What Is Self-Esteem In Psychology?
In psychology, self–esteem is a term that is used for appraisal of your own worth or value and how you feel about your own limitations and abilities regardless of the circumstances.
Self–esteem encompasses emotions such as pride, shame, triumph and despair, and beliefs ( “I am worthy” or “I am competent”) and some more evaluative statements like “I am good at math”, which means you put worthiness on yourself and you do not describe yourself negatively.
Your self–esteem is influenced by many factors such as:
- Sense of belonging
- Feeling of competence
- Self – confidence
- Feeling of security
In childhood, self–esteem seems to be the lowest, and it increases in adolescence and as you grow older. Having a healthy amount of self–esteem is important to face life’s challenges and take part in activities you find enjoyable and rewarding. It also influences your motivation, and you will feel inspired to make new challenges in your life. Let’s see which self-esteem is perceived as good and which as bad and help you feel free to choose the right behavior in certain life situations.
The Best Definition Of Self–Esteem
According to the American Psychological Association and the definition of self–esteem in social psychology, self-esteem is the degree to which characteristics and qualities you contain you perceive as positive.
The more positive attitude you have towards your qualities and characteristics, the higher your self–esteem is.
3 Types of Self-Esteem With Examples
Self–esteem can influence your life choices and help you navigate in life with a positive attitude. There are 3 known types of self–esteem:
- Inflated self–esteem
- Low self–esteem
- High self–esteem
Having inflated self–esteem means that you have an excessive amount of self–esteem and is usually perceived as a negative characteristic.
People who have overly high self-esteem will have problems with socializing because they do not like to be criticized, they will crave praise from others and they usually think that they are perfect, so they do not change themselves and grow as persons. All these characteristics may badly influence their social and love life.
They are always ahead of others and sometimes hurt other people’s feelings to achieve their goals because they think that this will make them happy. In addition, they blame and undervalue other people all the time and never listen to their opinions because they have a great fear of rejection and always try to hide their incompetence.
If you have high self–esteem, it means you will feel comfortable with social and personal assertiveness and enjoy the humorous aspects of life. (1)
There are some other aspects and characteristics of people with high self – esteem and we brought this into the spotlight in this article.
Examples Of Having High Self–Esteem
There are many examples of characteristics that differentiate someone from others related to their self–esteem.
If you have high self – esteem you will probably:
- Feel free to discuss your own ideas, experiences, and opportunities
- Feel free to show your curiosity
- Feel free to acknowledge mistakes
- Feel very comfortable giving and receiving compliments
- Display harmony between what you say and do
- Love and accept yourself
People with high self–esteem will also usually:
- Appreciate themselves and the people around them
- See life realistically and accept things and people as they are
- Enjoy everyday activities and grow as a person and easily find meaning in their life
- Are capable of making their own decisions and conform to others ‘decisions only if they agree
- Love and respect their partners
- Know how much they are worth and live their lives accordingly
- Never let others manipulate them
- They do not take it very seriously when someone criticizes them and do not depend on other people’s opinion
- Can easily find the balance between personal life and work
- Take risks and learn from their own mistakes
- Understand their needs and are able to express them
Low self–esteem may be a result of socioeconomic status, bullying from peers and physical appearance and, in some cases, may lead to suicidal ideation.
If you have low self – esteem you will feel worthless and it may lead to depression and negative thoughts, you will be afraid to try new things because you think you won’t be capable of reaching them and have issues with your needs and relationships. In addition, you will have a lower level of confidence and feel unlovable and unworthy.
People with low esteem do not believe in their capabilities and never put their worthiness on themselves.
They usually have:
- Poor relationships because they are full of self–doubt and may please the wrong people
- Depression and anxiety because they often feel fear, worry, or sadness
- Addiction to drugs and alcohol to release the negative energy they have and escape everyday problems
People with low self-esteem will usually:
- Have low confidence
- Try to please anyone and have a hard time saying no
- You are not sure about your decisions
- Get irritated and angry very easily
- Do not take risks and try new things in life
- Experience self–doubt, worry, and fear pretty often
- Believe that other people are better than they are
- Cannot express their ideas and needs
- Have a fear of failure
What Is The Difference Between Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem?
Self–esteem and self–confidence are different, although in some cases, they overlap.
As noted above, self–esteem is related to your self-value and appreciation of your own capabilities and values. It can change during your life as a result of the interaction and experiences you have with other people.
Self-confidence, on the other hand, is the belief you have in your capabilities and in yourself, and it can change according to certain life situations.
Having low self-esteem and self–confidence can restrict you from many things in life and you will feel very often negative about yourself, which will discourage you from continuing with some activities and may result in:
- lack of assertiveness.
- social anxiety
- communication difficulties
What Is The Difference Between Self-Image And Self-Esteem?
Self-image and self-esteem are connected, but they are still different. Self–image is how you see yourself and the image you have created yourself about how you look and behave, while self–esteem is how you value yourself.
How to Improve Your Self-Esteem?
- Identify your negative thoughts and try avoiding them
- Make some positive affirmations about yourself
- Try to forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made and go on with life
- Always try to think positively and more realistically
Ana Miller is a creative writer. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.