Why They Do What They Do & Why They Act In Such Ways

"Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self esteem. That means, 'I feel so low that instead of picking myself up, I have to cut others down.' Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy." ~ Pope Francis

"At the root of fear is low self-esteem. This explains why angry people have low self-esteem, are argumentative, stubborn, and quick to flare up yet slow to forgive. Those behaviors are defenses against the underlying fear." ~ David J. Lieberman

People often find it hard to be at peace when constantly comparing themselves to others because their self-worth depends on these comparisons

For example, think of Jane, constantly scrolling through social media to see how her life stacks up against her friends'. Even though she's a successful interior designer, she feels she is not good enough because she thinks others have better careers, relationships, or lifestyles. On the other hand, Emma also checks out her friends' updates but feels genuinely happy for them and doesn't let these comparisons affect her self-worth.

Confidence is about handling specific situations, while self-esteem is how much we like and value ourselves

For example, Mikey might feel really confident when giving presentations at work. Still, he often struggles with feeling like he needs to be better. On the other hand, Sarah might not be the best at public speaking, but she's totally cool with who she is and feels proud of herself.

High anxiety often leads people to flee from their fears, which reinforces their low self-esteem over time

For example, Tom skips social gatherings because he's worried about not fitting in. This just makes his social anxiety worse and makes him feel even worse about himself. On the other hand, Lisa also gets anxious about social events. Still, she pushes herself to go, helping her build confidence and strength over time.

Anxious individuals also tend to make universal judgments, projecting their opinions onto reality

For example, Alexandra gets anxious and often says things like "Everyone hates me" after a small argument. This kind of thinking makes her low self-esteem worse. On the other hand, you've got Betty, who's more relaxed. She sees the disagreement as a one-off and doesn't apply it to all her relationships.

People with low self-esteem might use abrasive language or exaggerate

So, when Rachel's stressed, she might say, "I always mess up everything!" with lots of exaggeration. But Michelle, who's pretty confident, might say, "I made a mistake this time, but I can learn from it," showing a more balanced view. When people feel down about themselves, they tend to deal with their worries by zoning out—like binge-watching TV shows or overeating. For instance, Mike might binge on TV and food after a tough day to avoid his feelings. Meanwhile, someone like Sam, who's feeling better about himself, might run or chat with a friend to handle stress more healthily.

Low self-esteem also increases stress and fear, driving people to see the world in black-and-white terms

For example, suppose she needs to get a promotion. In that case, Laura might think she's a total failure without realizing the other parts of her job where she's doing well. In contrast, David, who has higher self-esteem, knows that not getting a promotion doesn't define his overall worth.

Happier, more fulfilled individuals embrace their values and beliefs, showing traits like forgiveness and quick apologies, which indicate emotional strength

So, with Erma, if she accidentally gets on a friend's nerves, she'll just up and say sorry and make things right, which shows she's got that emotional toughness. Jake's dealing with some serious low self-esteem, so he might not want to apologize at all 'cause he's afraid it'll make him look weak.

People who feel good about themselves care for their well-being and help others

Take Maria, for example. She's always volunteering and caring for her physical and mental health, showing good self-esteem. On the other hand, there's Paula, who struggles with low self-esteem. She might not care for herself and could mistreat others because she's so focused on her insecurities.

When people are anxious, they can become too focused on themselves, making it hard to understand what's happening around them

During a group project, Anna gets so worried about her contributions that she can't appreciate her teammates' efforts. In contrast, Ben handles his anxiety well, so he's able to collaborate effectively and recognize everyone's contributions.

This self-centeredness often shows up as being full of oneself, feeling sorry for oneself, or not understanding others' feelings

So, when someone criticizes Steve, he tends to get defensive and feel sorry for himself, like the whole world is out to get him. But Emily, who's got a lot of self-confidence, can handle criticism well and see things from the other person's point of view.

When the ego feels threatened, it sets off defence mechanisms like anger, making it seem like we're in control, but it's just a response to fear

For example, when Jack gets criticized, he might get outraged to protect himself from feeling bad about himself. On the other hand, Lily, who feels better about herself, stays cool and deals with the criticism without getting all worked up. With a healthy mindset, you can see things from a balanced point of view. But if you need to do better emotionally, everything might seem like a disaster. For example, if Chris loses a job, he might think it's the end of the world, while Alex sees it as a chance to find a better job.

Signs of low self-esteem could be constantly trying to please others and being stubborn about never admitting when you're wrong

For example, Amy always says yes to extra work, even when overwhelmed, to get people to like her. Conversely, David never admits when he messes up because he's worried it will make him look bad. But then you have someone like Sarah who's got good self-esteem - she can say no when she needs to and own up to her mistakes without it getting to her.

Emotional resilience, which comes from healthy self-esteem, helps people deal with stress and tough times while keeping a positive attitude toward personal growth. For example, when Mary faces a significant setback, she uses the experience to learn and grow. On the other hand, Tom, who has low self-esteem, might dwell on the failure and let it hold him back.

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