The self-esteem scale is low, adequate and overestimated.

Self-esteem is one of the key factors influencing how a person will build his life. Low self-esteem causes failure, but it is fixable. The type of personality perception is not an innate quality, because it is formed throughout life and, accordingly, changes. If you make an effort, you can get rid of any complexes; transform from downtrodden and insecure into a better version of yourself, learn to laugh at small problems, easily dealing with them. The foundations of perception are laid in childhood and adolescence. Puberty is often associated with complexes, and this is not far from the truth. Even adults are not always able to overcome its negative consequences. Teenage complexes accompany some throughout their lives, while others have successfully overcome them. But there is another extreme, in which it is difficult to admit one’s shortcomings and see the positive in others.

For ease of study, a special scale has been created. It distinguishes five main types - low, underestimated, adequate, high, overestimated.

Take the test: Rosernberg Self-Esteem Scale

What is personal self-esteem?

Let's start with a definition. Self-esteem is a person’s opinion about himself, about his own personality, its strengths and weaknesses, about his physical capabilities and spiritual qualities, about his abilities and skills, about his appearance, comparing himself with other people, understanding himself against the background of others.

In the modern world, adequate self-esteem and self-confidence are one of the key factors for achieving success in any business.

If a person does not have self-confidence, he will not be able to convince his interlocutor of something, he will not be able to lead other people, therefore, in general, it will be much more difficult for him to follow the intended path.

Personal self-esteem plays a huge role in a person’s development and achievement of his life goals. Without adequate self-esteem, a person is unlikely to achieve success in business, build a career, be happy in his personal life, or generally achieve anything.

How to achieve harmony

For most people, self-esteem comes from comparing themselves to others. Very often this happens under the influence of external factors: a friend went to the gym and lost weight - I also need to lose weight, a colleague is studying a second foreign language - I need to learn at least English, everyone goes for cosmetic procedures - I also need... A person strives to be “like everyone else” “And at the same time he doesn’t think about whether he wants it himself. When comparing oneself with other people, a person often sets himself impossible goals. As a result, internal discomfort arises: a person cannot achieve the goals that he has come up with for himself and justify his own high expectations. This makes him angry, but he doesn’t understand who he should be angry with: himself or external circumstances.

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Self-Esteem Functions

Psychologists identify 3 main functions of personality self-esteem:

  1. Protective function. Personal self-esteem forms the degree of a person’s independence from other people’s opinions, and self-confidence makes it possible to feel relatively protected from the influence of any external unfavorable factors.
  2. Regulatory function. Self-esteem gives a person the opportunity to make choices and regulate his life path: set goals and objectives for himself and follow his own, and not someone else’s, goals.
  3. Developmental function. Thanks to self-esteem, a person develops and improves, since it acts as a kind of motivating factor for self-development.

Definition of self-concept

Self-concept is a person’s stable idea of ​​himself, the image of his own “I”. Typically viewed as our individual perception of our behavior, abilities, and unique characteristics—a mental picture of who you are as a person. For example, the beliefs “I am a good friend” or “I am a good person” are part of overall self-esteem.

Self-concept is more flexible when people are younger and still going through the process of self-discovery and identity formation. As people mature, they develop a better understanding of who they are and what is important to them, and self-esteem becomes more nuanced and organized.

Based on what different psychologists have identified, one can understand what is important in a person’s self-esteem. And you can see many of these positions in modern self-esteem tests. Or you can find a test for a specific area to evaluate it.

According to the book by Richard Crisp and Rhiannon Turner, the human “I” consists of 3 parts .

  • The individual self consists of the attributes and personal characteristics that distinguish us from other people. Examples include introversion or extroversion.
  • The relational self is defined by our relationships with significant others. For example, brothers and sisters, friends, spouses of some authorities.
  • The “collective self” reflects our membership in and interaction with social groups. For example, the school class, Russians, Tatars, workers, communists, engineers, rock music lovers, a patriotic circle, the gay community.

