What is Self-Esteem?

Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. (It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism.) Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories. Here are our best insights on how to strike a balance between accurate self-knowledge and respect for who you are.

Recent Posts on Self-Esteem

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Resilience

By Peg Streep on March 02, 2015 in Tech Support
When we speak of someone being "resilient," we tend to think of it as a character strength. But what is resilience anyway, and what does it take to weather the setbacks in life? A look at the research reveals much...

The Top 9 Reasons I Hate Anxiety

Here are the top 9 reasons I hate anxiety--and you should too!

Why Bullies Don't Feel Bad (Or Don't Know They Do)

If you assume that bullies are aware of feeling bad about themselves, you may be ineffective in dealing with them.

Treatment for Borderline Disorder May Reduce Distortions

By Randi Kreger on March 01, 2015 in Stop Walking on Eggshells
My teenage sister was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. We have a difficult relationship, and sometimes I feel like interacting with her is just not worth the trouble. For example, I have caught her lying on too many occasions to count, and she always makes excuses. Now, she blames it on her psychological problems. Can lying be treated?

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Aging Mindfully

By Christa Smith Psy.D. on February 28, 2015 in Shift
Aging Mindfully

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

How to Find Proof That Hope is Not Lost

By Gregg McBride on February 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
The little, seemingly innocuous ways you take care of yourself are your proof that you care about yourself. And this "proof of caring" can be the first step toward committing yourself to lasting and permanent change when it comes to other matters like losing weight, embracing wellness, and/or getting healthier.

Addiction Speaks

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on February 27, 2015 in In Flux
Addiction comes in many shapes and forms. Not all addictions are alike in their severity and duration. Even those addictions that are less severe and less life-threatening can hold us in its clutches for years on end. This entry includes a letter written to Veronica by her "addict self." What emerges from our own depths and from our own will to heal is often poignant.

4 Keys to Great Sex

By Kimberly Key on February 27, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Sex with the wrong partner can have deleterious effects on your self-esteem. Learn the four keys to an awesome sex life.

Intimate Partner Abuse: Walk Away Before the Cycle Starts

We should never live in fear of the people who say they love us.

How People Quit Being High Maintenance

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
Holding our heads high is good an necessary, but higher than other heads is exhausting both for us and the people who have to deal with us. Here's an alternative.

Envisioning the Future for Your Child with Autism

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 25, 2015 in The Autism Advocate
When envisioning the future of your child as an adult – any child – it’s important to focus on the strengths that are apparent. And as the parent of a child with autism, it’s even more important. The strengths your child has will help him overcome his deficits, perhaps even become a way for your child to be employed as an adult, or be motivated to learn new skills.

7 Ways Your Relationship Can Change You

Who you are is less stable than you think, especially when it comes to the influence of romantic partners.

Stop Hating Yourself Once and For All

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Compassion Matters
Throughout a given day, we experience a barrage of sadistic thoughts so smoothly and so frequently that we hardly notice we’re under attack. We may try to compensate for insecurities, but deep down, we are our own worst enemy. So, what causes us to turn against ourselves and how can we stop?

What Makes it Easier to Be Kind to Strangers Than Loved Ones

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on February 24, 2015 in Off the Couch
Ann and Bob have been married for five years and, after trying to get pregnant for two years, have just had their first baby. Their friends and family are all thrilled for them. And while they are both excited to be parents at last, they are also exhausted, anxious and miserable.

How to Tell if Your Child Is Depressed

If you’re waiting for your child to admit to being depressed, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Maybe too long. As parents, we need to be proactive and know the signs of childhood depression.

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our overall happiness and even our health. As satisfying as they can be, they can also present us with significant challenges. These research-based 5 suggestions will help you tip the cost-reward balance in your favor, for your sake, and that of your partner.

Where Does the Anger in Your Relationship Come From?

Everyday love can come with some anger... but is your anger linked to who you are, rather than what your partner did?

Grow a Key Inner Strength

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Your Wise Brain
Use these four questions help grow inner strengths. 1) What's the issue? 2) What psychological resource - inner strength - if it were more present in your mind, would really help with this issue? 3) How could you have experiences of this inner strength? 4) How could you help this experience of the inner strength really sink in to you?

7 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

Your inner dialogue can either fuel your success or prevent you from reaching your greatest potential.

Helping Adolescents Keep Agreements

With more actively and passively resistant adolescents parents must work harder to get agreements made. Getting this habit of keeping agreements in place matters for healthy relationships with parents now, and for significant relationships later on.

After the Break-Up: When Moving On Seems Impossible

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Laugh, Cry, Live
It’s impossible to win love when you feel like a loser. If you’re trying to recover a lost relationship, convinced s/he’s the one, yet feeling unworthy, then the affirmations in my popular post “Coping with Distress and Agony After a Break-Up” may fall short. Inspired by a recent comment, here are strategies for reclaiming your power and recovering yourself, first.

What Exactly Is 'The Best Interest of the Child?', Part 2

When parents are asked about the essential needs of their children during and after parental separation, children’s emotional, psychological, social, moral and spiritual needs are seen to be of paramount importance. But what exactly are these “metaphysical” needs?

Discovering Peace of Mind

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Beyond Good and Evil
I became the person I always wanted to be

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

By Michael Hogan Ph.D on February 20, 2015 in In One Lifespan
There is a strong emerging body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches for a range of difficulties, including chronic pain. We tried to take mindfulness for chonic pain online. We called our programme Mindfulness in Action (MIA). The results of our MIA trial were interesting.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Renamed

This month, the Institute of Medicine gave CFS a new moniker. Read on to learn more.

Fake vs. True Forgiveness

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Undeniably, forgiving others for their wrongs to you has many practical, as well as spiritual, advantages. But the problem is that too often it takes place in the head, rather than the heart. Primarily an intellectual act, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Rational, logical, and objective, it assumes—wrongly—that mental effort alone can talk the heart out of its feelings.

Use 'One Good Thought' to Change Your Harmful Habit

By Meg Selig on February 20, 2015 in Changepower
To improve your life, connect with your core values. Try this simple, 5-minute technique right now!