes, that goes along way toward healing and feeling better about ourselves.

    I agree stongly with "Seafarer Mama" in her assessment. Outstanding by the way and thank you for taking the time to post it. Very well said.

    Thanks for the great responses everyone (even the non-believers). All very articulate and all very well written. Keep em coming !

  11. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    lol Pcunix  not everyone can be so blithely dismissive of religion.  It takes a special flair for the absurd.  A certain something the your regal air and omniscient way of seeing life that makes you incapable of being wrong in those assumption.  People in general don't have your gravitas when it comes to things that are secular that fill all the voids in their life.  I guess the world is weaker then you are.  They cant help feeling and reaching toward greater things then Pcunix.  Shame on them.  We should erect an Idol in your image complete with that interesting wig or we wouldn't recognize you.   Then we should pray towards it as a symbol of your great and awesome humanistic spirit.

    1. Pcunix profile image92
      Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Isn't this so typical of those who are so thoroughly soaked in religion?

      Absurd?  Nothing is more absurd than religion.

      Regal? Because I don't need pretend gods to feel good about myself?

      Yes, in general the world IS weaker than I am. Not as smart, not as successful, not as kind, not as funny and not nearly as good looking in a rainbow wig.

      Get over it.

  12. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    Oh, I am over it.  You can't blame me if I think you are funny.  After all, you pride yourself in that aspect of your personality.  I just wonder if you understand where the punch lines actually are.

  13. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    truthfully, I am not in a loving mood right now.  I appreciate that you have your gripes about religion but for the sake of those who don't understand, I reserve the right to be cross when you tear at the beliefs of others.

    1. Pcunix profile image92
      Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Tearing at your fantasies upsets you?

      Then don't read the forum, because there are many of us here who aren't going to applaud you when you tell your Sky Hpguy stories.

  14. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    I think one big mistake people make (especially raising children, but in their own thinking too) is to value what isn't reason to have self esteem and then base how much self esteem they do or don't have, based on whether they have (or do) what they value.

    If little kids are raised to believe that a person isn't as "worthwhile" or valuable as others if he isn't beautiful/handsome; or to believe that the only people worthy of respect are the wealthy (but in some people's eyes, the poor), the intelligent, the people of one group or another, etc. etc. - then the person who doesn't have or do what he's been raised to believe (or come to believe on his own) one of those things is the measure of a person, he's not going to have healthy self-esteem.

    People who based self-esteem on whether someone is "just a good, decent, person who cares about others" are more likely, I think, to have decent self-esteem as far as whether they they're a worthwhile person or not goes.

    One exception may be when someone has a healthy enough self-esteem and is strong because of it, but is treated abusively.  Even if the abusive (sometimes "only" verbal/emotional) treatment isn't anything the victim believes about himself; and even if he knows enough to believe the abuser is "just a jerk who doesn't know anything"; if the victim can't stop it from happening he can feel like he's a loser for not being able to stand up for himself in the face of a bully.  So, even if, in his head, he knows he's a worthwhile, capable, strong, person; on an emotional level, that person can start to hate himself for not being able to stop someone else from treating him poorly.

    A lot of people who intentionally, or unintentionally, treat someone else abusively are those people with too much self-esteem and too little "others esteem".

    All that aside, I think if people spent more time thinking about what they could do for, or on behalf of, others; rather than spending most of their time worrying about whether they have self-esteem or not, their self-esteem might improve as they naturally start to feel a little better about themselves, knowing they do what they can for others.

    1. Ken Crow profile image60
      Ken Crowposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Lisa. Very nicely said and very thoughtful. I am sure somebody will find it very applicable and you helped somebody today....Very good, and thanks again.

  15. travelespresso profile image68
    travelespressoposted 13 years ago

    Self esteem is incredibly important.  Here's a website dedicated to self esteem and international self esteem day.

    1. Ken Crow profile image60
      Ken Crowposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, many thanks for your input and help Travelespresso....

  16. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    lol nah, I live in reality Pcunix, I have nothing to fear from you or anyone else.  Illusions are easy to throw at people especially when you consider yours as reality.  Some aren't as good at telling the difference and opposing those who shred the illusions of others by superimposing their own illusions instead is usually considered rude and uncultured.   Let children dream while they can. Life is cruel enough without you.

    1. Pcunix profile image92
      Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Mine is reality. The things I believe in can be shown to be true, over and over again. People like me use a little thing called the scientific method to judge reality.  People like you just make things up.