Like many other topics in psychology, a number of theorists have proposed different ways of thinking about self-concept.

According to a theory known as social identity theory, self-esteem consists of two key parts: personal identity and social identity.

Personal identity includes the traits and other characteristics that make each person unique. Social identity refers to how we identify with a collective, such as a community, religion, or political movement.

Psychologist Dr. Bruce A. Bracken proposed in 1992 that there are six specific areas associated with self-esteem :

  • Social: ability to interact with others
  • Competence: ability to meet basic needs
  • Affect: awareness of emotional states
  • Physical: Perception of appearance, health, physical condition and appearance.
  • Academic: success or failure in school
  • Family: How well a person functions within a family.

Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers believed that self-esteem consists of three parts :

  • Self-image or how you see yourself. Each person's self-image is a mixture of various attributes, including our physical attributes, personality traits, and social roles. It does not have to match reality; some people may have an inflated self-image, while others may perceive or exaggerate flaws and weaknesses that others do not see.
  • Self-esteem or how much you value yourself. Self-esteem can be affected by a number of factors, including how we compare ourselves to others and how others react to us. When people respond positively to our behavior, we are more likely to develop positive self-esteem. When we compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking in something, it can negatively impact our self-esteem.
  • Ideal Self or how you would like to be. In many cases, the way we see ourselves and the way we would like to see ourselves are not exactly the same.

Congruence and incongruence

Our ideas about ourselves do not always fully correspond to reality. For example, some students may think they are good at school, but their grades tell a different story.

Carla Rogers called the degree to which a person's self-esteem corresponds to reality congruence.

Rogers says the roots of the disparity go back to childhood. When parents place conditions on their affection for their children (expressing love only if the children “earn it” by behaving in certain ways and meeting their parents' expectations), children begin to distort memories of experiences that make them feel unworthy of their parents. Children who experience this kind of love do not feel the need to constantly distort their memories in order to believe that other people will love and accept them for who they are.

Low, high and inflated self-esteem

You can often hear such expressions as “adequate self-esteem”, “low or low self-esteem”, “high self-esteem”, “inflated self-esteem”. Let's figure out what they mean in simple words.

Low self-esteem (low self-esteem) is giving yourself, your personality, lower ratings and characteristics than they really are.

Inflated self-esteem is the perception of one's own personality at a higher level compared to reality.

Accordingly, adequate, ideal, high self-esteem is the most objective and realistic assessment of one’s own personality, the perception of it as it is: no better, no worse.

Both low and high self-esteem prevent a person from developing, but this manifests itself in different ways. In fact, there are very few people with adequate, high (but not inflated!) self-esteem. Numerous studies by psychologists have proven that most often people have low self-esteem, which is one of the most serious reasons for their failures in life. Including, in relation to the theme of the site “Financial genius” - and a low level of financial condition. Therefore, it is very important for people who have low self-esteem to think about increasing their self-esteem, and not just think about it, but begin to act in this direction.

Low and high self-esteem: causes and signs. How to learn to adequately evaluate yourself?

In my practice, I constantly come across questions that clients ask me: “Why do people treat me this way, what’s wrong with my self-esteem?” First, let's figure out what self-esteem is in principle. This is an assessment of yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Self-esteem is:

  • underestimated - underestimating one’s own strengths;
  • overestimated - overestimation of one’s own strengths;
  • normal - adequate assessment of oneself, one’s own strengths in certain life situations, in setting one’s goals and objectives, adequate perception of the world, in communicating with people.

What are the signs of low self-esteem?

