Self esteem discussion
Self-esteem is how we value ourselves; it is how we perceive our value to the world and
how valuable we think we are to others. Self-esteem affects our trust in others, our relationships,
and our work – nearly every part of our lives.
HIGH or POSTIVE SELF ESTEEM
Positive self-esteem gives us the strength and flexibility to take charge of our lives and
grow from our mistakes without the fear of rejection.
Symptoms and Signs of High Self-Esteem
Some of the outward signs of high self-esteem:
• Non-blaming behavior
• An awareness of personal strengths
• An ability to make mistakes and learn from them
• An ability to accept mistakes from others
• An ability to solve problems
• An independent and cooperative attitude
• Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions
• An ability to trust others
• A good sense of personal limitations
• Good self-care
• The ability to say no
Advantages of High Self-Esteem
There is a direct relationship between people’s feelings and their productivity. High selfesteem is evident in respect for one’s self, others, property, law, parents and one’s country. The
reverse is also true.
Builds strong conviction.
Creates willingness to accept responsibility.
Builds optimistic attitudes.
Leads to better relationships and fulfilling lives.
Makes a person more sensitive to others’ needs and develop a caring attitude.
Makes a person self-motivated and ambitious.
Makes a person open to new opportunities and challenges.
Improves performance and increases risk-taking ability.
Helps a person give and receive both criticism and compliments tactfully and easily.
LOW SELF ESTEEM
Low self-esteem is a worst condition that keeps individuals from realizing their full
potential. A person with low self-esteem feels unworthy, incapable and incompetent. In fact,
because the person with low self-esteem feels so poorly about him or herself, these feelings may
actually cause the person’s continued low self-esteem.
Symptoms and Signs of Low Self-Esteem
Negative view of life
Mistrusting others – even those who show signs of affection
Fear of taking risks
Feelings of being unloved and unlovable
Dependence – letting others make decisions
Fear of being ridiculed
INCREASING OUR SELF ESTEEM
Feelings of low self-esteem often build up over a lifetime, and letting go of ingrained
feelings and behaviors is not an easy task. It may take time, hard work, and it may require
professional counselling. But there are some simple, positive thinking techniques that can be
used to help improve self-esteem. These are called affirmations.
Using affirmations to stop negative self-talk is a simple, positive way to help increase
self esteem. Affirmations are encouraging messages we can give ourselves every day until they
become part of our feelings and beliefs. Affirmations work best when a person is relaxed. But
since people are often upset when they are giving themselves negative self-messages, they may
need to counter negative messages with positive ones.
For example, replace the message “I made a stupid mistake, and I am no good at this job,”
with “Yes, I made a mistake but I have learned from it, and now I can a better job.”
Begin each day by looking in the mirror and giving us a positive message. The following
affirmations can help you to work toward a positive self-image:
• I respect myself and others
• I am lovable and likable
• I am confident, and it shows
• I am creating loving, healthy relationships
• I am a good friend to myself and others
• I accept myself just as I am
• I look great
• Life is good, and I like being a part of it
PERSONALITY HAVING LOW SELF ESTEEM
• They are generally gossip mongers.
• They have a critical nature. They criticize as if there is a contest going on and they have to win a
• They have high egos they are arrogant and believe they know it all. People with low self-esteem
are generally difficult to work with and for. They tear down others to get a feeling of superiority.
• They are closed minded and self centred.
• They constantly make excuses–always justifying failures. They never accept responsibility-always blaming others.
• They have a fatalistic attitude no initiative and always waiting for things to happen.
• They are jealous by nature.
• They are unwilling to accept positive criticism. They become defensive.
• They are bored and uncomfortable when alone.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGH SELF ESTEEM AND LOW SELF ESTEEM
Table 5. Differences between high self-esteem and low self-esteem:
High Self-Esteem Personality
Low Self-Esteem Personality
Talk about ideas
Talk about people
Rebels against authority
Courage of conviction
Goes along to get along
Concerned about character
Concerned about reputation
Blames the whole world
Willing to learn
Know it all
Believes in self-worth
Believes in net worth only
Distorted sense of freedom
Looks down on others
A strong bond between two or more people refers to interpersonal relationship.
Attraction between individuals brings them close to each other and eventually results in a strong
Forms of Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship can develop between any of the following:
Individuals working together in the same organization.
People working in the same team.
Relationship between a man and a woman (Love, Marriage).
Relationship with immediate family members and relatives.
Relationship of a child with his parents.
Relationship between friends.
Relationship can also develop in a group (Relationship of students with their teacher,
relationship of a religious guru with his disciples and so on).
Table 6: Types of interpersonal relationship
Theories of friendship emphasize the concept of friendship as a freely
Family communication patterns establish roles, identities and enable the
growth of individuals. Family dysfunction may also be exhibited by
Romantic relationships are defined in terms of the concepts of passion,
intimacy and commitment.
Professional communication encompasses small group communication
Seven Essential Skills to build Strong Inter Relationships
1. Relaxing Optimistically
If we are comfortable around others, they will feel comfortable around us. If we appear
nervous, others will sense it and withdraw. If we are meeting someone for the first time, brighten
up as if we’ve rediscovered a long-lost friend. A smile will always be the most powerful builder of
2. Listening Deeply
Powerful listening goes beyond hearing words and messages; it connects us emotionally
with our communication partner. Listen to what the person is not saying as well as to what he or
she is saying. Focus intently and listen to the messages conveyed behind and between words.
