Self Esteem

by larc 43 Replies latest jw friends

  • happehanna

    Having low self esteem and being a JW are in my opinion linked , we were always told to 'exert ourselves' 'why aren't you a pioneer?' "if you aren't wrestling then you were losing the battle"

    I used to live on the planet Guilton when I was a witness, I was constantly doing things for others putting myself out but I never felt it was good enough.

    low self esteem and being a female JW are part and parcel.

    not as good with words as others but I shall have a go

  • Celia

    Low self-esteem . . . Progressively, over many years, my self-esteem has plummeted to the point it could only be revived by a miracle. For me, it is rejection thad did it. Rejection after rejection after rejection. By ignorant people who don't know anything about me mostly, still, it hurts, and I learned to avoid being confronted with rejection, to the point I have become afraid of being in social situations....

  • wednesday

    yes Larc, as patio said, where is your snappy comeback? ? U are a professional, so u tell us, what is our payoff for low self estem.

  • Simon

    I don't think people chose to have low self esteem and to suggest that they do suggests a total lack of understanding and comprehension of what it (and depression) really is.

    Of course how you react to things plays a part but often our belief system is ingrained and built up after years of "nurture". You may have great self esteem and be happy as larry ... but you may have your upbringing to thank for this. Given different circumstances and some tougher breaks in life we may be talking about your low selt esteem and why you chose it.

    Except we probably wouldn't as it's not very nice IMO.

  • patio34

    By saying "choosing" low self-esteem, it completely leaves out the nature & nuture side of being human. We are, indeed, very complex beings and can't be simply & accurately diagnosed.

    As Noam Chomsky pointed out, (roughly compilated and quoted from his book)

    scientists can't even understand why a nematode, a worm, studied because it's tiny (they have 1000 cells, a 3-day gestation, 300 neurons, and the entire wiring diagram of 300 neurons is known, so we know exactly how they're all linked up together. But still, nobody can figure out why the stupid worm does what it does, whatever it does--I don't know, probably turn left or something. It's unexplained on the basis of 300 neuron system,...
    It's not like the 10 (followed by a little 11) neurons, in the human brain. The study of human behavior is not science, it's just that various kinds of human interactions sometimes seem to work. The study of human behavior is so far beyond scientific understanding that we can't even dream about it. Maybe writing poems about it or something, but not topics for scientific inquiry at this point in time. (around pages 200-220 in Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky)

    But, of course, that's just one person's strong opinion. But the point is that it doesn't seem that anyone can categorize another person's attitudes, etc., by saying with anything more than an opinion that it's nature, nuture, or choice. We are simply too complicated and the simplistic, snap judgements are to be rejected, imho.

    My 2 cents,


  • Sirius Dogma
    Sirius Dogma


    good points. nice post. could not have said it better.


  • patio34

    Thanks, Sirius. Very kind of you to say so.


  • bikerchic

    Larc's question:

    I have heard some people say that they have low self esteem. I don't understand that. Why did you choose to have low self esteem? I have many thoughts on this, but I will save them until others voice their opinions.

    I like many of you grew up in a very dysfunctional family. In my family I was not treated very well, I didn't learn how to be a functional person and then compound that with being raised in a dysfunctional religion it's no wonder as an adult I had low self esteem and was depressed.

    Big Tex made a good comment and I think hits the nail on the head to a certain extent:

    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.

    Bingo! As children we have no control, but once we become adults, no let me re-state that informed adults, what we do with those feelings becomes our responsibility. It also becomes our responsibility to make the changes in our personalities so we don't perpetuate the harm that was done to us and do the same to our children. Therefore continuing the legacy or putting and end to it. It is therefore a choice to do it or not.

    As I mentioned in my previous post there is a pay off for depression/low self esteem. As I can only speak for myself in this regard here are some of the payoffs I received when I was depressed:

    My parents would pay more attention to me and try to make me happy. They would even buy me things to make me happy.

    My kids would behave or do what I wanted them to do to make me happy.

    My husband would do things or buy me things to make me happy.

    I could miss meetings because I was too depressed to go. I could sit in the back of the hall and leave right after meeting and then the "friends" would sometimes call me to see if there was anything they could do to help me.

    With low self esteem, hummm I guess I could revert into myself and be shy therefore I wouldn't have to be a part of anything, or I could be the clown and get attention.

    In all of my behaviors I was seeking attention, or seeking to be left alone. I was taught from a young age I could only have two emotions either happy or sad, both got payoffs.

    None of this worked for me in my adult life to bring me true happiness. It wasn't until I sought help and learned these ugly things about myself and wanted to change myself, then did the work to change I finally became a truly happy person without using emotional blackmail on my loved ones. Yes it was a choice!

    I do think there are those who have severe depression or chemical imbalances who absolutely need professional help. I have found for myself once you've gotten on the road to recovery the low self esteem issues can be worked on and generally overcome. Stressed worked on, it takes work there are no magic pills for this.

    I will always say the hard work is well worth the effort and can't stress that enough.


  • Englishman

    I think that Larc's question was intended to show that we might actually have some influence in the matter of our own low self esteem.

    This type of question is often used by psychologists to help empower people. Often the anger such a question can cause does in fact get a person to defend himself vigorously. This in itself can raise one's self esteem.


  • Special K
    Special K

    Interesting that larc asked the question in this way.. and then hasn't been back to respond to anyones post... Odd ...

    Special K

    (If I would have made the post ... I would have thought I might get alot of responses on it.)...

    Hmmm......maybe I'll wait a little longer for Larc to respond to all the good posts on this topic.


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