  1. The attitude of others as an indicator. How a person treats himself is how others treat him. If he does not love, respect and value himself, then he is faced with the same attitude of people towards him.
  2. Inability to manage your own life. A person believes that he cannot cope with something, cannot make a decision, hesitates, thinks that nothing depends on him in this life, but depends on circumstances, other people, the state. Doubting his capabilities and strengths, he either does nothing at all or shifts the responsibility for choice to others.
  3. Tendency to blame others or self-flagellation. Such people do not know how to take responsibility for their lives. When it is beneficial for them, they engage in self-flagellation so that they will be pitied. And if they want not pity, but self-justification, then they blame others for everything.
  4. The desire to be good, to please, to be liked, to adapt to another person to the detriment of oneself and one’s personal desires.
  5. Frequent complaints to others. Some people with low self-esteem tend to complain about others and constantly blame them, thereby removing responsibility for failures from themselves. It’s not without reason that they say that the best defense is an attack.
  6. Focusing on your shortcomings rather than your strengths. In particular, excessive criticism of one’s appearance. A sign of low self-esteem is pickiness about your appearance, constant dissatisfaction with your figure, eye color, height and body in general.
  7. Permanent nervousness, groundless aggression. And vice versa - apathy and depressive states from loss of oneself, the meaning of life, a failure, criticism from the outside, a failed exam (interview), etc.
  8. Loneliness or, conversely, fear of loneliness. Quarrels in relationships, excessive jealousy, as a result of the thought: “You can’t love someone like me.”
  9. The development of addictions and addictions as a way of temporarily escaping reality.
  10. Strong dependence on the opinions of other people. Inability to refuse. Painful reaction to criticism. Absence/suppression of one's own desires.
  11. Closedness, closedness from people. Feeling sorry for yourself. Inability to accept compliments. Permanent victim state. As they say, the victim will always find an executioner.
  12. Heightened sense of guilt. He tries on critical situations on himself, without sharing his guilt and the role of the prevailing circumstances. He accepts any showdown in relation to himself as the culprit of the situation, because this will be the “best” confirmation of his inferiority.

How does high self-esteem manifest itself?

  1. Arrogance. A person puts himself above others: “I am better than them.” Constant competition as a way to prove this, “stuffing out” one’s merits.
  2. Closedness as one of the manifestations of arrogance and a reflection of the thought that others are lower than him in status, intelligence and other qualities.
  3. Confidence in one’s own rightness and constant proof of this is the “salt” of life. The last word must always remain with him. The desire to control the situation, to play a dominant role. Everything should be done as he sees fit, those around him should dance to his tune.
  4. Setting lofty goals. If they are not achieved, frustration sets in. A person suffers, falls into depression, apathy, and despises himself.
  5. Inability to admit your mistakes, apologize, ask for forgiveness, lose. Fear of evaluation. Painful reaction to criticism.
  6. Fear of making a mistake, appearing weak, defenseless, unsure of yourself.
  7. The inability to ask for help is a reflection of the fear of appearing defenseless. If he asks for help, it is more like a demand, an order.
  8. Focus only on yourself. Puts his own interests and hobbies first.
  9. The desire to teach others about life, to “poke” them into the mistakes they have made and show them how to do it by the example of oneself. Self-affirmation at the expense of others. Boastfulness. Excessive familiarity. Arrogance.
  10. Predominance of the pronoun “I” in speech. In conversations he says more than he does. Interrupts interlocutors.

For what reasons can failures in self-esteem occur?

Childhood trauma , the causes of which can be any significant event for the child, and there are a huge number of sources.

Oedipus period. Age from 3 to 6–7 years. At an unconscious level, the child acts out a partnership with his parent of the opposite sex. And the way the parent behaves will affect the child’s self-esteem and how he or she will develop a scenario for relationships with the opposite sex in the future.

Teenage years. Age 13 to 17–18 years. A teenager searches for himself, trying on masks and roles, building his life path. He tries to find himself by asking the question: “Who am I?”

Certain attitudes towards children from significant adults (lack of affection, love, attention), as a result of which children may begin to feel unnecessary, unimportant, unloved, unrecognized, etc.

Some patterns of behavior of parents , which are subsequently passed on to children, and become their behavior in life. For example, low self-esteem among the parents themselves, when the same projections are imposed on the child.

