Self-Esteem: Understanding the ConceptPsychology 101Self-Esteem: Understanding the ConceptWhether people know it or not, everyone has a self-esteem, but somehave better grasps on it than others do. Most people’s self-esteemjudgments are based on what they value, their beliefs or interests,and the attitudes that they have (Beane, 1993, p. 6). Therefore it isimpossible to escape the notion that someone doesn’t have a self-esteem.
It is whatever they make it out to be, but not only do they choose theirown self-esteem, but others have a big part in deciding it as well.
I have two friends who are totally different in every aspect, especiallytheir self-esteem. My one friend Karis has a high self-esteem; she getsgood grades, is the star of the volleyball team, and has loving parents.
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Davina on the other hand, has a low self-esteem. She’s not as brighta student as she wants to be, nor does she play any sports, or haveloving parents. Her mother and father divorced a few years back, andDavina has been forgotten ever since. She lived at her best freindshouse for a few years to finish schooling, as her father took off withher little sisters and her mother moved away to start a new family.
Since her abandonment, Davina hasn’t been the same. She is afraidto speak in class, always scared that others will make fun of her.
Her grades used to be good, but now she has no confidence that shecan pass the tests. Gym is a nightmare as Davina is reluctant to wearshorts, always professing that she is to fat. She will only sit withher friend! s at lunch, to frightened to go out of her way and makenew friends, and she never smiles. Davina is convinced that everyonetalks about her behind her back, and when a teacher asks her a questionshe slinks back in her chair, afraid of the snickers she’ll receiveif she gives the wrong answer. Self-esteem involves an individual’ssense of self worth (Beane, 1984, p. 6), and Davina seems to have none.
Self-evaluations of a person physical appearance are defiantly linked toself-esteem (Baumeister, 1993, p. 95), and Davina hates the way shelooks.
She’s a beautiful girl and she’d be so much prettier if she smiled oncein awhile, but Davina doesn’t believe her peers. What a person thinksofhimself or herself is going to show through their attitude and behavior(Beane, 1984, p. 26). It is also determined by what others think.
Friends and relatives can have a great impact on what a person thinksof himself or herself. This can either be good or bad, and in Davina’scase, ! it’s awful. Since her parents walked out on her, she seemsuntrusting of everyone except her closest friends. Even then it ishard to get through to her, I think she has given up on herself, makingher self-esteem lower than is already is.
Karis has nothing but warmth and love at home. Her parents help herstudy, commend her on her grades, and always brag to their friends abouthow well she is doing juggling both volleyball and school. On therefrigerator door her parents have put up all the carefully cut outnewspaper clipping’s that show Karis playing volleyball, her place onthe honor roll, and the pictures of her being inducted into the nationalhonor society. This certainly brightens Karis’s spirits as she seeshow proud her parents really are of her, and I believe that this is abig part of her self-esteem. Having her parents there for her aroundtheclock really helps. It is very obvious that her parents are proud ofher.
Karis always goes out of her way to make people feel at home and she hasmany friends because of it. In class she speaks loudly, projecting hervoice, even if her answer is wrong. She doesn’t mind the snickers ofher classmates; she just shrugs it off and smiles. Karis doesn’t thinkdown on herself at all, if anything, she may think to high of herself,but she at least has a well-rounded sense of her self worth. If aperson sees themselves as competent in areas where they have set theirgoals, then they will have good self-esteem (Baumeister, 1984, p. 88).
That is exactly what Karis has done. She is happy with her appearance,her grades, her volleyball achievements, and she really loves herparents.
Maybe Davina just suffers from an identity crisis, which mostadolescence tend to struggle with, but