A self-loathing person, by definition, feels essentially inadequate in some way. I say “essentially” because this is a feeling that is deeply ingrained and therefore resistant to persuasion or evidence. No matter how successful the self-loather is or how much praise he or she receives from other people, something prevents the self-loather from believing he or she has value or worth. If the self-loather wants to overcome this problem, he or she will have to get to the source of the self-loathing—most likely with the help of a therapist—rather than simply try to beat it down with praise. Just as you can’t tell someone suffering from depression to “cheer up,” you can’t tell a self-loather that “you’re great.” Both problems run much deeper than that. In the meantime, however, there may be a way that the self-loather can look at himself or herself that can help to lessen the feelings of inadequacy. Ironically, it is based on humility, which self-loathers often have lots of. But instead of humility about one’s attributes and abilities, let’s think about humility with respect to self-knowledge, or recognizing that we don’t know ourselves nearly as well as we think we do. When we say that people see us differently than we see ourselves, we may be assuming that our self-perception is accurate or “correct” and other people’s perceptions being not only different but “wrong.” But there is no right or wrong way to see you… Taken from an article by Mark D. White, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/maybe-its-just-me/201306/do-the-self-loathing-see-the-same-self-others-do
If you had a person
in your life treating
you the way you
you would have
gotten rid of them
a long time ago…
To be true to yourself means to act in accordance with who you are and what you believe. If you know and love yourself you will find it effortless to be true to yourself. Just as you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself, you cannot be true to anyone else until you are true to yourself. Be who you are! Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, not as someone else thinks you should be. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance. When you do things that are not genuine or a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy with yourself and will end up confused. You’ll be confused because you won’t know whom to please, or how. Self-respect comes from being true to who you really are and from acting in accordance with your fundamental nature. When you respect yourself, others will respect you. They will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. When you are true to yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. You respect the opinions of others but do not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of you. To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself. http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/betruetoyourself.html
He who trims himself
to suit everyone
will soon whittle
Self-critical over-achievers are not the only ones that lack self-compassion. Some of the kindest people do as well. (Associate professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas, Kristin Neff’s) work confirms this observation: There is no correlation between the trait of self-compassion and feelings of compassion towards others. Many people, women in particular, are far more compassionate and kinder towards others than to themselves. Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned. It is a practice that can help us all become less self-critical and, by preventing the stress and turmoil thereof, allow us to be happier, more successful, and of greater service to others. Self-compassion does not mean we stop working hard and aiming for success. Instead, it is a change in attitude and is linked with greater well-being as well as superior performance outcomes. Nor does self-compassion imply self-indulgence. For example, a parent who cares about her child will insist on the child eating vegetables and doing her homework, no matter how unpleasant these experiences are for the child. Similarly, taking it easy on yourself may be appropriate in some situations, but in times of over-indulgence and laziness, self-compassion involves toughening up and taking responsibility. When you are motivated by self-compassion, you understand failure not as a painful indicator of defeat but as a learning opportunity from which growth can follow. Whereas self-criticism leads to painful and self-defeating emotions in the face of failure, Self-Compassion therefore embraces challenge. People with higher self-compassion are therefore more likely to improve their performance after failure! Moreover, by preventing the defeating effects of self-criticism, self-compassion allows us to maintain peace of mind and thereby retain our energy. By remaining calm and understanding in the face of rejection, failure or criticism, we develop level-headedness, strength and emotional stability which allow us to have higher well-being and to be more productive and successful. From “Overcoming Shame: The Powerful Benefits of a Little Self-Love” by Emma Seppala, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201211/overcoming-shame-the-powerfulbenefits-little-self-love
Most men lead lives
of quiet desperation
and go to the grave
with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau
Self-consciousness keeps us fighting that battle to control our self-image. But obsessing over our shortcomings inevitably traps us in embarrassment and shame. The difference between embarrassment and shame is slight but significant, and the distinction is crucial for building a protective armor of self-esteem. When we introduce our friends to a colleague and forget her name, it’s an embarrassing blow to our image, because we think others are viewing us in a negative light. If there are enough embarrassing moments that we begin viewing ourselves badly, then our self-image collapses and we feel that heavy weight of shame. Kill shame-inducing situations before they become a threat, advises David Allyn, Ph.D., a Harvard-trained social scientist and visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. His book, I Can’t Believe I Just Did That, includes a few pointers:
- Be on time. Punctuality creates self-discipline and impresses both others and yourself.