      Let children dream? You mean fill them with lies to help perpetuate your religion.  That's what is truly cruel.

      1. Daniel Carter profile image62
        Daniel Carterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It appears that being better and smarter than others is a major part of your "reality." On a person to person basis, I'd say scientifically that's very debatable.

      2. Ken Crow profile image60
        Ken Crowposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Pcunix: Would you like to explain to that Doctor that spent trying 20 Minutes bringing me back to life after I had flatlined and bled out? Would you like to explain to him how their is no God? How about me? Would you like to tell me whom I did not meet or did meet? Would you like to tell me where I went to and whom I met? Tell it Hillcrest Baptist Hospital in Waco, Texas. Tell it to the E.R. Nurses and my mother who watched me turn whiter than the sheet covering me. I think they would love to hear how their is no God.....Want their numbers?

  17. profile image0
    china manposted 13 years ago

    One big help toward self esteem is to give up those ridiculous religious beliefs that have you looking always upward at something bigger than ourself, including the fat ego's that stand between you and that perceived light and tell you that you are a sinner and not worthy.

  18. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    believe it or not, I use the scientific method too.  Read my work.  The interesting thing about where it starts is by trying out each path and paying attention to the fruits of obeying the principles that each path teaches.  I chose my path based on the evidence that my obedience has shown me .  I exist not based on that which is hopeful thinking but based on proof that came after the evidence of my consecration to my path.  I told you I don't fear you, I meant it.   

    Your eyes, *chuckle* could see the evidence too but it would destroy your world view.   You make excuses for nature, I understand it. You guess and base your science on a bunch of guesses that are "time" tested but are based on what your eyes show you.  This works for you until something weird happens that your principles won't cover.  It is why you have theories, and hypothesis. 

    Science shudders to use the word Law.   They don't want to be the one who's ego gets shattered when their "law" gets proved wrong.  You cant honestly tell me that if you lived the laws I live by that you wouldn't end up exactly in the state of knowledge and happiness that I enjoy.  China Man is just as interested in having closed eyes and thats ok.   

    The only thing that makes you feel any better is telling yourself that I am deluded.   You think you have it all.  Let us see what you feel without everything that you think makes you happy.  I have lost it all.  Twice, in fact.  It is by my principles that I have obtained it all back and interest on top of it.   I am living proof that my principles work.

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I am not quite sure what most of this rambling is about - but science does not deal in absolutes - that is the province of religion.  Scientific theories are meant to be disproved and found to be wrong - they are just that, theories, another description is that they the best fit answer to the information we have.  You should not get confused by this - it is called being open minded, scientifically.  Trying to reverse reality by calling me blind is about as sensible as the dreamed up nonsense of creationism.

  19. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    It may amuse the public to know that just about every law science knows was shown to them by a Christian.  One who believed that natural law could be observed through the eyes of Faith as I describe it.  He believed that God was a God of Law.   IE Sir Isaac Newton.   Even Einstein only purported theories as he named them.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image57
      Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It certainly is funny that you think that. lol

      Context being everything - we now know better and do not expect anyone to believe this nonsense. Sir Isaac certainly would have been hounded - probably to death - if he had expressed anything other than in God terms.

      Fortunately - your religion no longer has any power or authority, so modern thinkers such as Dawkins and Hawking can dispense with the god stuff without fear of attack.

      1. Jaggedfrost profile image61
        Jaggedfrostposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Do you even know what my religion is?  Power is relative and that was an ill judged statement to say the least.  Sir Isaac may have been in a time period when Religious feelings were high and betraying the norm was dangerous to one's health.  He was, however an infamous Atheist baiter.  One of those occasions included placing a model of the universe in the corner of his office when one such scientist came over.  When that scientist asked him who made the model Sir Newton said, "nobody."  There is more to that encounter that you could look up but he was devout and didn't have to be.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image57
          Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Clearly he was insane. There is a fine line between insanity and genius. What is your point again? That we should not take it in context? And the game of the day was atheist baiting by wealthy religionists? I know that. We are biting back now though aren't we? Your religion is as clear as a bell. Dear me. sad

          Not even sure why you felt the need to attack people who think Christianity teaches low self-esteem in order to sell the cure-all. So - getting back on the subject of the thread might be good.