The only child in the family , when all attention is focused on him, everything is only for him, when there is an inadequate assessment by the parents of his abilities. This is where high self-esteem comes from, when a child cannot adequately assess his strengths and abilities. He begins to believe that the whole world is only for him, everyone owes him, there is an emphasis only on himself, the cultivation of egoism.

Low assessment by parents and relatives of the child , his abilities and actions. The child is not yet able to evaluate himself and forms an opinion about himself based on the assessment of people significant to him (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). As a result, the child develops low self-esteem.

Constant criticism of a child leads to low self-esteem, low self-esteem and closedness. In the absence of approval of creative endeavors and admiration for them, the child feels unrecognized for his abilities. If this is followed by constant criticism and scolding, then he refuses to create, create, and therefore develop anything.

Excessive demands on a child can foster both high and low self-esteem. Often parents want to see their child the way they would like to see themselves. They impose their destiny on it, building on it projections of their goals that they could not achieve themselves. But beyond this, parents stop seeing the child as a person, beginning to see only their projections, roughly speaking, of themselves, their ideal selves. The child is sure: “For my parents to love me, I must be the way they want me to be.” He forgets about his present self and can either successfully or unsuccessfully meet parental requirements.

Comparison with other good children lowers self-esteem. Conversely, the desire to please parents inflates self-esteem in pursuit and competition with others. Then other children are not friends, but rivals, and I must be better than others.

Hyperprotection , excessive taking of responsibility for the child in making decisions for him, right down to who to be friends with, what to wear, when and what to do. As a result, the child ceases to develop the Self; he does not know what he wants, does not know who he is, does not understand his needs, abilities, desires. Thus, parents cultivate in him lack of independence and, as a result, low self-esteem (up to the loss of the meaning of life).

The desire to be like a parent , which can be either natural or forced, when the child is constantly told: “Your parents have achieved so much, you must be like them, you have no right to fall flat on your face.” There is a fear of slipping up, making a mistake, or not being perfect, as a result of which self-esteem may be low and initiative may be completely killed.

Above I have given some of the common reasons why problems with self-esteem arise. It is worth adding that the line between the two “poles” of self-esteem can be quite thin. For example, overestimating oneself may be a compensatory and protective function of underestimating one’s strengths and capabilities.

As you can already understand, most problems in adult life stem from childhood. A child’s behavior, his attitude towards himself and the attitude towards him from surrounding peers and adults build certain strategies in life. Childhood behavior carries over into adulthood with all its defense mechanisms.

Ultimately, entire life scenarios of adulthood are built. And this happens so organically and imperceptibly for ourselves that we do not always understand why certain situations happen to us, why people behave this way with us. We feel unnecessary, unimportant, unloved, we feel that we are not valued, we are offended and hurt by this, we suffer. This all manifests itself in relationships with loved ones, colleagues and superiors, the opposite sex, and society as a whole.

It is logical that both low and high self-esteem are not the norm. Such states cannot make you a truly happy person. Therefore, something needs to be done about the current situation. If you yourself feel that it’s time to change something, that you would like something in your life to become different, then the time has come.

How to deal with low self-esteem?

  1. Make a list of your qualities, strengths, virtues that you like about yourself or that your loved ones like. If you don't know, ask them about it. In this way, you will begin to see the positive aspects of your personality, thereby beginning to cultivate self-esteem.
  2. Make a list of the things that bring you pleasure. If possible, start performing them for yourself. By doing this, you will cultivate love and care for yourself.
  3. Make a list of your desires and goals and move in that direction.
    Exercising gives you tone, lifts your mood, and allows you to take quality care of your body, which you are so unhappy with. At the same time, there is a release of negative emotions that were accumulated and did not have the opportunity to come out. And, of course, you will have objectively less time and energy for self-flagellation.
  4. Keeping an achievement diary can also boost your self-esteem. If every time you write down your biggest and smallest victories in it.
  5. Make a list of qualities that you would like to develop in yourself. Develop them with the help of various techniques and meditations, of which there are now plenty both on the Internet and offline.
  6. Communicate more with those whom you admire, who understand you, and from communication with whom “wings grow.” At the same time, minimize contacts with those who criticize, humiliate, etc. to the maximum possible level.

