High Self Esteem Defined
Self-esteem is defined by The National Association for Self-Esteem as “The experience of being capable of meeting life’s challenges and being worthy of happiness.”
The NASE article breaks self-esteem into two parts, competency and worthiness, and examines the relationship between these two components.
Worthiness, the psychological aspect of self-esteem, was defined as “whether or not a person lives up to certain fundamental human values, such as finding meanings that foster human growth and making commitments to them in a way that leads to a sense of integrity and satisfaction.”
The competency component is the behavioral or sociological component of self-esteem and is defined as “having the conviction that one is generally capable of producing desired results, having confidence in the efficacy of our mind and our ability to think, as well as to make appropriate choices and decisions.”
What is Low Self-Esteem?
Often we’ll run into people that are overly defensive and seem to “take things too personally” or go out of their way to prove themselves. Some may do or say outrageous things with the goal of impressing others with what they have, who they know, what they’ve done, their power or knowledge, etc.
Low self-esteem is closely associated with fear, a lack of trust and belief in themselves and self-doubt. People with low self-esteem tend to be submissive, people pleasers because they fear being rejected or losing love. Men with low self-esteem tend to have deep seated feelings of inferiority and may tend to be loners.
When one lacks confidence in oneself, a typical behavior pattern is to either attempt to control those around us with judgments, arrogance, snide remarks and contempt. These men will either put you down directly, or overinflate their value, talents or skills in a vain attempt to put themselves in a superior position. Their goal is to put you down to boost his ego and make himself feel better. However, other man may just retire into a corner and fill their heads with self-deprecating comments.
Generally, women with low self esteem adopt the latter behavior pattern, and males the former.
How Men Exhibit Low Self Esteem
The NASE website reports that “a close relationship has been documented between low self-esteem and such problems as violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and low academic achievement.”
When men lack confidence in themselves and doubt their value and acceptability to women, they fear rejection, ridicule and failure. These fears will manifest themselves in a failure to approach the woman they are interested in, or men will talk themselves out of relationships that could be really wonderful by sending negative messages of failure and pain. “I’m not good at [fill in the blank]!” is often heard as an excuse for not trying to do better from the lips of Black men.
Once in a relationship, men with low self esteem often become very jealous and controlling of their woman. Amazed that someone loves them, they feel vulnerable and worried that if she leaves, he will be alone. His words often become harsh and abusive as he tries to control his feelings of need for her. Some men actually resort to physical violence as well. He may blame her for “making” him hit or cuss her out.
Actually, men with low self esteem can frequently be heard blaming other people (typically women), for their failures and shortcomings, refusing to take responsibility for their negative behaviors or lack of action. These Black men blame the demise of the Black family on Black women instead of themselves for leaving their children behind.
This is also why Black men blame pregnancies on Black women instead of themselves for not maintaining strict control over their sperm. This is why uneducated Black men are angry at educated Black women for having standards and expectations in a man that excludes them, as they don’t measure up.
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Category: Men's Issues