Self-Esteem Means How Much You Like… Others?

two people touching nosesI am most generous when I feel a sense of abundance.

I’m at my kindest when I have compassion for myself.

When I feel good about who I am, I radiate love toward other people.

But when I feel bad about myself, when I let myself down, I have less to give. So I give less.

The Mirror Effect of Self-Esteem

While self-esteem doesn’t change overnight the way moods do, I believe there’s a similar mirror effect between self-esteem and esteem for other people.

It’s like this: The more we truly like and value ourselves, the more we tend to appreciate others.

In a recent article about this mirror effect, I tried to answer the following question: If our esteem for others mirrors our own level of self-esteem, why do people with low self-esteem often treat others so well?

Here’s the article. Please let me know what you think:

Self-Esteem Means Esteem for Others, Too

7 thoughts on “Self-Esteem Means How Much You Like… Others?”

  1. I totally agree! I haven’t read the article you suggested, but I think people with low self esteem are super nice to others because that’s how they wish to be treated. The only problem with that is, they are often insincere in their niceness. And people who can see this insincerity, will mirror it back only to perpetuate the problem.

    Life is complicated…

    • Melanie,
      As a former 24/7 nicey, I totally agree.
      I believe it’s a form of, ” fawning response” from some type of abuse or neglect.
      It’s more than just being nice. It’s a total abdicated self rejection.
      After 30 years of working on this, I have to say, I have made progress, and do not have to have people like me.
      It still hurts, and I acknowledge that, but now I am focusing on the fact that others have the right not to like me. It feels like I am giving them a gift now.
      God gives us rights and boundaries to show respect to ourselves and others. Those preoccupied with the fear of not being liked probably use manipulation more than others, and others pick up on that.
      You are right that it perpetuates the pain of being viewed as less than, or an inferior person, because others feel used.
      I appreciated your insightful comment.
      Have a blessed and peaceful soul!

  2. I don’t agree bullying is a good thing but the word bullying & abuse has been over used and missed used. There is nothing wrong with a bit of REALITY when you are young or as an adult. Is OK to lose or fail sometime. The little bumps of life teaches us to reflect at our self. What I am seeing wrong there are pointed fingers at parents when our children fail as kids or as adults by society & by counclers. The 2 R’s ( reality & respect) are the greatest tool for build your self image. As a parent you can give your child all the love you want and teach them compassion but who they choose to be does not always reflect on the parents as much as we would like to believe. I was at every soccer & tennis games cheering our children. I was always cheering there hard work & achievements & I was always with them when they fell & was with them with every milestone. We gave them the room to grow & be independent people. We put them high on the pedestal because we loved them so very much. This I believe was a big mistake because you can not build “self esteem” for any one else other than your self. How ” YOU ” feel no one other than YOU your self know. My adult child suffers from depression & God alone knows what …. You can love and give your child just about every thing to help build a good self esteem but it’s never enough. Each child is wired differently and is a person not like any one but them self. Some of us know how to give & receive love others are just not wired this way …. The rest is MYTH & THEORY. If you look at Estrangement blogs you will see how many therapist, psychologist & doctors children have estranged there parents & suffering from low self esteem, depression & personality disorder to name a few

  3. Thank you once again Tina. Remarkably insightful information. This is something I’ve wondered about for years and years. Do you have a similar discussion on the reverse? Ie, why some folks who seem to have very high self-esteem, treat others with less regard? I’ve heard it said that they just ‘appear’ to have high self-esteem, but that it’s not truly real. But I’m skeptical of that… just wondering if there’s another way to consider it. Thanks again and best wishes for a wonderful new year. Sure looking forward to reading your new book.

    • Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. I’m glad I’m not the only one who cares about this topic, because it just seems so incredibly important to talk about.

      Cheryl, once again you bring up an interesting point. The idea that one can enjoy high self-esteem while making others feel bad is only possible if we define self-esteem in such a way that there can be “too much of a good thing,” i.e., too much self-esteem, or thinking one is better than others.

      I addressed an aspect of this in the “Superiority and Over-Confidence” section of an article called Healthy Self-Esteem Is Not Arrogant, Self-Centered or Egotistical, but there are a lot of opinions about this, and I welcome hearing from others.

      Thank you again, everyone, for taking the time to share your thoughts!

  4. Wow. Yes, I was shocked to read that article! I had no idea… this will help me so much (to find my compassion and stay non-defensive!) when I deal with folks who seem to exhibit those behaviors. And the article on low-self esteem helps me do the same with myself. You’re awesome Tina! Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and caring with us all. You make a difference in many lives.


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