What is self esteem? Is it a definition? Is it a set number of criteria that define whether you have it or not? Or is it something more than that. And for that matter, what defines low self esteem? Lets look at some of these.
In one definition of self esteem it simply defines it as 'a confidence and satisfaction in oneself '. Another says 'pride in oneself; self-respect'.
Some basic traits of both positive/high and negative/low self esteem are as follows:
Characteristics Of Positive Self Esteem
1. You are capable to act more assertive without any guilt. Communication with other people is easy and natural.
2. You don't spend too much time dwelling on the past. Yo live in the present doing the best you can. The past is gone and you cannot do anything about it.
3. You are equal to everyone. You know that nobody is better or worst than you. However, you recognize difference in others like specific talents.
4. You do not allow other's to manipulate you. Because you know how to be assertive you can easily handle this situations with a different attitude.
5. You recognize and accept a variety of feelings, positive or negatives, and you share them with another person if you think it is healthy for the relationship.
6. You enjoy different activities like work, play, walk, relax, etc. Balance is important in your daily life.
7. You accept challenges and take risks in order to grow. Because you accept yourself as you are , you are aware that you are not perfect. Is something goes wrong you learn from it.
8. You handle criticism easily without taking it personally. You know that you are learning and growing and are mostly independent of the good and bad opinions of others. Because of this you can discern when criticism is a feedback that is going to help you or is going to drawn you down.
9. You value yourself and you communicate better with other people. You are not afraid to express your feelings , likes and dislikes.
10. You value and accept other people as they are, meaning that you don't try to change them.
70 Characteristics Of Low Self Esteem
1. Excessive anxiety and fear
2. Social withdrawal
3. Eating disorders
4. Insecurities and fears
5. Exaggerating the negative
6. Too much emphasis on what others might think or say bout them
7. Treating yourself badly
8. Not treating yourself fairly
9. Self neglect
10. Negative expectations from yourself and life
11. Reluctant to face challenges
12. Apprehension of the future
13. Lack of confidence in decisions
14. Self dissatisfaction
15. Not happy with their lives
16. The glass is always greener on the other side
17. Unable to accept their imperfections or shortcomings
18. Want to impress everybody
19. Focus more on negative than positive aspects of their personality and life
20. Self pity
21. Expecting worst in life
22. Judgmental about people
23. Blaming and critical of self as well as of others
24. Always feel like a victim
25. Break agreements
26. Always trying to prove themselves correct
27. Getting into frequent arguments
28. Jealous and envious
29. Fear of failure
30. Fear of making mistakes
31. Feel dependant on others
32. Constantly comparing onself to others
33. Excessive worry
34. Cannot give or take compliments
35. Lack of purpose in life
36. Feelings of lack and inadequacy
37. Easily give up
38. Easily affected by criticism or negative comments
39. Not having the courage to stand up to one's convictions and principles
40. Fear of the society
41. Unable or hesitant to express oneself
42. Unable to be assertive
43. Lack of self respect
44. Always complaining
45. Not living in the present - Dwelling too much in the past or future
46. Self Sabotaging behavior
47. Putting yourself down
48. Afraid of intimacy with someone
49. Job hopping
51. Negative "I am " statements
52. Eager to please people all the time
53. Feelings of hopelessness
54. Frequent boasting behaviours
55. Lack of energy
56. Lack of self-awareness
57. Excessive apologizing
58. Lot of negative self talk
59. Irresponsible and not caring of others
60. Neglecting physical appearance to extreme levels
61. Always fighting with others
62. Unable to form healthy relationships with people
63. Thinking too much of oneself
64. Thinking too little of oneself
65. Reluctant to try out new things and experiment or explore
66. Revenge seeking attitude
67. Always finding fault with others
68. Lack of kindness with people
69. Always indulging in extreme behaviors
70. Obsessive or extremely possessive
71. Making fun of others all the time.
72. Afraid of change
73. All the time hasty in doing things
Narcissism & Emotional Detachment/Dissociation
We've defined these before, so I'll only touch briefly on them again:
The terms narcissism, narcissistic and narcissist are often used as pejoratives, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social groups, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
Emotional detachment, in psychology, can mean two different things. In the first meaning, it refers to an inability to connect with others emotionally, as well as a means of dealing with anxiety by preventing certain situations that trigger it; it is often described as "emotional numbing" or dissociation.