- Stick to the facts. You’re bound to get caught lying, so why bother? Lies just set you up with unnecessary opportunities to feel ashamed.
- Cut the gossip. Comments made behind your back sting, and don’t forget how you feel about those who talked about you. Focus on deep, meaningful talk…
- Keep your word. It feels good to be considered reliable, so honor your word no matter what the reasons are for disregarding them.
If the damage is already done and you find yourself at the tail end of an embarrassing situation… Don’t lash out in defense or lie to cover your tracks—you’ll just end up feeling worse and likely complicate a relationship that doesn’t need complicating. Try laughing it off or explaining why you made the mistake. Here’s a very important point to remember: People tend to forget others’ mistakes and obsess over their own. From an article by Neil Parmar http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200406/self-conscious-get-over-it
Don’t worry about what
others think about you;
worry about what they think
of themselves when they’re with you.
Sexual abuse by a brother or sister is not uncommon, with studies suggesting it is more common than parent-child incest. Some studies contend it is the most common form of child abuse. Sibling sexual abuse can have serious immediate and long-term effects on victims. Many survivors state that they feel they were in some way to blame for their abuse. This can be particularly so when they were close in age to the abusive sibling. This feeling of “being in it together”, of being a co-conspirator rather than a victim, does not acknowledge the power dynamics that existed, and further adds to feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment. Some survivors may feel responsible for the “fall out” that follows a disclosure of sibling abuse, or may feel responsible for keeping the family together. Sibling sexual abuse is a gross abuse of trust. Survivors often reveal feeling betrayed by their sibling who they feel they should have been able to love and trust. They may also feel betrayed by parents who failed to protect them. Many survivors describe their childhood as a lonely time, with their experiences of abuse leaving them feeling isolated from, and different to other children. Survivors will often reveal feelings of shame and deep embarrassment connected to being sexually assaulted by a brother or sister. Adult survivors can wrestle with especially shameful feelings if they feel they did not fight off a sibling’s sexual advances or if they sought out that affection. These feelings can be particularly strong if the age difference between the siblings is not great. Feelings of grief for the past and future relationship can be deep. For some, the realization that their relationship with a brother or sister, their closest genetic relative, is not as they wished or hoped it to be, comes with an enormous sense of sorrow. http://www.secasa.com.au/pages/sibling-sexual-abuse-information-for-adults-abused-as-children/
What distresses me at times
is that I meet a lot of people
in their 40′s, 50′s, 60′s,
who still say they’re
a victim of child abuse.
The approach of dissolving our image of perfection sounds contrary to our sense of logic about building confidence and esteem. This is because we have the belief that achieving the image of perfection will result in positive happy emotions and feeling confident with our success. We desire to feel these feelings and chase the image of perfection we have attached to them. What we may not be aware of is that achieving our image of success doesn’t effectively change our emotional state. It doesn’t do anything to permanently change the way the voice in our head speaks to us or what we believe about our self. Many times people have achieved their goals only to find themselves still unfulfilled. Your emotional state may briefly change in the euphoria if the immediate success. But the core belief of not being good enough and your long term habit of self rejection in the mind hasn’t been altered. The critical voice in our head is more likely to put a higher goal in front of us to achieve. The second belief to dissolve is that we are inadequate and somehow not good enough. These are the beliefs that create emotions of insecurity and fear. The emotions are not the problem they are just the resulting symptom of negative core beliefs. The “not good enough” image is a construct of our imagination. It is a belief about ourselves created by the mind concluding that we are “not good enough to meet the image of perfection.” A step to changing this belief is to recognize that we the one observing the “self” image. We can not be the “self” image we are looking at. We are the one doing the looking. This means the “self image we create is really a “non self” image. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence” http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/writings-insecurity.htm
I’m interested in the fact
that the less secure a man is,
the more likely he is
to have extreme prejudice.
