To know oneself, here is one of the essential things for every man who wants to make his way in life. The majority of those who seek to succeed in life are always interested in their self-esteem. How to define self-esteem?
The Wikipedia gives us an attempt to define this concept: Self-esteem is, in psychology, a term designating the judgment or assessment made of an individual in relation to his own value. When an individual does something that he thinks is worthwhile, he feels valued and when he evaluates his actions as being in opposition to his values, he reacts by ” lowering his esteem “.
We owe the concept of self-esteem to James, Cooley, Mead who was the first to evoke this notion of self-esteem. Who are they? And how do they define self-esteem?
Self-Esteem, According to James William
William James (born January 11, 1842, in New York, died August 26, 1910, in Chocorua, New Hampshire) is an American psychologist and philosopher, son of Henry James Sr., a disciple of Swedenborg, and older brother of Henry James, a famous novelist. James is one of the most eminent members of the generation of thinkers who have contributed to giving American thought its own tone. He is not only one of the founders of pragmatism but also of analytic philosophy.
William James is often presented as the founder of psychology in America. His first big book, published in 1890, is entitled The Principles of Psychology. This book presents a psychology based on evolutionism and focused on philosophical reflection.
For William James, self-esteem is the result of a relationship between our successes and our claims in important areas of life. In other words, at James, self-esteem is the relationship between what humans really are and what they want to be (their self-ideal).
Self-Esteem, According to Charles Horton Cooley
Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) was an American sociologist in the current of pragmatism.
For him, the individual and society are two sides of a single social reality: the individual exists only through society and vice versa, society only by individuals.
According to him, the self (personality, Self) is always elaborated by social relations with others. The feeling of being someone is formed through social relationships. It is others who make us who we are. The self-image (” looking glass self “) is always built in the eyes of others. This concept will be taken up by George Herbert Mead with whom he collaborated.
Cooley indicates that another would be a mirror in which we perceive ourselves and that the judgments of others on us would be internalized and create the perceptions that an individual possesses of him.
Self-Esteem, According to George Herbert Mead
George Herbert Mead, born February 27, 1863, in South Hadley Massachusetts and died April 13, 193 in Chicago, is a sociologist, sociopsychologist and philosopher American.
A philosopher by training, he teaches at the University of Chicago social psychology, of which he is considered the founder. His work had an important role in the genesis of symbolic interactionism.
For Mead, for the individual to be part of society, he must imitate the language of this community. He worked on the concept of socialization through interaction: it is through the exchange (especially verbal) with other members of society, that the Man (“social being”) will “internalize” (ie .d. to integrate unconsciously) the norms of this society. This approach has been influenced in particular by the works of Charles Horton Cooley. However, for Mead, it would be the average of these judgments that would be internalized. This is Mead’s point of view about self-esteem.
So far, how can one define self-esteem to be more understanding?
How to Define Self-Esteem?
For me, self-esteem is: Being in good mental health is self-awareness. The knowledge of one’s strengths, weaknesses, difficulties, limitations, and needs resulting in an image of oneself in relation to reality.
If you have a positive image of yourself, you can enrich your life. Happy people are nice to meet. When we feel good about ourselves, the relationships we have with people are more satisfying and we are better able to cope with the demands of life. In other words, we are happier.
Self-esteem is an inner attitude of saying that you have value, that you are unique and important. It is to know oneself and to love oneself as one is with one’s qualities and limits. It is appreciating and accepting oneself as one is.
We must understand that self-esteem is the idea or image we have of ourselves. This inner reflection is shaped and conditioned by the multitude of roles that we play, but also by our goals and objectives, our personality, our ideology or by our philosophy … On the other hand, this idea of ourselves is dynamic, this which means that it varies over time and is sensitive to the facet changes we have listed previously.
In other words, some might define self-esteem, like, self-judgment and self-esteem.
In reality, your self-esteem depends on how you perceive yourself. Indeed, self-esteem is that little flame that shines inside us when we are proud of ourselves. Self-esteem is believing in one’s own worth, in one’s right to friendship, love, and happiness. Self-esteem influences our whole life: our thoughts, our actions, our feelings. To esteem, oneself is to become aware of one’s uniqueness in order to have a more harmonious and positive relationship with others.
Note that esteem does have some types and roots. What are the different types of self-esteem and their characteristics?
The Different Types of the Estimate of Self
We distinguish two types of self-esteem: high self-esteem and low self-esteem.
1 – the Characteristics of a High Self-Esteem
High self-esteem may involve the following characteristics:
• A firm belief in his words and principles, always ready to defend himself in the face of adversity, and self-confidence.
• Ability to make choices that seem correct, without guilt vis-à-vis others.
• Ability to move forward without worrying about past or future events.
• Ability to fully solve a problem, without hesitation or difficulty; he can ask the opinion of others.
• Consideration: One does not feel inferior or superior to others, and accepts differences specific to others.
• Resistance to manipulation, collaboration with others.
• Admission and acceptance of shared opinions and opinions, whether positive or negative.
• Ability to fully appreciate a variety of activities.
• Sensitivity to the needs of others; general respect of social laws.
Note: People who have a high self-esteem tend to have self-confidence, a strong self-image; and also to cultivate optimism. People who have a high self-esteem come to love each other, to understand each other, and to accept themselves as they are. Like any excess night, the danger that people with high self-esteem may run into selfishness and egocentrism. This is where you have to be careful!
2 – the Characteristics of Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem may show the following characteristics:
• Important self-criticism, creating a habitual state of self-dissatisfaction.
• Hypersensitivity to criticism; an individual with low self-esteem feels easily attacked and permanently resentful of criticism.
• Chronic indecision, often as a result of an exaggerated fear of making a mistake.
• Perfectionism, which leads to wanting to do something perfectly or without error (he finds himself worried), especially at the risk of causing frustration.
• Guilt, which leads to ruminations of mistakes made in the past.
• Irritability, or constantly on the defensive even for no apparent reason.
• Pessimism, the generalized negative point of view.
Note: When an idea is badly received, an individual with low esteem can take it personally and feel devastated. This can have serious consequences when the physical or moral personality, actions, or ego of an individual are directly targeted. These individuals raise their self-esteem if they succeed in achieving a goal they have set for themselves; however, they may return to low esteem if they fail again.
Conclusion on How to Define Self-Esteem
Knowing ourselves helps us decide what to think, how we should think, and what to do in one situation or another. This knowledge of ourselves can be done individually or in groups. Awareness of our identity and that of others makes life easier and facilitates our interpersonal relationships and relationships within a group.
To value oneself, to trust oneself, to love oneself, not to devalue oneself is essential to living well and live well with others. And that is cultivated!
How, then, is self-esteem built? This is the question we address under this next link. Click here.