Dissociation is a mental process that severs a connection to a person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.
Narcissism and Emotional Dissociation are extreme cases of low self esteem, where the mind either weaves a delusion around itself to sustain a false identity with a false sense of self esteem and self worth, or it pushes away from them completely to deny its very existence.
What do these have to do with Empathy? Well lets look at that.
The Narcissistic Empath
Sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it? How can these two things co-exist? But they can despite this seeming paradox. When someone has no sense of themselves, and they base everything either on delusion or on the external influences in their lives, basically seeking praise and approval from the outside world, it can develop into this type of person. This is because helping people and doing good works for others, are used as a substitutes for what is really missing from their lives. Another term for this is addictive behavior.
It comes in many different shapes and sizes. One can not assume that one level is any better or worse than the other, because there is usually nothing there to impede the escalation of a delusion from simply 'its about me' to 'I can save the world'. That is, unless the person falls and is given a wake up call about what they are heading toward. And
You can see extreme cases of this type of person in cult leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh. In offering this, does it mean that if you have this issue, that you are just like them? No, of course not. But you can see the potential for destruction that it can cause not just the person in question, but those around them, if it escalates or they find an outlet like religion or even the Empath Movement.
People are looking for help. They want and they need it. And everything we, as teachers, do and say reaches them, whether we know it or not. And if you feed your need off of the needs of others, it has the potential of not just hurting yourself, but others, as well.
Messiah and/or God complexes are formed off of ideas like this, when someone assumes they don't just have a message that might help others, but they ARE the message or the way to that 'salvation', 'hope', or means of being 'saved' from whatever ails the person who is in need.
And all of this potential damage off of low self esteem, one single delusion or need to 'fill a hole' inside themselves and a word like Empath, as though it were a savior and not a helper, a healer, or an angel. Does this mean that any one person has this potential? We are all susceptible to this.
That's why you don't see me much in my own discussions, its just information and analysis. This is because its not about me and my journey, or making myself look good. Its all about you and yours. What you do with this information is up to you.
The Emotionally Dissociative Empath
This one again seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it? But again, its not. It also seems, on one level, to go hand in hand with the Narcissistic Empath, and it does sometimes. But here we are going to focus on the need of this type of Empath. What does an emotionally dissociative Empath need? An advocate to speak for them, guide them, teach them, support them, and make life easy by giving ready answers so that they don't have to face their own problems, issues, and emotions. This type of person is a follower, to the Narcissistic Empath's leader.
So when you come upon a place full of people who are just learning about Empathy, and in general, have their own issues, which include emotional dissociation, and you throw in a Narcissistic Empath, who believes anything from 'its all about me and what I can do'', 'I know the truth and your stupid' to 'I am the way, so follow me', you end up with the potential for a cult, instead of the probably well intended motivations to help people come together and learn that it started out with. And again, this is based off of low self esteem, but is at the other end of the spectrum, where the person is in actual need, searching for answers, confused, lonely, and hurting.
The Balanced Empath
The balanced empath is someone who balances their own needs with those of others, without the need to make themselves look better in the eyes of others, because the know and accept others and themselves, for who and what they are.
The Reason For This Site
The reason for this site, Empathic Perspectives, is first and foremost to bring you information to help you, as a person, make an informed choice and decision about who and what you are, Empath and otherwise. Its also to inform you about the real life and sometimes dangerous potential you could walk blindly into, when you claim a title for yourself, like I am an Empath, instead of saying one is empathic. Its one thing to identify with something, and its another to label yourself this or that, simply because you fit a criteria. This is because you don't know the motivations, intentions, and or beliefs of others. And if you blindly accept without knowing, it could hurt you. And you as a person, are important, to me yes, but thats besides the point. You are important simply for existing. That is more than enough.