Self Esteem

by larc 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    Hi Larc,

    Why did you choose to have low self esteem?

    I have never heard anyone making a conscience "choice" to have low self-esteem. I think the term has been given to us by the psychological profession ... and most people have come to believe that low self-esteem is developed during youth because of a bad homelife ... or having been involved in a criminal life, such as young girls who run off to the big city and get forced into prostitution and drugs and their self-esteem goes down the tank.

    I certainly recall feeling I was not worthy to be a professional, like an engineer, etc. because my dad and grandmother were always talking down to me in a way that made me feel I could never achieve a good life, that I was not smart enough ... I did not know at the time I had a genius rated mind ... but, thanks to my mother and close friends, I crawled out of that type of thinking and my self-esteem grew to new levels ... and I eventually achieved what I think is a normal and healthy level of self-esteem.

    Within the last year or two, I have equated my sense of low self-esteem with a depressed spirit because my life experience with health and money are not where I want to be ... some resulting from choices and some just plain bad luck ... but, I am doing much better today ... so I guess self-esteem may be confused with other emotional trends ... but, I don't necessarily thnk of low or high self-esteem as choices, but rather as symptoms of other problems.

  • GermanXJW

    My mother has always been disgusted from people with high self-esteem and talked negatively with me about those people. Maybe, because it has been her secret wish to be like them? However, I think it has had some impact on me. But I am working on it. :-)

  • DanTheMan

    I'm trying to figure out what the 'payoff' is for having low self-esteem and depression, as there may be some truth to this.

    In my case, it gives me a good excuse for the lack of monetary and womanly success I've had in life. But that's probably a chicken or egg question.

    I've made some really bad choices in life and I've done some really stupid and embarrassing things, so it's not easy to feel really good about myself, when I consider my own history. But then again, my parents did not give me the tools to make good decisions, they never coached me or treated me as an "adult in training" when I was a kid. So maybe taking a more deterministic view of things would be helpful for me.

    Just rambling, about myself as usual. I'm a Myers-Briggs INFJ personality type, which means I'm very contemplative and self-absorbed, I can't help it.

  • Xena
    But i am not a victim, i am a survivor. I think it may be too late to change a lot of things, but i will contine to try and find that person inside me and comfort her and help her feel like a person who deserves respect.

    Exactly how I feel too wednesday! And every day I get a bit closer to being that person.

  • shamus


    I hope that you dont' think that I'm harping on you here. It was a question that was asked out of simple curiosity.

    Ahmen to what Wednesday said. People who want me to just "snap out of it" I would like to snap they're necks sometimes, LOL! (seriously!) People who do not understand a disease should just shut the hell up about giving people "advice". They have no idea that depression is the same as diabetes. When you can snap out of diabetes then please PM me with the way that they did it. (I"m not saying that you implied this, larc).

    Until then, please keep your well-meaning advice to yourselves.

  • Guest 77
    Guest 77

    Speaking from experience;

    Wednesday, "I am trying to find a reason to get up each day."

    Purple, "Firstly from my father who told me ...I was worthless and a waste of his sperm."

    Doze&confused, "Before I read your post I had fingernails right now they are gone. I have been so upset that I have bitten or ripped off any fingernails that I had 20 minutes ago."

    Let me say to all the above posters, I know where you all coming from. Please except my understanding, love and empathy.

    Guest 77

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    Why did you choose to have low self esteem?

    Being raised from birth with hyper critical parents who belittle instead of praise might have something to do with it. A child who constantly hears how stupid he is, how ugly he is, and see every statement he makes questioned will quite naturally grow up to have esteem issues. Maybe that says more about how evil the parents are, than the child. I cannot and will not subscribe to the notion that what happened to me was my fault. I heard it from my family, and then from Jehovah's Witnesses. I rejected it then, and I reject your statement that I choose a feeling.

    When I was 6, I wondered if swallowing Comet would be enough to kill me. When I was 23, I damn near killed myself. I've struggled with depression all of my life, it's my defining characterstic. However, this board, and the people on it, have helped me tremendously. Yes I still hear the voices of my past and yes it still affects me. But it doesn't overwhelm me.

    At this point, I am choosing to believe you have the best motives and perhaps didn't state your position clearly. If you mean that we cannot control what we feel but we can control what we do with that feeling, then I will agree with you. But surely you must recognize that effort does not always equal success. Those of us struggling with depression, and ancillary issues such as low self-esteem, fight it daily. One thing that makes this struggle more difficult is others saying we feel this way because we want to.

    Please do not add to the burden.

  • dannyboy
    I have heard some people say that they have low self esteem. I don't understand that. Why did they choose to have low self esteem?

    [..Er, starting with the assumption that this remark was made in all seriousness:..]

    With all due respect, WHERE DID THAT COME FROM??? SHEEEEESH.

    Is it not a FUNDAMENTAL error here to assume that other's experiences ARE EXACTLY LIKE OUR OWN? How non-tuned-in to the spirit and fundamentals OF THIS WEBSITE CAN YOU GET???

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but give me a break. Our [folks around here] mutual backgrounds in the WTS may have produced an inclination to look at everything "black and white", but I've found that there are lots and lots and lots of shades to EVERYTHING, including how our own personal experiences influence our view self-view and our view of the world around us.

    I'm having a hard time believing the quoted remark was meant in all seriousness.

    Ok, chilling out here,


  • Maverick

    I think it helps if you can find one thing to feel good about yourself. As a child I could draw and was always the best artist in the school. So through all the years of being "rebuild" after the accident, when I missed months of school, I had this to feel good about myself. Always was one of the smartest and smallest kids in school. And that with being held back a year due to surgery of one kind or another. I can't imagine how someone who was never encouraged to develope what talents they have...and we all have something, would get through life. There are so many obstacles. No wonder so many people feel bad about themselves.

    The quality I am most proud of in myself, is the ability to see the good in people and situations. The potetial that can be drawn out and nurtured. The saddest thing for me to witness is wasted potential! Maverick

  • patio34

    Hi Larc,

    Good to see you again!

    To me, it seems the question is simplistic & implies criticism. I have a friend who couches his questions similarly, and it seems to me that it's passive-aggressive on his part. For instance, he says:

    "I just don't understand how a person could be an anorexic-bulemic." (I said, of course not, you're not a professional, you haven't even read a book on it. Why would you understand it?)

    "I can't understand why someone would choose to be a drug addict. Don't they know they're hurting themselves?"

    Etc. Now, my friend just happens to have a bit of a problem with alcohol and a few other things, so his questions, couched in innocence, seem to be a sham. Just a way of criticizing and acting superior.

    For instance, again, I could say that I don't understand why someone would choose to ask a question that could cause pain to some of the people here. Hence, possibly causing pain to yourself. Evolutionary principles seem to dictate that we should get along and be very social for the sake of survival, lol.

    But I'm sure you're sitting there just waiting to come back with some of your brilliant psychological facts (since you are a professional) to answer some of the questions here. You better hurry, though!



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