          You want to attack people who do not subscribe to your belief system - I suggest writing a hub attacking them. Oh wait...... wink

    2. profile image0
      Sophia Angeliqueposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There was a study released in California about two years ago that showed that high self esteem did not change a criminal into a lawfully abiding citizen. Instead, it just changed the criminal into a criminal with high self esteem.

      For the past four decades there has been this big thing that high self-esteem is essential to the development of people, because it was assumed that if people had high self-esteem then they would be happy people and there wouldn't be any more crime.

      So, they've been trying to get everybody to have high self esteem by praising them things - even when the things they are praised for don't merit it.

      Essentially, a feeling of worth develops when one's contribution is valued by the community. The reason so many are without self-worth today is that everybody is replaceable - some by machines.

      Another thing that gives high self esteem is one's ability to overcome circumstances and understand the worth of that.

      Does religion raise one's self-esteem? I doubt it.

      I think we tend to value ourselves the way other people see us.

      1. Daniel Carter profile image62
        Daniel Carterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        There is a difference between high self esteem and personality disorders such as narcissism and sociopaths. Sociopaths in the briefest of definitions don't have a conscience, and therefore, are incapable of thinking of anyone but themselves and use and abuse others to get what they want, disposing of them when they are done. This is not self esteem. It's not healthy. Narcissism is the focus of the individual on themselves, and getting others to only focus on them as well, feeding their starved egos. Feeding the ego is not conducive to healthy self esteem. Feeding the ego creates personality disorders and worsens them.

        It's pretty safe to say the hardened criminals do not have self esteem, they have acute cases of personality disorders.

      2. Pcunix profile image92
        Pcunixposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Let us not forget that our prisons are crammed with devout Christians - many of them who think very highly of themselves and their religious fantasies.

  20. kirstenblog profile image78
    kirstenblogposted 13 years ago

    Funny how the topic of self esteem turns into a religion argument hmm

    I have known plenty of Christians with no self esteem, as well as atheists. It's almost like one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but religion has to do with everything right?! roll

  21. Pearldiver profile image67
    Pearldiverposted 13 years ago

    I don't think we should be so dismissive of religion's relationship to low self esteem! Many have had a life time of low esteem after having been abused by religious leaders with the ability to do so in the name of their gods... Mormon Sect. Warren Jeffs is a good example... along with a large number of Catholic Fathers.. etc. etc.

    However, if we DON'T Wish to include this aspect of the religious relationship to self esteem... then MAYBE BEST To leave the Christian 'Self Righteous' Stuff out of it huh? hmm

    AND OP... If You Wish to make this a Religious Issue... Then Open your threads in the Religious Forums Sector!! sad

    Self Esteem is merely Self Belief.... It Is Nothing MORE Than That!
    If Your Belief System is Non-Factual then You Will Never Get Over It! In a Low Self Esteem situation... You Have to be Factual and Brutally Honest.. to Allow Yourself to Believe in Yourself.. When You Are Brutally Honest... You Must Stack Your Religious Belief to one side... So That it Can Not be used as a crutch! I'm Not getting into this anymore.. But I have been in the Self Improvement Industry for Many Years and I really do know what I am talking about! - On that basis... I choose not to debate religion with a person who believes in an intangible feeling but cannot Believe in their Tangible Self! roll
    Until they can... they are not ever going to solve their problem!!

  22. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    I don't hold with creationism because it is founded on a fault premise.  Evolution is equally flawed.  Open minds are for people who have theories that are shaky enough to constantly be up for being disproven .   However truth is obtained in a method very much like the method one goes about performing an experiment.  It is the confidence in the experiment that leads one from concept to concept.

  23. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    For what dear Nixon?  I see nothing at fault in our differing of opinions other then the way we discuss them.

  24. Hugh Williamson profile image74
    Hugh Williamsonposted 13 years ago

    I went to a meeting on self esteem once. Everyone sat in the back.

    1. Daniel Carter profile image62
      Daniel Carterposted 13 years agoin reply to this


      Nice. Probably accurate.

  25. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    now now, atheists got th jail as well.  I rather doubt the majority of Christians who fall and go to prison did so by following the doctrines of Christianity but often seem to find God while there.

  26. cathylynn99 profile image75
    cathylynn99posted 13 years ago

    i agree with Inspired to Write that we are all equal in core worth because we are all human. some may have more to offer in certain situations, which increases their market worth, not core worth. if market worth were the most inportant, we would lose value while we sleep. ridiculous, isn't it? we wouldn't value children.

    my market worth has decreased from that of full-time practice of medicine to part-time practice of social work. my self-esteem has increased over the same period because i realize we are all equal. we all have worth just by virtue of being human. before i was on a treadmill, low self-esteem pushing me to achieve empty outward success. self-esteem is an inside job. books that helped me are mckay, fanning, et al's "self-esteem companion" and schiraldi's "the self-esteem workbook." start with mckay.

