Topic 1 What is self-esteem and the difference between healthy, low and excessive self-esteem?

  • Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves.
  • When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us better able to deal with life’s ups and downs.
  • When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us.

Self-esteem is: ​

  • how you value, respect and feel about yourself
  • knowing and believing that you have value and are worthily of happiness 
  • being able to cope with the basic challenges of life

During our lives, people can describe themselves more positively or more negatively. For this reason, people can experience periods of low self-esteem, healthy self-esteem and excessive self-esteem.

Did you know that typically, self esteem is lower in younger people, and increases as you get older?

Here are some of the most common traits of people with healthy, low and excessive self-esteem.

People with Low-self esteem:

  • Have a negative image of themselves – they might feel bad ugly, unlikeable, or stupid;
  • They find it difficult to make and keep friends;
  • Might think that others are better than they are;
  • Have a negative outlook on life;
  • Lack confidence in their abilities;
  • Find it hard to say no and set boundaries.

People with healthy self-esteem:

  • Feel proud of what they can do and see the good things about themselves
  • Accept their strengths and weaknesses;
  • Believe in themselves, even when they don’t do well at first 
  • Feel liked and accepted 
  • Accept themselves, even when they make mistakes

People with Excessive Self-Esteem

  • Feel superior to others 
  • Can be over-confident and over-estimate their abilities
  • They don’t to accept advice, criticism or feedback from others.
  • Can feel entitled and be self-absorbed, loosing sight of the needs of others.