What is Self-Esteem?

Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. (It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism.) Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories. Here are our best insights on how to strike a balance between accurate self-knowledge and respect for who you are.

Recent posts on Self-Esteem

What NOT to Do When You Discover Your Partner Is Cheating

Here are 5 ways to NOT react when you discover your partner is cheating on you.
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

If You Have a “Big Stick” Speaking Softly Is Natural

By Steven Berglas Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Executive Ego
Ever wonder why rabble rousers act as they do? Here's why...
Andrey Arkusha/Shutterstock

How to Stop Criticizing Your Appearance

By Tara Well Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in The Clarity
Feeling critical when you look in the mirror? Try this to become more accepting.

Why Do People Lie?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 20, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Everyone lies, some to save face, others to deceive for personal gain. This blog explores white lies, those untruths we say to preserve our value in the eyes of someone else.

Hungry? No You're Not! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 16, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever been told you are wrong when you know you are right, or felt like your point of view is not respected? This is happening now in the USA with potentially devastating results.

Hungry? I'll Feed You! A Working Example of the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 15, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Ever feed someone? This simple kindness can have a long-lasting effect. The four domains of the I-M Approach are explored when a little boy asks his mother for a snack.

What Do We Do When Our Reasons Seem Weak?

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in Attitude Check
Why is the gap between political viewpoints growing larger? Mechanisms for reducing attitude uncertainty may be part of the answer.

The Best Response to Narcissism in Students

By Tim Elmore on February 15, 2017 in Artificial Maturity
At the core of narcissism is the fantasy that you are better than you really are. But . . . what might be the cause of this misperception?

A Life-Pivoting Change of Identity

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
Hunger for pride can become dangerously addictive. Abandoning pride and being proud no matter what, don't solve it. Instead, change what you're proud of.

Narcissistic or Not?

By Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP on February 13, 2017 in I Hear You
The entire millennial generation has been criticized as narcissistic and entitled. Can this really be true?

We Can Often See the Reflection of Our Narcissistic Side

Do external affirmations seem not to exist? Do you want to brag about yourself but you know you ought not? How do you build self-confidence without being narcissistic?

How to Befriend Yourself

By Robert Firestone Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in The Human Experience
People can utilize their personal power and actively contribute to their own growth and development, in essence becoming their own ally.

7 Ways to Own Your Success Without Sounding Narcissistic

It's OK to tell other people about your achievement. Here's how to do it without bragging.
austinadams/Shutterstock

Is Self-Love Healthy or Narcissistic?

By Tara Well Ph.D. on February 10, 2017 in The Clarity
Can you love yourself without being a narcissist? Research shows you how.

You Control No One but Influence Everyone: the I-M Approach

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 09, 2017 in The I-M Approach
We could all use a road map to understand our own lives and the lives of others. The I-M Approach is a simple tool that unifies us all as doing the best we can.

Leaving the Abusive Relationship

Happiness is an inside job which starts with a positive self-image.

Forgiveness

By Ana Nogales, Ph.D. on February 07, 2017 in Family Secrets
Forgiveness is difficult.

Why You Need to Fire Your Inner Monday Morning Quarterback

By Kristen Lee Ed.D., LICSW on February 06, 2017 in Reset 24/7
Does your inner critic get the best of you? Your best move might be to fire your obnoxious voice of unreason, and rehire a more rational, compassionate guide.
Maintien et Actualisation des Compétences de SST (MAC)

Do You Feel Victimized?

What to do when you're feeling a victim.

3 Secrets for Silencing Your Inner Critic

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on February 05, 2017 in Adaptation
3 secrets for silencing your inner critic.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall. Mirror, Mirror, Neurons All

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 04, 2017 in The I-M Approach
We mirror the emotions of other people. What happens when that emotion is fear?

Where Does It Hurt?

By Tara Brach Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Finding True Refuge
The wounds in our life are so often related to severed belonging. Healing is possible, and begins with the question: Where does it hurt?

Donald Trump: Is He as Unpredictable as He Seems?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 02, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
Writers have struggled to figure out just what is guiding our new President’s decision-making. This post should illuminate a subject that may have made you wonder, too.

Is Self-Confidence Inherited? A Renewed Debate

By Ray Williams on February 02, 2017 in Wired for Success
New research suggests that self-confidence may have a significant genetic component.

Terror, Love, and Brainwashing

By The Book Brigade on February 02, 2017 in The Author Speaks
Cults and brainwashing are more common than you might think. The best defense is educating children about the dangers of manipulative people and the techniques they use.

Jonathan Friesen: The Power of Unconditional Positive Regard

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on February 01, 2017 in Brick by Brick
Jonathan Friesen knows the power of unconditional positive regard. Throughout his life, Friesen has suffered from both Tourette’s syndrome and epilepsy...

Finding Purpose or Chasing Rainbows?

Chasing rainbows is not necessarily a bad thing nor is contemplating the meaning of your life a waste of time.

Self-Compassion, Growth Mindset, and the Benefits of Failure

By Christopher Bergland on January 30, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A groundswell of new research reaffirms the importance of believing that intelligence is never fixed, practicing self-compassion, and embracing the hidden benefits of failure.

You're So Vain

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 30, 2017 in A Sideways View
There is a great deal of interest in narcissism and many claims about who and why certain groups are clinically and sub-clinically narcissistic

The Beautiful Cart of Burdens

Do you act for others not out of genuine concern, but out of a need to act a certain way in order to maintain relationships?