  27. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    I am attacking no one per say other then poking wholes in places where athiests  think when it comes to going after Christians in general for using their religion to pep themselves up.  Classical Christianity, however neither boosted the ego nor did it lower the ego but gave perspective and proper courtly status before the throne of God.  If you absent God you can think a lot more of yourself but that is what you would call a self delusion.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image57
      Mark Knowlesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I am not really interested in watching you boost your obvious lack of self esteem by accusing anyone who does not follow your religion of being self delusional. Using your religion to "pep yourself up," is all well and good - but - does it always have to be by claiming superiority over some one?

  28. Leon Ledwith profile image61
    Leon Ledwithposted 13 years ago

    Guys - don't debate about religion, rather focus on what the main post was about - low self-esteem!
    Anyways, I believe people can boost their self esteem by being funny smile
    Here is a link to one of my hubs for helping with this

  29. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    If it will make you feel better Leon.

  30. profile image0
    BIKTMIAposted 13 years ago

    This is a good post. I think seeking the positive and not blaming for your own choices. Those controllable those not controllable different.

  31. Bronson_Hub profile image60
    Bronson_Hubposted 13 years ago

    Great questions!

    1. How did you overcome low self-esteem?  I realized that the main source of my insecurities derived from relying on an external source for validation.  Through meditation and refocusing on feeling how my body moved throughout the day, I noticed aches and pains solely from emotional negativity and thoughts.  This realization prompted me to focus more going inwards instead of outwards.  Eventually and unintentially, I naturally gravitated to creating my own sense of self-worth, but in a way, it was effortless.  It's kind of like being a little kid again, sometimes.

    2. Do feel that by being a Christian aids in the recovery from suffering from low self-esteem?  For me this did not help entirely.  When I went to church I felt a lot of pressure to depend on an external system for self-esteem. At first everyone treated me so well and they were all so open and kind.  Especially the Pastor.  Then when I started to feel better, it was time for the fire and brimstone which is ironically identical to the verbal abusive and psychological abusive patterns of people in relationships.  They build you up and make you feel great, then take it away by knocking you down when they see that you rely on them for a sense of well being and self-esteem, then from that point they dole it out based on whether or not you behave the way they want you to.  I can't say all churches are like this.  I grew up and circulated through 4 different churches before removing myself entirely from that circle. The community, albeit kind, helpful, was in a way another dependency, as was the pressure to believe in the scriptures.  I had to accept something "out there" to justify how I felt inside, and that didn't feel right, it felt like a drug in a way.

    3. Do you feel that praising children encourages that child and helps them to build a positive self image?

    Absolutely!  Creating a safe home environment where kids can feel confident in their own skin will create strong, healthy, independent adults.  My parents often picked me apart saying I could always do something better, then they would punctuate it with "You know we love you..."  Which felt really crappy to be honest.  When I was just starting out, I needed a healthy source of validation before I could develop my reasoning abilities to discover that ultimate self-esteem is mine to create anytime I wanted.  A destructive environment can make this realization almost impossible because verbal and emotional abuse reverberates and echoes through our minds.  We can stop it when we feel like we're worthy of feeling better.

    4. Do you feel as though having a low self-worth/self-esteem hinders you in relationships and friendships?

    It surely does.  When I had low self-esteem I thought no one would want to talk to me or I had to apologize for everything or get permission to do anything.  From the outside, others saw me as stuck up, shy, or arrogant, but I was anything but!  I didn't want to talk to people because I didn't feel like I was good enough.  But they mistook that for me appearing like I was too good to talk to them.  It's an ironic twist that leads to more isolation.

  32. Ipeoney profile image69
    Ipeoneyposted 13 years ago

    what is the difference between shyness and low self-esteem? Or between low self-confidence and low self-esteem? Can it be both or just one? It is confusing because Many shy people have actually high self-esteem. Many shy people have strong self-confidence, and very independent.
    I think i'm confused now.

    Sometimes we misunderstand a person and think that this quite shy person is the one who has low self-esteem, compared to the other person who is constantly attacking him, we think that this other person is great and great and we think he has high self-esteem.

