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 Ways Mentally Strong People Overcome Rejection

Learning how to bounce back after rejection could be the key to reaching your greatest potential.

Can ‘Sexy’ Fitness Be Empowering to Women?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 Fit Femininity
Women can now choose between many different fitness activities to feel more self-confident, strong, and empowered. Why would 'sexy' activities like pole dancing be considered particularly particularly liberating for women?

The Void Social Media Fills

The average American spends 7.6 hours a month on social media. Social media sites enable people to connect with each other no matter on which continent or in which time zone they reside. Although it allows people to stay in touch with loved ones around the world, can social media become an addiction?

Being Your Own Therapist

Being a good therapist to yourself means balancing tough love and soft love, brutal honesty with careful consideration.

Beauty and Fear: Thanksgiving From a Different Perspective

The act of giving can be enhanced when you give from a cup that runneth over, from knowing the true nature of inner beauty. Looking at Thanksgiving from a different perspective.

A Warmer Embrace of Muslims Could Stop Homegrown Terrorism

When people experience a loss to their sense of personal significance—for example, through humiliation or disrespect—they seek out other outlets for creating meaning. Extremists know and exploit these vulnerabilities, targeting Muslims whose sense of significance is low or threatened.

Parental Pressure Takes a Toll on Young Athletes

Emphasizing whether a child wins or loses in a sport harms self-esteem.

4 Signs That Someone Is Insecure

Some people seem possessed by their desire to look better than everyone else. Being in the presence of these people doesn’t have to demoralize you, once you learn the 4 tell-tale clues to their insecurities.

Do Parents Make Their Children Fat?

Research suggests that it’s not just unhealthy food choices that are putting the pounds on our children; parenting style also has a significant impact on childhood obesity.

Research Reveals New Risks for Daily Social Media Users

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Motivate!
Social media usage is rampant, but the seemingly innocuous practice can be lethal to psychological health. Are you or your loved ones vulnerable to the hidden consequences of device devotion?

7 Things Only Narcissists Do

Recognizing the signs of narcissism is the first step in effectively dealing with a narcissist.

The Personality Profile of the Selfie-Addict

Psychologists from Germany and Poland reveal the personality traits of men and women who can't help posting selfies online.

Why People Become Sheeple

By Wendy Treynor Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 Identity Shift
Anyone who has been a victim of the herd mentality-- whether for being a black sheep or going along with the herd- will want to know why people become sheeple— how the peer pressure process works, whether on the playground, in the locker room, in the boardroom, or on the battlefield.

The Mythology of the Helicopter Parent

Are helicopter parents primarily motivated to protect children from the parents’ own aggression?

5 Steps to Beating Self-Doubt

To truly be able to live your dreams you have to feel worthy of success.

Why Is Happiness So Hard? 10 Reasons, 10 Solutions

Are you confused about happiness? Learn what to do, and what to leave behind in your quest to feel better.

Why Women Over-Apologize: How and Why To Stop It!

What drives women to over-apologize? And why you need to get a grip.

50 Isn't the New 30 (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

By Deborah Carr Ph.D. on November 08, 2015 Bouncing Back
What Gen Xers need to know, as the big 5-0 looms.

Sex and Happiness: Natural Allies or Strange Bedfellows?

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on November 05, 2015 Insight Therapy
Sex and happiness are linked, we know that. How exactly are sex and happiness linked? We don’t know that.

Me, MySelfie and I

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on October 31, 2015 Mind Change
In 2015, selfies resulted in the deaths of more people than those from shark attacks. Why are we so obsessed with broadcasting our grinning faces?

In Our Global Village: Youth Documenting Their Communities

Four years after Hurricane Katrina, sixth-graders in a New Orleans classroom list what makes their city unique. A world away, at a school in the jungles of Nepal, youth of all ages share pictures of their families and homes, in the first two chapters of a book they are creating. What happens when young people are invited to tell their community’s stories?

7 Ways to Make Your Happiness Last

The ability to hang on to good feelings is an important aid to our emotional well-being, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Those struggling with depression, for example, find that surges of pleasure fade like shooting stars instead of providing a lasting glow.

Born to Lose

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on October 28, 2015 Minority Report
Asian-American gambling is a very taboo subject yet Bill Lee courageously shares his life of addiction, relapse, and recovery with readers in this memoir. Not only will it give readers an understanding of gambling addiction, but other addictions as well since many addicts can learn to mask their behaviors by switching addictions. I found this memoir heart-wrenching yet..

Why We Care About Self-Esteem, And What Matters Even More

Three things that provide the gifts that Self-Esteem promised but couldn’t keep

The Seasoning Problem in Marriage, Parenting, and Therapy

The system functions more smoothly if the diner eats whatever is served; the system is better if the cook provides what the diner likes.

I Love Me a Lot, but I Think I Should See Other People

The primary virtue of being “lovable” is that, unlike being “loved,” it’s entirely within our control. Its secondary virtue lies in the fact that being lovable greatly increases the chances of being loved, although the latter ultimately depends on how lovable other people perceive themselves, as reflected in their behavior.

When Praise is Punishment

Praise May Not Work Quite the Way Parents Hope

The Masks That We Wear

"Imposter Syndrome" and why we sometimes feel like a fake

How Narcissists Really React When Things Don’t Go Their Way

Finding the smart way through to a solution can get you through many predicaments in life. Dealing flexibility is generally the best strategy, one that narcissists surprisingly can use.

Self-Confidence Versus Self-Esteem

By Neel Burton M.D. on October 19, 2015 Hide and Seek
Self-confidence and self-esteem do not always go hand in hand.