Self Esteem or Other Esteem?

Mel Schwartz, L.C.S.W. M.Phil. writes:

I have come to believe that the way the term self-esteem is used is actually a misnomer. The first half of the expression, self, would seem to indicate that esteem, the second half of the expression, is derived from one’s self. Yet if we look closer, we find that most people seek a sense of worthiness from that which lies outside of them. For a student, it might come from good grades; for a businessperson or worker, it’s derived from a promotion or a raise; and for most individuals, praise or acknowledgement provide a temporary increase in esteem. Our society generates billions of dollars in revenues from inducing people to seek the quick fix of vanity as a means toward feeling better. Yet none of these actually contributes one iota to self-esteem. Ironically, they may even get in the way. 

Continue reading: Self Esteem or Other Esteem? | Psychology Today.

Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem

Have you tried to pump up your self-esteem? Kristen Neff explains why it doesn’t work in the long run:

In this incredibly competitive society of ours, how many of us truly feel good about ourselves?

I remember once, as a freshman in college, after spending hours getting ready for a big party, I complained to my boyfriend that my hair, makeup, and outfit were woefully inadequate. He tried to reassure me by saying, “Don’t worry, you look fine.”

“Fine? Oh great, I always wanted to look fine . . .” Continue reading

10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis

Madison Sonnier writes:

Bad days can be extremely overpowering sometimes. When we’re having a bad day, everything feels wrong and the day seems to get even worse as we sink further into frustration and despair. By the end of the day, all we want to do is pull the covers up over our heads and block it all out.

When I clawed my way out of a depressive phase last year, it was a daily challenge to keep myself from falling back into that phase again. I had to go through a process of re-building my self-esteem and re-evaluating my life. But there were days when I was not very successful with these things and the negative thoughts that stayed with me for so long would interfere again. Continue reading

Simple Truth to a Richer, Deeper, Lasting Relationship

How to Have Enriching RelationshipsHealing thoughts from Jeff Cannon:

When a relationship becomes a one-way way street, it ends up at a dead end sooner or later. Learn to keep the traffic flowing both ways with conversation, forgiveness and mindful awareness to keep your relationship growing well into the future. It all starts with that inner conversation you have with yourself. Be aware of it, and find how easy it is to nurture your relationship in the direction you want it to go. Continue reading

Self-acceptance…

Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

Self-acceptance is a more humble term than self-esteem or self-love. Self-love has tones of narcissism—me first and to heck with you. Self-esteem rings of pride—holding our­selves up higher than everybody else. Self-acceptance is that gentle place we get to when we make peace with who we are.

“For a long time, when I talked to certain people. I got squeamish and uncomfortable. like it wasn’t okay to be me.” a friend said. “I thought it was me being uncomfort­able with myself. I’ve finally learned that I’m responding to how uncomfortable some people feel about themselves.”

We might feel so awkward about ourselves that we believe we have to be different from who we are. Some of that comes from low self-worth, not believing that we’re okay. Or it can stem from a need to control. We think if we pretend to be different or better. we can manipulate how other people feel about us.

Continue reading

Stop! 9 WARNING Signs That You May Be in a Dangerous Relationship

Ponder this:

Any relationship can be an unhealthy one. Bad relationships aren’t just limited to marriages or partnerships—they can occur while dating, in friendships, or families. Any relationship that is harmful or destructive to your physical, mental, or emotional well-being is an unhealthy one.

There are many reasons why people stay in an unhealthy relationship. Some don’t recognize or aren’t willing to accept that the relationship is unhealthy, or they are fearful or lack the inner strength to leave. Or, they believe that they can change their partner and things will improve. The sad truth is that unhealthy relationships rarely get better; instead, they get progressively worse, leaving scars that are difficult to recover from.

Full story at: Stop! 9 WARNING Signs That You May Be in a Dangerous Relationship – Lifehack.

Why Feeling Like a Victim Makes You Unhappy

shelley-bullardShelly Bullard writes:

We all get caught in the victim-trap from time to time. Feeling like we’ve been wronged; like we were right and they were, well, I’m sure we can complete the sentence with lots of words. It’s true, being a victim is not an uncommon stance to take in this world.

But you should know that feeling like a victim only makes you feel worse. Many of us don’t realize this. In fact, often we hang-out in victim-land because we unconsciously believe that it will get us what we want (which is care, concern, and love). On some level we think being a victim will make us feel better! We are sorely mistaken.

If you recognize that sometimes you identify as a victim and you want to stop the pattern, then keep reading. In this article I’m going to discuss why feeling like a victim ultimately leads to more unhappiness, and how to turn the pattern around. Continue reading

New Year’s Tips That May Cause Miracles

Gabrielle Bernstein writes:

“Each New Year brings awesome opportunities for personal growth. Now is the perfect time to make powerful change—your willingness is at an all-time high. To help you get a jump-start on your resoluting, I’m sharing thirteen happiness tips from my new book, May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness. Apply these principles, and you’ll kick off the New Year with power, commitment, and confidence. Each tip will greatly help you redirect your energy and learn to heighten an inner sense of power to let your outer life grow, expand, and flow.”New Year’s Tips That May Cause Miracles « Positively Positive

The Frustration Situation

Craig Harper shares these thoughts:

Frustration: it affects all of us at some stage. It’s a part of the human experience and it’s an emotion that doesn’t discriminate. We often find ourselves frustrated when things don’t turn out the way we expected or hoped they would or should. More often than not, our frustration is triggered by something (a situation, a conversation, a circumstance, a person, an event) which is beyond our immediate control.

