Many define self esteem as arrogance, selfishness but I agree with Gael Lindenfield’s definition which asserts that :it is a state of being.
In many communities even in Nigeria, People detest the tag of exhibiting a low self esteem…but the truth is many people have this dysfunction. It is not based on an intentional decision, many have developed a low self esteem even right from childhood unconsciously.
The issue at hand is that so many countries lack public education on the subject matter as well as support programs to assist people.
How do people develop a low self esteem?
A few sources of low self esteem is highlighted below;
~a family member who has drug or alcohol problem could hurt a child’s self esteem. A father with drug or alcohol problems will definitely exhibit it one way or the other either by maltreating.
~physical/verbal/sexual or neglection from a parent(such as critical parents, lack of care and affection from parents) could trigger a low self esteem.
~codependent relationships where your inputs are considered “never good enough”…when one is not appreciated.
~disastrous relationships with parents, peers or spouse.
~developmental disability( such as mental retardation, seizure) and chronic diseases such as HIV, STDs etc.
~personal failure such as poor academic performance, divorce, bankruptcy, dropping out of school.
Usually a low self esteem arises from childhood and keeps getting low even unto adulthood if not well addressed.
The negative behavioral consequences results from a ruptured self esteem which could result into a “chronic low self esteem”. A few of such negative consequences are:
~unresolved loss and grief: repressing and denying feelings or not reacting to emotional responses to death of a loved one, a lost relationships.
~self destructive habits such as excessive intake of alcohol, overindulgence in food and gambling.
~Problems with controlling: when an individual over controls people, events or circumstances, that could arise due to a ruptured self esteem.
~ Distorted anger: most times when people express extreme anger, that’s because they have a problem withtheir self-esteem. Anger is a healthy emotion but when distorted, it affects relationship with people.
~Faulty communication: inability to listen to others talk less of comprehending what they actually mean.
However, so many people repress previous unfavorable events which then leads to the development of one or more of the following personality traits which are considered “defense mechanism personalities”(trying to fake good either in a negative or positive way) They include:
It is not uncommon to confuse arrogance with a healthy self esteem. So many people we consider as having a healthy self esteem actually are arrogant. As a person with a healthy self esteem is actually comfortable to be around as they help others build a healthy self esteem as well.
How then can we build a healthy self-esteem?
In a developing country like Nigeria with various cultural beliefs, many people actually shy away from the thought of meeting with a counselor or therapist.
But there are certain self-help tips that one could employ..such is the the write up by “substance abuse and mental health services administration(SAMSHA)…copy and open the link below for self-help tips on developing a healthy self-esteem.
For further reading, check out: Model Of self-esteem|LIVESTRONG.COM