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October 03, 2002

Free Reads -- Self-Esteem

Friedrich --

Has a major social turning point arrived? Is the insane vogue for "self-esteem" finally over? Erica Goode in the New York Times reports that research has begun to show that elevating self-esteem cures little, here.

Sample passage:

"D" students, it turns out, think as highly of themselves as valedictorians, and serial rapists are no more likely to ooze with insecurities than doctors or bank managers. At the same time, high self-esteem, studies show, offers no immunity against bad behavior....Some people with high self-regard are actually more likely to lash out aggressively when criticized than those with low-self esteem.



posted by Michael at October 3, 2002


Whenever I need to get stuck into some work but find that I can't make a start, my procedure is to lower my self-esteem. Suffering from high self esteem means that nothing I do can possibly measure up to what I expect of my wondrous self, so nothing is what I do. Lowered self-esteem, or "humility" as it used to be called, means that whatever humble efforts I do make will be good enough and no worse than I expect of myself.

In short (a) I tell myself I'm an idiot and a slug, and then (b) I set to work. And it usually turns out okay.

Posted by: Brian Micklethwait on October 3, 2002 9:28 PM

I'd file that official NYT realization under "no sh*t, Sherlock." As a kid it was obvious that the high self esteemers where the bullies and the jocks (same thing most of the time), and I've noticed now that I'm a parent the kids with inflated self esteem are insufferable.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on October 4, 2002 11:27 AM

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