Like that idiot who lives across the road.

Having said that, what is in our control, is our reaction. Like all emotions, frustration is a personal response to something that’s happening (or not happening, as the case may be) in our world. And while most people believe it’s the external stimulus that produces our internal response, in reality, our frustration is self-created. The challenge is not to overcome frustration (as such) but rather, to learn to manage it as opposed to being managed by it.

So, having worked with the frustrated multitudes for years, I thought I’d share a few suggestions that you might find helpful.

1. Don’t Try to Change People. Trying to change others (we’ve all done it) is an exercise in frustration and, at times, disconnection and aggravation. Giving people unwanted advice, direction or feedback (no matter how well-intended) will invariably end in tears. Either literally or metaphorically. Keep in mind that unwanted input or commentary is typically interpreted as criticism.

2. Stop Wasting Your Emotional Energy. Control what you can and let go of what you can’t. All too often, we invest our emotional energy into things (situations, circumstances, issues) over which we have little or no control. Not surprisingly, sending our blood pressure through the roof while screaming at a sporting event on television (for example) won’t change the outcome. Or the umpire’s stupid decisions. In fact, the only thing it might do is send us to an early grave. Oh, and possibly, annoy the crap out of everyone else within earshot.

3. Stop Juggling. Stop doing fifty things poorly and focus your time and energy on doing the important things well. That is, prioritise. I had to learn this lesson as I once had a propensity to bite off more than I could chew. Many of us simply take on more things than we can do well. Sometimes the answer is to put certain things on hold in order to be able to make progress in other areas. As a rule, over-commitment leads to exhaustion, anxiety and frustration. And eventually, physical illness. So, what’s the best use of your time, skill and energy right now? The answer to that question is your starting point.

4. Stop Aiming for Perfection. Aim for better. Aim for improvement. Aim for growth. Our society’s obsession with perfection has led to unrealistic expectations, unhealthy thinking, mass frustration and disappointment. Of course frustration will be the result when our goal is unattainable. When perfection is the goal, no result will ever be good enough.

5. Be Patient. Stop trying to reinvent yourself by next Tuesday. It took you a long time to get where you are now (practically, financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically, sociologically), so be realistic with your expectations as you work towards creating the new and improved version of you. I’m always amazed by people who have punished their body for decades (with atrocious eating, zero exercise and poor lifestyle habits) who then find a way to be disappointed and frustrated when they don’t look like a supermodel or elite athlete two weeks into their ‘weight-loss kick’. Good grief.

6. Stop Relying on Others to Get You There (wherever there is). It’s great to have support, encouragement and help along the way, but it’s not great to be totally dependant on others to make our dreams a reality. While it’s healthy to be part of a team of people who are all on the same page and all moving in the same direction, it’s still important for us to be functional, productive and effective on our own. Independent and strong. Being totally reliant on someone else (to reach our goals) is an exercise in both frustration and disempowerment.

7. Compare Yourself to Others – with Caution. Comparing ourselves to others rarely results in something positive. It can, but typically, it won’t. Invariably, it will focus our attention on what we don’t have or what we haven’t done and lead to self-pity and/or frustration. Having said that, it can work in our favour when we make it. Comparisons can be a positive when we use the achievements of others with similar attributes, potential and opportunities (to us) as a source of motivation, inspiration, learning and perspective for our own journey.

Now… deep breaths. :)

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Source: The Frustration Situation

How to Spot A Narcissist and Walk Away

medicating-menKelly O’Brien writes this:

Most of us have been in a relationship with a narcissist. Perhaps you’ve been sucked in by a self-absorbed family member, a spouse, a boyfriend, a co-worker, or a friend.

Perhaps you thought it was your fault when the narcissist left you feeling diminished and full of despair.

The truth is, your only “fault” was getting involved with the narcissist in the first place!

Learning to spot this toxic behavior before it hurts you is crucial to your health. A huge part of wellness is surrounding ourselves with healthy people and healthy relationships. If we have unhealthy relationships, we need to assess whether or not they can transform, or we must find the strength to walk away.

So, let’s talk about how to spot a narcissist and how to walk away from one.

Here Are 6 Qualities of a Narcissist:

  1. He or she rarely takes responsibility for problems and instead blames them on everyone else.
  2. The narcissist expresses little emotion, particularly during conflict with you. When you do express emotion, he or she blames you for doing so. It’s a subtle form of abuse.
  3. He or she drains you, but thrives on your energy. Consider how much energy you are expending on this relationship… my guess is that it’s your effort keeping the relationship alive. You’re most likely exhausted emotionally and physically because you do all of the planning, all of the apologizing, and all of the work to ‘fix’ what is wrong.
  4. This person is charming, often a flirt, and thinks very highly of himself.
  5. This person is irresponsible with his finances, career, drinking, and/or keeping his home in order.
  6. Jekyll & Hyde: This person is so incredibly endearing, but when you say one thing wrong, she snaps at you. You walk on eggshells wanting to do everything right.

Once you have determined that you are with a narcissist, the wisest thing to do is to walk away.

Why?

There is no reasoning with this individual. You will inevitably lose every single argument and end most conflicts thinking everything was your fault. You will end up apologizing. You will end up in counseling and you will be the one to end up losing your self-esteem.

You can avoid all of this!

Go here to learn how: How to Spot A Narcissist and Walk Away