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

Self-Actualization, Actually

Self-actualization, rather than being a mystical pursuit of personal grown and realization, is grounded in basic functional motives. Clear understanding helps us find ourselves.

Are You Happy With Your Character Resume?

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on July 26, 2017 in Think Well
A lot of people place excessive importance on material "success." They use money, things, and achievements as their metrics of choice. Here's why many of them are unhappy.
Oliver Cole

Camp, Interrupted

Indeed, my season at camp had been interrupted halfway to the finish line. I was aggrieved.
Kuznechik/Shutterstock

The No-Makeup Look Creates a Dilemma for Women

By Tara Well Ph.D. on July 25, 2017 in The Clarity
Research explains the pros and cons of going barefaced.

Four Ways to Determine a Relationship’s Break up Potential

Generally these four factors cause people to eventually break up, divorce, or stay miserably together.
Courtesy of Pexels

How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Relationship

Romantic relationships are bound to bring out our deepest insecurities which can lead to self-sabotaging behaviors. Here are some ways to avoid sabotaging a good relationship.

Perfectly Wrong: Why Perfection Can Destroy Your Motivation

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on July 21, 2017 in Motivate!
Perfection is elusive and fleeting, yet a coveted desire for many. There comes a time when striving for excellence results in obsession and anxiety leading to damaging behaviors.
Roberta Satow

Writing as Self Development

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on July 18, 2017 in Life After 50
How does writing promote the self development?

Listening For Golf Balls

Why do patients tell doctors things that don't seem relevant? Who cares if they got hit by a golf ball 30 years ago? Patients do! Doctors should too. But they have to listen.

The Power of Your Internal Dialogue

Before willing and criticizing yourself to have confidence, start first by developing a new relationship with yourself. Here are four ways to start talking yourself to self-esteem.

The Danger of Secrecy: What Happens to Unanswered Questions?

A child raised in an environment of secrecy receives the unspoken message that the subject of adoption is taboo, and they will continue to have unanswered questions multiply.

How to Cope with a Sudden Loss of Confidence

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on July 13, 2017 in In Practice
Straightforward tips for dealing with fluctuating self-esteem.
Pexels

Is Your Mother an Exhibitionist Narcissist?

If you have ever wondered if your mother was an Exhibitionist Narcissist, this article may help you decide.

Writer's Anxiety

By Amy Green M.A., C.C.C. on July 13, 2017 in Psy-curious
Anxiety can make academic writing tasks feel daunting. What's contributing to these writing worries and what can we do about them?

Is Your Lover Also Your Friend?

Life is sweeter and you think more of yourself when you value your partner as a friend.
Kristin A. Meekhof

Please Stop Telling People to "Let Go" of Their Loss

Perhaps, it is time to stop telling the bereaved to "let go" of their loss.

How Do You Measure Your Self-Worth?

Basing your self-worth on the wrong things is like building your house on an unsteady foundation. Pay attention to how you measure your value.

Why the Apology You Didn't Get Matters

Questioning ourselves for being “oversensitive” is a common way that women disqualify our legitimate anger and hurt.

Four Messages We Wished We Got from the New Wonder Woman

Two body image experts review the new Wonder Woman movie. Here are four critical messages we think the film left out.

Julia Glass Talks About "Overnight" Success and New Novel

By Jennifer Haupt on July 05, 2017 in One True Thing
Is fame and fortune really rewarding? Sustainable? The author of "A House Among the Trees" explores the perils of success.

How to Overcome Body Shame

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on July 05, 2017 in Modern Sex
Do you suffer with painful thoughts and feelings about your body? Start practicing new ways of relating to yourself to lessen shame and strengthen compassion for your body.

Some Thoughts on Independence

For many of us, being dependent on others for comfort, support, and security gives us the ability to be independent.
gerald/Pixabay

8 Powerful Steps to Self-Love

Shaming and criticizing yourself lead to inner rebellion and giving up, while self-compassion gives you hope and trust in the process of change. Learn the "how" of self-compassion.

How to Compliment Beautiful People Better

By Donna Barstow on June 29, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
There is an art to giving compliments. Done the right way, you will both benefit!

Is Friendship Just a Feeling?

By Anneli Rufus on June 28, 2017 in Stuck
I'm currently the most friendless I've ever been. Why might that be?

Should You Compliment a Beautiful Person?

By Donna Barstow on June 28, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Even if you're not one of the beautiful people, you can still look and enjoy!

How to Give to Others Without Burning Out

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Feeling It
Many of us feel burned out. Taking care of others seems like one more burden. Here are science-backed ways you can give to others, reap the benefits, and feel nourished too!

Do You Have to Be Self-Centered to Be Self-Actualized?

What would you do to reach your highest potential? A new series of studies raises doubts about the classical view of self-actualization.

How to Reclaim Your Self-Respect After a Bad Breakup

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on June 24, 2017 in Living Forward
The one thing worse than ending a relationship with someone you love, it is hating yourself on top of it. Learn how to regain your self-respect and confidence.