Scheme of working with inflated self-esteem

  1. First you need to understand that each person is unique in his own way, everyone has the right to their own point of view.
  2. Learn not only to listen, but also to hear people. After all, something is also important to them, they have their own desires and dreams.
  3. When caring for others, do it based on their needs, and not on what you think is right. For example, you came to a cafe, your interlocutor wants coffee, but you think that tea would be healthier. Don't force your tastes and opinions on him.
  4. Allow yourself to make mistakes and mistakes. This provides real ground for self-improvement and valuable experience with which people become wiser and stronger.
  5. Stop arguing with others and proving that you are right. You may not know it yet, but in many situations, everyone can be right in their own way.
  6. Don't get depressed if you couldn't achieve the desired result. It’s better to analyze the situation to see why it happened, what you did wrong, what was the reason for the failure.
  7. Learn adequate self-criticism (of yourself, your actions, decisions).
  8. Stop competing with others on every issue. Sometimes it looks extremely stupid.
  9. Stick out your merits as little as possible, thereby underestimating others. The objective merits of a person do not need to be clearly demonstrated - they are seen through actions.

There is one law that helps me a lot in life and in working with clients:

Be. Do. Have.

What does it mean?

“To have” is a goal, a desire, a dream. This is the result you want to see in your life.

“Do” is strategies, tasks, behavior, actions. These are the actions that lead to the desired result.

“Be” is your sense of yourself. Who are you inside yourself, for real, and not for others? Who do you feel like?

In my practice, I like to work with the “being of a person,” with what happens inside him. Then “to do” and “to have” will come by themselves, organically forming into the picture that a person wants to see, into the life that satisfies him and allows him to feel happy. It is much more effective to work with the cause rather than the effect. Eliminating the root of the problem, what creates and attracts such problems, rather than alleviating the current condition, allows you to truly improve the situation.

In addition, the problem is not always and not everyone is aware of; it can sit deep in the unconscious. Working in this way is necessary in order to return a person to himself, to his unique values ​​and resources, his strength, his own life path and understanding of this path. Without this, self-realization in society and in the family is impossible. For this reason, I believe that the optimal way for a person to interact with himself is “being” therapy, not “doing”. This is not only effective, but also the safest, shortest path.

You were given two options: “do” and “be”, and everyone has the right to choose which way to go. Find a way to yourself. Not what society dictates to you, but to yourself - unique, real, holistic. How you will do this, I don’t know. But I am sure that you will find a way that will be better in your case. I found this in personal therapy and successfully apply it in certain therapeutic techniques for rapid personality change and transformation. Thanks to this, I found myself, my path, my calling.

Good luck in your endeavors!

Best regards, author.

Signs of low self-esteem

Since it is always difficult for a person to objectively evaluate himself, let's look at the characteristic signs that indicate that he has low self-esteem.

  • Constant dissatisfaction with yourself, your work, family, life in general;
  • Constant self-criticism and soul-searching;
  • Increased sensitivity to criticism and comments from other people, strong reaction to criticism;
  • Strong dependence on the opinions of others;
  • The desire to act in accordance with common stereotypes, the search for approval from others, the desire to please everyone, the desire to justify one’s actions to others;
  • Indecisiveness, fear of making mistakes, severe frustration and feelings after making a mistake;
  • A strong feeling of jealousy, especially without reason;
  • A strong feeling of envy of the successes, achievements, and lives of other people;
  • Constant grievances, incl. for nothing;
  • Dissatisfaction with your appearance;
  • Hostile attitude towards the surrounding world (everyone around is an enemy);
  • Constant feeling of fear and defensive position;
  • A pronounced pessimistic attitude.

The more of these signs you find in yourself, the more you should think about how to increase your self-esteem and gain self-confidence.