    In the first place the reason why the person who attacks is because he or she has low-self-esteem, probably getting jealous to the nice and quite person who do his job well and doesn't make any trouble.
    And the shy person is patient enough but if the attack continues, this will cause the shy person to be traumatized and in the long run he will developed a low-self esteem as well due to the attacks of the constant bullies.

    While the trauma is fresh and the person is younger I think it will be easier to heal once he change the environmnt, but if the person is older and the traumatic events complicate with other illnessess then it will be difficult for the person to heal.

  33. earnestshub profile image80
    earnestshubposted 13 years ago

    There is a simple little book on transactional analysis for kids which is a great starter for understanding self esteem even for adults.
    "I'm OK your OK" is the title and it is readily available in book shops.

    1. tonymac04 profile image71
      tonymac04posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Is this the book by Thomas Harris? If so, it's hardly a book for children. Or is there another book with that title aimed at children? If there is I would like to know - can you give an author and/or publisher? I would like to get hold of a copy. Thanks
      I have written a three-Hub series on TA because I find it a very useful concept.

  34. jesseissac profile image52
    jesseissacposted 13 years ago

    Everything that happens to us happens in purpose. And sometimes, one thing leads to another. Instead of locking yourself up in your cage of fears and crying over past heartaches, embarrassment and failures, treat them as your teachers and they will become your tools in both self improvement and success.

    I remember watching Patch Adams – its my favorite movie, actually. Its one great film that will help you improve yourself. Hunter “patch” Adams is a medical student who failed to make it through the board exams. After months of suffering in melancholy, depression and suicidal attempts – he decided to seek for medical attention and voluntarily admitted himself in a psychiatric ward.  His months of stay in the hospital led him to meeting different kinds of people. Sick people in that matter. He met a catatonic, a mentally retarded, a schizophrenic and so on. Patch found ways of treating his own ailment and finally realized he has to get back on track. He woke up one morning realizing that after all the failure and pains he has gone through, he still want to become the a doctor. He carries with himself a positive attitude that brought him self improvement and success. He didn’t only improved himself, but also the life of the people around him and the quality of life. Did he succeed? Needless to say, he became the best damn doctor his country has ever known.

    So, when does self improvement become synonymous with success? Where do we start? Take these tips, friends…
    *Stop thinking and feeling as if you’re a failure, because you’re not. How can others accept you if YOU can’t accept YOU?

    *When you see hunks and models on TV, think more on self improvement, not self pitying. Self acceptance is not just about having nice slender legs, or great abs. Concentrate on inner beauty.

    *When people feel so down and low about themselves, help them move up. Don’t go down with them. They’ll pull you down further and both of you will end up feeling inferior.

    *The world is a large room for lessons, not mistakes. Don’t feel stupid and doomed forever just because you failed on a science quiz. There’s always a next time. Make rooms for self improvement.

    *Take things one at a time. You don’t  expect black sheep’s to be goody-two-shoes in just a snap of a finger. Self improvement is a one day at a time process.

    *Self improvement results to inner stability, personality development and dig this …. SUCCESS. It comes from self confidence, self appreciation and self esteem.

    * Set meaningful and achievable goals. Self improvement doesn’t turn you to be the exact replica of Cameron Diaz or Ralph Fiennes. It hopes and aims to result to an improved and better YOU.

    *Little things mean BIG to other people. Sometimes, we don’t realize that the little things that we do like a pat on the back, saying “hi” or “hello”, greeting someone “good day” or telling Mr. Smith something like “hey, I love your tie!” are simple things that mean so much to other people. When we’re being appreciative about beautiful things around us and other people, we also become beautiful to them.

    *When you’re willing to accept change and go through the process of self improvement, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is. The world is a place where people of different values and attitude hang out. Sometimes, even if you think you and your best friend always like to do the same thing together at the same time, she would most likely decline an invitation for self improvement.

    We should always remember that there’s no such thing as ‘over night success’. Its always a wonderful feeling to hold on to the things that you already have now, realizing that those are just one of the things you once wished for. A very nice quote says that “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  We are all here to learn our lessons. Our parents, school teachers, friends, colleagues, officemates, neighbors… they are our teachers. When we open our doors for self improvement, we increase our chances to head to the road of success.

    Check out for a free audio book on peak performance and self esteem

  35. HattieMattieMae profile image59
    HattieMattieMaeposted 13 years ago

    Great wisdom and insight! smile


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