Self-esteem tends to fluctuate over time, depending on your circumstances. It’s normal to go through times when you feel down — or especially good — about yourself. Generally, however, self-esteem stays in a range that reflects how you feel about yourself overall. Overly high self-esteem. If you regard yourself more highly than others do, you might have an unrealistically positive view of yourself. When you have an inflated sense of self-esteem, you often feel superior to those around you. Such feelings can lead you to become arrogant or self-indulgent and believe that you deserve special privileges. Low self-esteem. When you have low or negative self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. You focus on your perceived weaknesses and faults and give scant credit to your skills and assets. You believe that others are more capable or successful. You might be unable to accept compliments or positive feedback. You might fear failure, which can hold you back from succeeding at work or school. Healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem lies between these two extremes. It means you have a balanced, accurate view of yourself. For instance, you have a good opinion of your abilities but recognize your flaws. When you understand your own worth, you invite the respect of others. Self-esteem affects virtually every facet of your life. Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn’t about blowing your own horn. It’s about learning to like and respect yourself — faults and all. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-esteem/MH00128
Too many people overvalue
what they are not and
undervalue what they are.
Malcolm S. Forbes
Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself — how you honestly feel about your abilities and limitations. When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. When you have low self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. You might constantly worry that you aren’t “good enough.” Self-esteem begins to form in early childhood. Factors that can influence self-esteem include:
* Your own thoughts and perceptions
* How other people react to you
* Experiences at school, work and in the community
* Illness, disability or injury
* Role and status in society
Relationships with those close to you — parents, siblings, peers, teachers and other important contacts — are especially important to your self-esteem. Many beliefs you hold about yourself today reflect messages you’ve received from these people over time. If your close relationships are strong and you receive generally positive feedback, you’re more likely to see yourself as worthwhile and have healthier self-esteem. If you receive mostly negative feedback and are often criticized, teased or devalued by others, you’re more likely to struggle with poor self-esteem. Still, your own thoughts have perhaps the biggest impact on self-esteem — and these thoughts are within your control. If you tend to focus on your weaknesses or flaws, you can learn to reframe negative thoughts and focus instead on your positive qualities. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-esteem/MH00128
The man who does not value himself,
cannot value anything or anyone.
Esteem most be generated from within and can then radiate outward. When we focus outwardly for approval, we are seeking it in the wrong place. And in so doing, we subordinate our authentic being in a vain attempt at happiness. Such fulfillment must be dependent and superficial and undermines our personal evolution. This process of external gratification is other-esteem. Self-esteem is not contingent upon others. When we set up this drama around approval, we create issues in regard to notions of rejection. The issue of rejection can be misleading. With a healthy self-esteem one doesn’t consider rejection. It is actually the rejecting of one’s self that inclines people to seek approval from others. In such cases, we’re not content with ourselves and so we solicit that acceptance from others. If that approval isn’t granted, we have a habit of claiming that we were rejected. In truth, we have rejected ourselves when we set others up as judge. The degree to which we are reactive to others opinions of us in likely inversely correlated to our level of self-esteem. Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201002/self-esteem-or-other-esteem
That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.
Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love,
you keep pretending – performing. You get to love your pretence.
It’s true, we’re locked in an image, an act - and the sad thing is,
people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks.
They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are.
And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like
you’re trying to steal their most precious possession.
(Self Esteem) Authentic self-esteem is not dependent upon others or things external to us. Such self-esteem is a manifestation of our relationship with our self. The essence of self-esteem is that it flows from within. If we lay ourselves bare in our vulnerability and strip away our careers, our families, our friends, our possessions and achievements, what are we left with? And how does that feel? Beyond the obvious losses, do we like and respect who we are, irrespective of the markers of other-esteem? (Other Esteem) We modify and mold so much of our behavior and even more, our very personality to achieve other-esteem. We literally create personality masks in this endeavor, presenting to others the person we think they would approve of. In such circumstances we are abandoning our true self to derive approval or recognition from others. Not only is this a self-deprecating experience, it also sabotages our relationships, for they are far from authentic. When we act in this manner we are literally taking our well-being and serving it up to other people. It then becomes the other person’s to decide if we are worthy. This is not a healthy place to be and it is a soul-defeating exercise. We should never judge ourselves based upon who we think others see us. The simple truth is that others don’t judge us. They may have opinions of us. Yet, to elevate their opinion to the status of a judgment is simply ridiculous. No one can judge you unless you grant him or her the power of being your judge. Why would we put a judge’s robes on an ordinary person and confer such power upon them? The only person who you might grant such power to works in a courtroom; all others are people with opinions. With a healthier measure of self-esteem we might more easily tolerate others opinions without escalating them into counterfeit judgments. Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201002/self-esteem-or-other-esteem
The worst loneliness is to not
be comfortable with yourself.