Problems and difficulties arise in the life of absolutely any person, but the difference in their perception is important. A person with low self-esteem perceives all temporary problems as permanent, as his “hard fate,” and therefore is always negative and pessimistic. As a result, all this can even cause serious mental disorders. While a person with adequate self-esteem strives to overcome emerging difficulties and change his life for the better, doing everything possible for this.

“I need” and “I want”

Most people have very little knowledge of their shortcomings, strengths, feelings and what they really want. A paradox arises: a person knows what he SHOULD do (go to work, be polite, respect his parents, etc.), but does not know what he WANTS to do. We must strive to bring our “need” and our “want” into line.

To achieve this, you need to learn to adequately assess each situation. If you have to go to work, but you don’t want to, try to understand all the reasons that cause this conflict. For example, you are tired, today is Friday, and you have had a hard week. Or maybe you don't like this job and don't have any interest in it. By understanding all the specific reasons, you can avoid internal conflict and reach agreement with yourself.

Why do you need high self-esteem?

Now let's look again at why adequate, high self-esteem is so important. Many people have a stereotypical opinion that high self-esteem is bad, that you need to “know your place and sit and keep your head down.” And such a belief, by the way, is also one of the signs of low self-esteem.

In fact, low self-esteem of an individual gives rise to many problems, causes the development of complexes and even mental disorders, and most importantly, it greatly hinders a person’s development and movement forward. Simply because he is not sure that he can go through any specific steps. Such people “go with the flow”, and the main thing for them is that no one bothers them.

High self-esteem, on the contrary, opens the way to achievements, to new heights, new areas of activity.

There is one more important point: if a person has low self-esteem, other people will never rate him highly (and this, as you remember, is important for him!). While a person with high self-esteem is always known and respected, his opinion is valued and listened to.

People will begin to appreciate and respect you only when you have adequate high self-esteem and self-confidence. Believe in yourself and then others will believe in you!

Recommended books

  1. Asper K. Psychology of the narcissistic personality. Inner child and self-esteem.
  2. Brian Tracy. Self-esteem.
  3. Branden N. Six pillars of self-esteem.
  4. Gyuru E. Self-esteem in children and adolescents. A book for parents.
  5. Kovalevsky V. Optimal model of thinking and the logic of objective self-esteem.
  6. Koryagin A., Barieva N., Koshlakova Yu., Borovkova D. Self-esteem and confident behavior.
  7. Litvak B. 7 steps to stable self-esteem.
  8. Lorenz T., Oppitz S. Self-esteem. Boost your confidence!
  9. McGee P. Self-esteem.
  10. Nikulina I. Development of self-esteem in schoolchildren with visual impairment.
  11. Novichenkova E. Yu. Crises of childhood. Building healthy self-esteem.
  12. Poletti R., Dobbs B. Self-esteem. The main benefit.
  13. Trebunskaya O. The Matrix of Life. Self-esteem and satisfaction.
  14. Udilova I. Self-esteem as a woman. Become a confident woman.

The works of millionaire speaker Brian Tracy are extremely popular. He is Canadian and motivates people to develop themselves. His audiobook “Self-Esteem” can be downloaded online in the public domain.

Mikhail Labkovsky, a family and individual psychologist, is also popular. He adheres to the point of view that an overestimated assessment allows you to achieve maximum heights in life, while a low assessment pulls you to the bottom and drowns there. Reading his essays and lectures online on these topics is very interesting.

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Signs of high self-esteem

Now, by analogy, let's highlight the main signs that you have high self-esteem, you were able to raise it, or it was like that (in this case, you are great!).

  • You are always confident in yourself, your strengths and capabilities;
  • You accept yourself as you are;
  • You are not afraid to make mistakes, you learn from them, perceive them as experience, and move on;
  • You are calm when you are criticized, you distinguish between constructive and destructive criticism;
  • You easily come into contact and find a common language with different people, are not afraid of communication;
  • You always have your own point of view on any issues;
  • You strive for self-development and self-improvement;
  • You tend to achieve success in your endeavors.

