Research Essay on Self-Esteem

Topics: Self-esteem, Psychology, Implicit self-esteem Pages: 7 (2804 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Research essay
Kurmanalieva Cholpon BA-110

Low vs. high self-esteem

The word “self-esteem” comes from the Latin aesimare, which means “to estimate or appraise”. Self-esteem thus refers to our positive and negative evaluations of ourselves (Coopersmith, 1967). There are two social psychological theories which explain why all of us need to have self-esteem. One theory, proposed by Mark Leary and his colleagues, is that people are inherently social animals and that the need for self-esteem is driven by this more primitive need to connect with others and gain their approval. Our self-esteem thus serves as an indicator of how we’re doing in the eyes of others. The other theory, proposed by Jeff Creenberg, Shelton Solomon, and Tom Pyszczynski, is that people are motivated to see themselves as valuable members of society as a way of coping with a deeply rooted fear of death that haunts us all. There are two types of self-esteem: high and low self-esteem. High self-esteem can be divided into secure and fragile high self-esteem. Some people prefer having high self-esteem while others claim that low self-esteem is better than high self-esteem. For most people it’s easier to say they have normal self-esteem, but there can’t be “normal self-esteem.” Such people should specify what type of self-esteem (either high or low) can be considered “normal”. And the question is, “What type of self-esteem can be considered relatively the best? The answer to this question was found through a deep analysis of advantages and disadvantages of both high and low self-esteem. Firstly, I analyzed the advantages of high self-esteem. High self-esteem people usually have a strong position in their life. They always know who they are, what they want, and what way they are going. They don’t depend on others’ opinion, because they have their own point of view and are not afraid of sharing it with others. Thanks to high self-esteem, people are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities which develop their potential skills. In any business, people want to deal with confident businessmen with a strong will power and ability to solve any challenges that come their way. Such people put high goals and commitments, and, eventually, they achieve them, because they believe they can. As it was said, “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right!” For people with high self-esteem, there’s no reason for stress and depression, because they love their life and feel good about themselves. People with high self-esteem have been said to lead happier and more psychologically healthy lives (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger & Vohs, 2003). Finally, high self-esteem may even have long-term benefits. “Higher levels of self-esteem similarly have been found in other research to predict growth in socioemotional functioning among younger, preschool age children…. and, at the other end of developmental continuum, decreased likelihood of mortality among older adults.” (Dubois & Flay, 2004, p.416). But still, high self-esteem has a number of disadvantages. People with high self-esteem are prone to boasting and narcissism (Baumeister et al., 2003); and to engage in more risky behaviors such as unprotected sex (Hollar and Shizek, 1996). Most people with high self-esteem are usually arrogant and selfish. From my own experience, I know people who become arrogant simply because they had achieved success in a particular area of life. Instead of coping with other weaknesses of character, high self-esteem people think they’re perfect and don’t change themselves. As a result, they become blind to their own faults and don’t go forward because they don’t improve themselves. Some people start forgetting their old friends as their self-esteem gets higher. For example, I had been a friend of one girl for 3 years. Especially, the last year of our friendship, I noticed some changes in her character, her self-esteem became higher and higher...
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