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

This Is a Dumb Reason to Turn Down a Proposal

By Donna Barstow on June 30, 2015 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Maybe you shouldn't say no - to anything - until you know yourself a little better.

Is High Self-Esteem Bad for You?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in A Sideways View
Research suggests that the belief that bolstering self-esteem leads to many positive psychological and behavioural consequences may be misguided. Indeed it could have seriously unintended consequences and make matters worse

The Avatar Theory of Consciousness

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on June 27, 2015 in Memory Medic
Evolution made us smart enough to be effective killers and hopefully wise enough to be more humane.

What It Means to Truly Honor Ourselves

While maintaining a delicate sense of pride for our achievements in not necessarily a bad thing, it can easily solidify into an arrogant pride that distances us from others. We might do well to get clearer about what we're really wanting. Differentiating pride from dignity can help orient us toward what really nourishes and sustains us.

Reflections on Pixar's "Inside-Out" and the Neglect of Shame

Distinguishing whether you are depressed because you have experienced a prolonged state of sadness, or because you have experienced a prolonged state of shame, is critically important.

5 Types of Self-Talk That Guide, Heal, and Motivate

By Meg Selig on June 23, 2015 in Changepower
For positive self-talk that can raise your confidence, motivate you, and soothe your troubled spirit, strengthen these 5 helpful inner voices. Yes, everyone has them!

Why You Should Embrace Your Insecurities and Not Mask Them

Overcompensating for failure could be your downfall.

Shame Indicates Anxiety Disorders in Children

Which emotion is a bigger indicator of an anxiety disorder in children - guilt or shame?

Does Your Relationship Need a Reality Check?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on June 21, 2015 in Off the Couch
Most of us want to be admired and even, on occasion, slightly idealized by our loved ones. But at a certain point, the good feelings can turn bad. Too much admiration can damage a relationship. What’s the tipping point, and what can you do to avoid it?

“Micro-traumas” Can Undermine Our Emotional Health

“Micro-traumas” Can Undermine our Emotional Health. Subtly hurtful patterns of interaction often diminish self-worth and well being. By Margaret Crastnopol, Ph.D.

Feeling Stuck in the Relationship

Research shows that people with higher self-esteem tend to find more satisfaction in their relationships. Find the power and strength within yourself to make a change your life for the better. No one besides you can fulfill you and make you happy, so only you have the power to do so.

Fooling Your Ego

A growing body of research that shows that viewing your life from a psychologically distant vantage point can help you see yourself through kinder, more compassionate eyes.

Do You Have An External Validation Mental Model?

Do you know your mental models? Do they help you or hurt you?

Body Alterations and Enhancements: Positive or Negative

Media drives the cultural bus regarding body size and shape. Ways to alter and enhance our bodies are available through cosmetics and cosmetic surgery. Being tied to cultural dictates is not a statement of low self-worth; or is it?

New York Prison Break—An Accessory´s Admission

Is Joyce Mitchell so different than the rest of us? Yes, in her unlawful conduct. No, in terms of her positive response to the way a crafty manipulator made her feel.

11 Awful Things You Are Doing to People When You Shame Them

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 11, 2015 in Living Single
When people behave badly (or when we think they do), we are often tempted to shame them. From psychological research, though, we have learned that what happens to people who are shamed can be quite dire.

What Are the Psychological Effects of Casual Sex?

Much of my audience is appalled by the fact that infidelity is so prevalent and that it has been so thoroughly monetized, while others simply shrug their shoulders and say things like, “People have been cheating since the beginning of time, so what’s the big deal?”

How to Turn "If Only" Worries into Positive Alternatives

Making the smallest decision, even during a crises can help restore equilibrium.

Why Pride Is Nothing to Be Proud Of

We may pride ourselves on our achievements and accomplishments, but clinging to pride can become a trap that disconnects us from ourselves and others. In contrast, cultivating a sense of dignity can free us to honor and be ourselves just as we are. We create suffering for ourselves when cling to a sense of superiority. Dignity allows us to more more freely through life.

5 Ways NOT to Deal with Anger

By Steven Laurent on June 05, 2015 in Chill Pill
Even I use the third strategy, on occasion, against my own advice...

Four Strategies to Make Facebook Work Better for You

Facebook has become a very powerful phenomenon and tool, transforming lives around the globe. But you need to find a way to make it work for you and not against you. Keeping social comparison theory in mind might help you to do so. Monitor your mood and comparisons after Facebook use and then act accordingly.

A Virtual Identity Crisis in the Making

So, what's your avatar look like?

Tired of Being Judged? Try This.

We are being bombarded with implicit and explicit judgments in our professional and personal lives. Does constant evaluation take a toll on our psychological well-being?

Tapping Into Your Omniscient Narrator

Writing about yourself in the third person narrative is a remedy for tunnel vision, offering an elevated, compassionate perspective on your life.

Beyond Individual Psychology: How Psychology Shames

Do you see your problems as only your own? Do you see how they are part of a larger family or cultural system? If not, you may be burdened with undeserved shame.

Social Media Cannot Fix 'Being Alone'...Nor Should It

Being alone is not the same as loneliness, and it could be good for you.

Don’t Worry. Make an Expansive Move, and Be Happy.

By Steve Sisgold on May 29, 2015 in Life in a Body
Create more happiness and less stress through being aware of our body movements..

Return of the King—LeBron James, That Is

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers' sweep of the Atlanta Hawks last night to capture the Eastern Conference title and earn themselves a trip to the NBA Championship Series is—certainly for Cavs fans—cause for considerable celebration. And what a vindication! . . .

Self-Esteem and Your Inner Biker

The news pumps up the biker “shootout” in Waco. The psychology of abandon cuts through the hype and examines how biker gangs mirror the struggle for self-esteem that shapes all of us—even you and me. Gun your engines.