Factors influencing the formation of self-esteem

Inadequate self-esteem is always bad; it creates discomfort and problems for both the person himself and his environment. But can an individual be blamed for having a wrong self-image? Under the influence of what is self-esteem formed?

Social factors

The foundations of self-esteem are laid in childhood, from the moment when the baby becomes aware of his “I” and begins to compare himself with other children and adults. But in preschool, and even at primary school age, children cannot yet adequately analyze their qualities and their behavior, therefore the evaluative sphere is formed entirely under the influence of adults. Remember how V. Mayakovsky wrote: “The little son came to his father, and the little one asked: “What is good?” And what is bad?

Therefore, it is the wrong actions of adults that give impetus to the formation of inadequate self-esteem. Here are some of them:

  • unfair or excessive punishments;
  • unreasonable and too frequent praise;
  • constant comparison of the child with other children to show his weaknesses, inability, disobedience;
  • the position of a “king” in the family or a favorite at school;
  • emphasizing and focusing the child’s attention on his failures and mistakes.

Child psychologists believe that, in general, praise and encouragement are more beneficial, while constant reprimands and punishments are harmful. The fact is that we experience negative emotions more strongly than positive ones. And unpleasant sensations are stored in memory longer and have a stronger impact on our behavior. This happened in the process of evolution.

The opinions of people around us have a great influence on the formation of self-esteem and of an adult, especially when it comes to socially significant people whose opinions are important to us.

Personal factors

The formation of self-esteem is also influenced by a person’s individual characteristics, the uniqueness of emotions, temperament, and character.

People with a sensitive psyche worry more about their failures and about the assessments of others than those who are less emotional.

  • A person whose melancholic traits predominate tends to get upset even over a minor random remark and remember it for a long time.
  • A phlegmatic person may not even pay attention to the remark.
  • Closed, unsociable introverts worry less about the assessments of others than sociable extroverts. On the other hand, extroverts, due to their tendency to demonstrate behavior, often suffer from inflated self-esteem. But people who avoid people and prefer solitude often consider themselves superior to others and despise those around them who are unworthy of communicating with them.

That is, individual personality characteristics certainly influence the formation of self-esteem, but its vector is determined primarily by the social environment. There is another important factor related to a person’s assessment of his own “I”.

Level of aspiration

We all strive for something in life, we set goals for ourselves. And these goals are different: some want to earn money for a new apartment, some want to create their own thriving company, and for others a trip to the sea is the ultimate dream. The degree of complexity, difficulty of a goal or task that a person defines for himself is the level of his aspirations.

Just like self-esteem, the level of aspirations can be adequate or inadequate. Adequate is one where goals correspond to human capabilities. If a school graduate with poor knowledge and low Unified State Exam grades decides to apply to a prestigious metropolitan university, then he clearly has an inadequate, inflated level of aspirations. And when a good student refuses to enroll in a higher education institution because he is afraid of failure, then his level of aspiration is too low. Both are bad.

The level of aspirations is formed under the influence of successes and failures that accompany a person on the path of life, and, in turn, affects the formation of self-esteem. After all, an athlete, constantly setting a bar for himself that he cannot jump over, will very quickly become disappointed in his abilities and in the ability to achieve success. And a low level of aspirations does not contribute to the development of self-esteem and self-confidence.

But psychologists still believe that a low level is worse than a high level and has a bad effect on the formation of personality and its position in society. It makes a person a socially passive loser who does not strive for success.

