We explain what is self-esteem and what types of self-esteem exist. How to improve self-esteem? Self-esteem in adolescence.
What is self-esteem?
A set of perceptions, valuations and assessments that an individual has regarding himself or the activities he performs is known as self-esteem . This can focus on the whole person, on their work, or on their body appearance, etc. It is about the evaluation we ordinarily make of ourselves.
All people have a mental projection of who they are, what they look like, what they are good at and what they are bad at, and how others perceive them. Whether or not that description we make of ourselves is true, the truth is that it is formed during childhood and upon it lies our relationship with ourselves: self-esteem.
Self-esteem is a concept of importance within the disciplines of psychology and education , so much so that its definition regularly depends on the psychological approach that is preferred . For example, the psychologist Abraham Maslow, creator of the famous pyramid of the hierarchy of human needs, included in his theory an entire step of the pyramid for “Needs of self-esteem”, such as acceptance, trust, success or respect.
What most psychological doctrines agree, however, is that self-esteem is a key value in our relationship with others , since everyone admits the amount of love or, on the contrary, forms of abuse, which Feel it deserves. Self-esteem, on the other hand, would have its beginnings in our paternal relationship, since the approval of the father and mother is key to a healthy personality in the future.
There is talk of high self-esteem (or “positive” or “correct”) generally when the person has the following personality characteristics:
- Self – confidence . The person knows and accepts their values and is willing to fight for them despite finding opposition. At the same time he is able to change some of them if experience tells him they were wrong.
- Acceptance . The person accepts himself as he is, which does not mean that he does not try to overcome fears, conquer bad habits or change, but does not feel guilty for being as he is or because others do not find their way of thinking appropriate. .
- Self – worth . The person is considered moderately fit, with things to offer to others and relates to them in conditions of equality and dignity .
- Infatuation . He is able to enjoy certain activities and rejoice in his own existence, which does not mean that he lives in a state of constant joy. You can be sad or happy, just like anyone else, but in the face of external stimuli or joints.
Colloquially one speaks of “low” self-esteem (in other terminologies: “wrong”) when people exhibit any of the following behaviors :
- Constant self – criticism . The person remains in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction, diminishing or seeing the negative side to everything he does or receives.
- Hypersensitivity to criticism . The person tolerates criticism little and is hostile to those who question it, and it is easy to resent.
- Compulsive desire to please . The person puts above their own needs those of others, in order to receive approval from them, and is unable to say no.
- Perfectionism . The person demands himself to do things perfectly, which is often impossible, and the slightest failure represents a catastrophe for him.
- Constant guilt . The person is unable to forgive mistakes and is eternally condemned for them.
- Defensiveness . The person reacts to life as if under constant attack, and is incapable of agreeing entirely with the enjoyment of life or joy.
How to improve self-esteem?
Some simple tips to address self-esteem are:
- Avoid the comparison . Understand that everyone does what they can with what they got in luck.
- Be realistic . Regarding the proposed goals (that are attainable and in the short and medium term it is better), but also to the defects and virtues (not to enlarge or minimize them).
- Make peace . With the past and the mistakes made, with the damages received or with the lost. It is essential to let go in order to live in the present.
- Defend the same . Do not give in to the requests of others that contradict what we want or want, nor give up what we seek by simply receiving approval from others. Own is the most important.
Self-esteem and adolescence
Adolescence is a stage of profound physical and psychic changes in the human being , whose imprint on self-esteem can be decisive in the construction of the adult.
This conviction has led schools and pedagogues in the world to address sensitive issues of harassment or bullying , as well as emotional and sexual education, in the adolescent population , as it is the most sensitive and vulnerable in terms of self-esteem.