What Does Self Esteem Have To Do With Anything?

This morning, I read that the ethnic group with the lowest self esteem are the Asian Americans.  This is an irony.  At the same time, this ethnic group has the highest academic performance.  Most of us certainly are aware that this ethnic group has a tendency to be more family orientated.  Kind of interesting.

In America, it is this culture that focuses on individuality.  While I make no judgment on whether that is good or bad; it does seem that it is also a culture that focuses on me.  Self admiration, or too much of it, may be more of a problem than a solution.  For many, it seems that self admiration probably really narcissism.  Too many of us are really afraid to call it for what it is.  Where did the thought or the implication come up that this self admiration, perhaps, narcissism, causes success–let alone respect.  When you dwell on this, the question really becomes what is imaginary and what is real.  One has to ask the question about what comes first.  With the Asians, to me, it seems that it is work, followed by success, is what converts to self esteem.  What I know I know is that I know many narcissistic individuals who are so busy imagining their own success but not actually being successful.  Is this what we call a poser or someone that is truly unfortunate?  I am not sure.

I always resent, to the point of hate, when individuals are clearly looking for undeserved attention.  I guess we can look at Hollywood and Washington DC.  These people are masters in keeping the spotlight on themselves.  They will do about anything to get what they so desperately need.  It is that attention.  It is one of the most despicable addictions.  That being the obnoxious need for attention. Regardless of your faith; the focus on one’s own needs above the needs of others is wrong.  Why we do not call this out is beyond me?  Thinking your great and actually being great is what the narcissistic person has no grasp on.  Perhaps, this is what is wrong with America today.

When I meditate, I do not, or try not to think about how great I am.  Being sarcastic, sometimes, that is a challenge.  I invite parties to respond.  When you meditate, do you imagine moments when you are in front of the mirror or is the imagery about something you did for someone else.  When I get away from myself, I guess I feel more grounded with the world.

9 comments

  1. There is a massive difference between healthy self-esteem and excessive self-admiration or narcissism, just as there is a world of difference between having a healthy meal and bingeing on fast food, or between having a drink or two with dinner sometimes and being an alcoholic. Self-esteem is merely the state of respecting oneself, of feeling that you are a worthwhile person with positive reasons to exist, -equal- to others. In narcissism the person views themself as -superior- and others as -inferior-. This is a critical distinction.

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      • You’re welcome. 🙂 This is something I have frequently noted, the failure to distinguish between self-esteem and narcissism. I even read a study once which was given the short description ‘Sociopaths often have higher self-esteem’. No, they tend to be narcissists… big difference! But this is rarely clarified in that kind of context, alas. So when I passed this entry on my reader I couldn’t resist. :p

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  2. I have been reading on the subject as well. The line is pretty blurry.. I think that the society is too much into immediate gratification. That fact seemingly is creating more people who are concerned about their own needs. One example would be Facebook. There are so many selfies. I think we all are affected and we all are narcissitic to some extent.

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  3. You have a right to sustain yourself just like anybody else. External circumstances interact with your own ambitions, which can even be spiritual needs. (All needs are wants.) Then you have to weigh your own interests against those of others. Don’t follow a rigid doctrine here. If you disrespect yourself, then you disrespect other selves by extension.
    Health comes from balance.

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    • There is a book called Ragged Edge written a PhD in Madison, WI. It is a good read. Anyway, his point is that balance is the edge. Walking the edge is spiritual because our awareness is tuned up, particularly when we are quiet and listening. We are able to make better decisions.

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      • Which leads to the next realization: Trying to maintain perfect balance will result in obsession. The striving for the flawless ideal of perfect balance will manifest imbalance.
        Life is ‘dirty’. That is part of the exciting experience. Accept it and wash regularly.

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      • And that leads to the response of that is why it is ragged. There are no absolutes and the search of the absolute is meaningless. That means there are miracles and the exception and that is where God lies.

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