Self esteem is absolutely critical to people’s ability to thrive. People need to have a feeling of dignity about themselves. This feeling of dignity is affected by how people are treated and it is also generated internally.
When people have self-esteem , they radiate positivity which makes others respect them. Conversely, when people are treated with respect, they have a higher self-esteem.
The Wikipedia definition of dignity is as follows:
The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect
A sense of pride in oneself; self-respect
All people need dignity. We need to feel that we are worthy of respect. The difference between people is in how they attain and perceive dignity,
There are some general differences between men and women but nothing is set in stone. Men tend to need to feel self-respect in regards to their accomplishments in work and business.
Men tend to feel competitive. They are taught as they are growing up that they need to compete and win. Win, win, win, This puts a great deal of pressure on men and can cause depression and even suicide in men that do not make it to the top ranks of their field.
They feel a lack of self-respect if their business turns down, even if it is the fault of the economy. Men have more respect for men who are financially successful. If a man is unable to be self-sufficient and create financial stability his dignity will be affected.
Women derive a good part of their self-esteem from being the most beautiful, the thinnest, the youngest looking and the most desirable. The way women are treated is different depending on their level of attractiveness.
Women who are desirable are more likely to get hired and achieve promotions.
Truth is truth. I have seen these amazingly beautiful women say that their self – esteem comes purely from their intelligence and their accomplishments.
But how do they know how they would feel if they were fat or ugly? They have no idea how men treat women like that. Not to mention how women treat other women. There is a huge difference in how women interact with the most beautiful woman in the office versus the ugly duckling.
Women also gain self-esteem and respect from achievements and running their own business.
Women in the business world still have to compete with men. The fact that men doing the same job are making more money, and being promoted over them, is crushing to women’s self-esteem.
So people can get their self esteem from winning, being successful, and being beautiful. People also can derive self-esteem from having children and being part of a family.
How someone is treated in their family can have a positive or negative affect on self-esteem. Everyone needs a role, an identity. Middle children sometimes struggle with self-esteem because they do not have the singular role of oldest or youngest child.
The thing about self-esteem that is tricky though is that we need self-esteem to work well but we need to be successful to have self esteem.
When we feel good about ourselves , our brains are more clear and we generate a positive energy that helps us to do well. When we do well, we feel good about it and our self-esteem goes up.
When we do not do well , our self esteem and feeling of dignity goes down. This lowering of self-esteem keeps us from doing well. It is a circle of positive energy. Or it is a circle of negative energy.
To find a way to break a cycle of low dignity and self esteem takes a great effort and a lot of support. It is a very difficult situation to recover from.
It is particularly important for us to instill in our children, a feeling of purpose. If they feel they have a purpose in the family and in the world, it will help them to have a feeling of dignity. If they start their lives that way they will be more likely to do well as an adult.