Listening with our eyes and heart is important. Noticing facial expressions and body postures is
also an enhanced listening.
3. Feeling Empathetically
Empathy is the foundation of good two-way communication. Being empathetic is seeing
from another person’s perspective regardless of your opinion or belief. Treat their mistakes as
you would want them to treat your mistakes. Let the individual know that you are concerned
with the mistake, and that you still respect them as a person. Share their excitement in times of
victory, and offer encouragement in times of difficulty. Genuine feelings of empathy will
strengthen the bond of trust.
4. Responding Carefully
Choose emotions and words wisely. Measure your emotions according to the person’s
moods and needs. Words can build or destroy trust. They differ in shades of meaning, intensity,
and impact. What did you learn when listening deeply to the other individual? Reflect your
interpretation of the person’s message back to them. Validate your understanding of their
5. Synchronizing Cooperatively
When people synchronize their watches, they insure that their individual actions will
occur on time to produce an intended outcome. Relationships require ongoing cooperative
action to survive and thrive.
6. Act Authentically
Acting authentically means acting with integrity. It means living in harmony with your
values. Be yourself when you are with someone else. Drop acts that create false appearances and
false security. When you act authentically, you are honest with yourself and others. You say what
you will do, and do what you say. Ask for what you want in all areas of your relationships. Be clear
about what you will tolerate. Find out what your relationship partners want also. Being authentic
creates mutual trust and respect.
7. Acknowledge Generously
Look for and accentuate the positive qualities in others. Humbly acknowledge the
difference that people make to your life. Validate them by expressing your appreciation for their
life and their contributions. If you let someone know that they are valuable and special, they will
not forget you. Showing gratitude and encouragement by words and actions will strengthen the
bonds of any relationship.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AGGRESSIVE, SUBMISSIVE AND ASSERTIVE BEHAVIORS
1. Submissive behavior
Submissiveness is giving more importance to one’s relationship with others at the cost of
one’s goals. Difficulty saying NO, letting the other make a decision not being able to make a
request are typical observations with Submissive behavior. People who are submissive tend to:
a) Avoid stating their needs and feelings;
b) Communicate their needs and feelings in an apologetic way; and
c) Give others rights that they don’t claim for themselves.
“I’m really sorry. I just don’t have the time to go through those reports with you now. I’ve
got to get all these accounts finished before lunch time. My boss is a real pain, asking me to do
this today. I’d really like to help you. I’ll look at it later if that’s okay?”
2. Aggressive behavior
Aggressiveness is giving more importance to your goals than to your relationships. At
times lack of respect for others, their thoughts, feelings, opinions, values etc. It can also be seen
nonverbal behaviors. Aggressiveness is expressed either directly or passively. Passive aggression
includes gossiping, taunting, cracking a mean joke etc. People who are aggressive tend to:
a) Encourage others to do things by flattery or manipulation;
b) Ignore the needs and feelings of others, either intentionally or by default; and
c) Take rights for themselves that they don’t give to others.
“Do you think I’ve nothing better to do than check those reports?”
3. Assertive behavior
Assertiveness is considered to be the ideal style of communicating. It is about giving equal
importance to and being able to finely balance between the goals and the relationships. It
involves being able to say NO effectively, being able to express thoughts, feeling, opinions freely.
This is logical, thinking behavior. It is not driven by your emotions. And although it may be natural
for a few people, it tends to be learned behavior.
People who are assertive tend to:
a) Being clear and direct in what you say;
b) Stating your needs and feelings in a straightforward way; and
c) Standing up for your rights without violating the rights of others.
Example: “I’m unable to help you with those reports this morning. I am doing accounts at the
moment, and I’ll be pleased to help you this afternoon. What time suits you?”
Which behavior is best?
None of this is necessarily good or bad, but if we want to be better at managing difficult people,
we need to ensure that:
– We should not use submissive or aggressive behavior.
– We should recognize submissive or aggressive behavior in others.
– We should learn and use assertive techniques with difficult people.
Assertiveness is a very positive response in any interaction. It makes it clear to the other person
what you are unhappy about and allows you to calmly state your case without violating their
Lateral thinking, is the ability to think creatively or “outside the box” as it is sometimes
referred to in business, to use your inspiration and imagination to solve problems by looking at
them from unexpected perspectives. It’s very important in careers such as advertising, marketing,
the media and art and design.
The Lateral thinking capabilities of a person can be tested by asking him/ her by a set of questions.
Some Questions and Answers for Lateral thinking:
1. A man built a rectangular house, each side having a southern view. He spotted a bear. What color
was the bear? Answer: White. Only at the North Pole can all four walls be facing south.
2. Is it legal for a man to marry his widow’s sister? Answer: No – because he’s dead.
3. You are running in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in? Answer: If
you overtake the second person then you become second.
4. In the same race, if you overtake the last person, then you are in what position? Answer: You
can’t overtake the last person in a race!