that's exactly what self-esteem is.
feeling of low self-esteem is apparently nothing more than an
indication you aren't getting enough positive feedback from other
people. You may not be getting rejected or criticized, but to
really feel good about ourselves, we need something more than
that. We need acknowledgment, compliments, appreciation.
people to notice us and like us.
is where it gets tricky. As a parent, you might want to improve
your child's self-esteem by giving him lots of compliments.
But watch out. If you exaggerate your acknowledgments or if
you sometimes make a big deal out of a small thing or resort to
puffery, you may be setting your child's internal gauge "off
the beam." You've set his social-status meter too high,
and it no longer measures the situation accurately. Your
child then grows up and goes out into the world and has difficulty
dealing with people.
new research at Northeastern University showed that people who
think well of themselves regardless of how others feel about them
tend to be perceived by others as condescending and hostile.
this new information, a different approach to creating self-esteem
seems in order: Giving honest and accurate feedback to our
children, our spouses, and our employees. It's relatively
easy to compliment and praise people. It makes them feel
good, and it makes us feel good to make them feel good. It's
more difficult to find something you genuinely appreciate and to
say it without the slightest bit of puffery, but it just might do
can also help people do better. Of course! If someone
is getting along well with her peers and she's succeeding at
something -- trumpet, hobby, schoolwork, job, athletics -- it will
improve her self-esteem. So find a way to help her
accomplish something. When people do well, they tend to feel
better about themselves.
you want to build your own self-esteem, it appears your best bet
is to change your behavior. Do your tasks well and treat
people well and you'll feel good about yourself. Don't worry
so much about how you think about yourself. Change what you
do to make yourself more appreciated by the people around
you. Increase your value to other people and to the company
you work for. Watch the reactions of other people. Pay
attention to the reality outside your skin. Do more of what
works. Do less of what doesn't get the response you
want. Your self-esteem, your internal "sociometer"
will rise as an accurate reflection of your true abilities and
where you stand with the people in your life.