How to increase self-esteem from a psychiatrist's point of view

  • understand, realize, identify the connection between how you were called names in childhood (violently criticized) and your negative beliefs about yourself.
  • stop the bad habit of scolding and punishing yourself, calling yourself bad names (I'm stupid, I'm worthless, I'm ugly). Just ban yourself from it.
  • search for positive beliefs about yourself in all sectors (beauty, intelligence, character, achievements, zest, 10 pieces each)
  • remember everything that was good about you; notice that they are now saying good things about you and accept it, and not ignore it; remember from now on everything that is good to say.
  • “help from a friend”: confess your problems to a friend and ask for feedback. Let him/her say what exactly they like and what exactly they like. In detail, and not in general phrases, so that you understand exactly. Let them justify all the details if necessary.
  • in case of relapses of low self-esteem, do the “so what” and “but then” exercises - “so what if I’m stupid? what’s next, huh?”

Read more: How to love yourself?

Determination methods

You can determine your level of self-esteem using tests. Almost all self-esteem tests can be taken online for free. Most modern tests are little different and are based on existing ones. But there are more or less classic questionnaires that we have listed. If you are worried about the correctness of the results, go through 2-3 pieces.

Self-esteem tests for adults

  • Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The oldest and simplest self-esteem test. Many psychologists create their tests based on it. On the Internet it is often called the “self-esteem scale”
  • Budassi self-esteem test. Sometimes used in the work of personnel managers, the test is based on a method for ranking qualities and exploring the relationship between the ideal self and the real self.
  • Sonersen test. A simple test of 50 questions, similar to the Rosenberg scale, but in a more advanced version
  • Cohen and Willianson Self-Assessment Test of Stress Resilience. Gives an assessment of your resistance to external stimuli and other people's behavior.
  • Cattell's 16-factor personality questionnaire. One of the most famous psychological tests. HR managers often use it or parts of it during interviews and employee evaluations.
  • Determining Kovalev's level of self-esteem. A simple self-judgment test.
  • Self-Esteem Stability Scale (SESS)
  • Instability of Self-Esteem Scale (ISES)

Self-esteem tests for children

  • The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Esteem Scale is a personality questionnaire for the study of self-judgments.
  • Demo-Rubenstein (Dembo) personality self-assessment test. A simple test that is often used in the post-Soviet space to evaluate schoolchildren.
  • The McDaniel-Pierce Scale is a reliable and popular instrument that is best suited for children ages 6 to 9 years.
  • Behavioral Academic Self-Assessment Scale - Useful as a teacher accountability tool.
  • The Martinek-Zajczkowski Self-Esteem Scale for Children is a self-assessment tool using pictures. It measures global self-esteem in grades 1-8.

What to pay attention to

Psychologist, psychiatrist Evgenia Streletskaya about healthy self-esteem and self-love:

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1. Self-esteem is not only what we think about ourselves, but also our attitude towards ourselves, i.e. the emotions we feel towards ourselves. If you feel hatred, shame, disgust, or guilt towards yourself, you have low self-esteem.

2. Our self-esteem critically depends on how our loved ones treat us. If you are subjected to domestic violence, then you will a priori have low self-esteem. There can only be one way out: change the environment to a favorable one. The rest won't help.

3. There are 2 types of low self-esteem - namely self-hatred with specific precise negative beliefs (among which stands out the case with history, when, for example, someone called names, and the habit of scolding oneself + laziness) and the lack of positive ideas about oneself.

4. It includes several sectors. For convenience, you can highlight beauty (appearance), intelligence, achievements, character, highlights.

5. How is self-esteem formed? At the ages of 3 to 6 years, especially parents should give us a lot of real, reflective of our true self, positive assessments, which are at this evolutionary stage of the formation of the psyche an expression of genuine interest on the part of the parents.

Bottom line

Problems with self-esteem can become a real illness and lead to self-destructive behavior. Every day gives us new opportunities that we need to be able to see and correctly approach their implementation. This will not be difficult for a person with adequate self-esteem; he will sensibly assess his chances and will not be afraid to grab luck by the tail. Therefore, it is very important to correctly assess your capabilities.

Friends, write in the comments what self-esteem is for you and what ways you know to improve it. I think many of us have something to strive for on the path to a better version of ourselves.

Until we meet again, your Alexander Gorokhov

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