Healthy self-esteem is created within an individual who knows that he has inherent worth that is equal to others. It cannot be altered by his failings or strengths, which I call a person’s humanity. Parents who are able to affirm, nurture and set limits for their children without dis-empowering or falsely empowering them create children who can functionally esteem themselves. The codependent individual relies on others to determine his worth or gets it from comparing himself to others, so his self-esteem fluctuates between feeling worthless and better than. It is better defined as other-esteem. It is based on external things – how they look, who they know, how large their salary is, how well their children perform, the degrees they have earned or how well they perform activities. The codependent person becomes a human doing rather than a human being. His or her esteem is not self-based. It is based on the opinions of others. The difficulty with other-esteem is that its source is outside of the person and thus vulnerable to changes beyond the codependent’s control. Other-esteem is fragile and undependable. Posted by John on
is like driving through life
with your hand-break on.