Are Most Black Men Insecure With Low Self-Esteem?

| 05/14/2011 | Comments (49)
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." why do so many young black men suffer from low self-esteem?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.men with low self esteem are often controlling jealous and verbally abusive or physically abusive to their partners 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. (continued on page 2 below)

Deborrah

Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Men's Issues

45 comments
29xlt
29xlt

Lets face it black men and women have issues that they need counseling for, until we realize this and start trying to fix ourselves, noting is going to change. Furthermore, we need to start looking at the positive thing in each other instead of the negative and go from there. We all have to be willing to change and better ourselves from the inside out.

Raz zy
Raz zy

@29xlt Furthermore we need to start looking at the positive thing in each other instead of the negative and go from there."


How are you going to improve when you only look at one side of an issue?  Do you think athletes up their game by never looking at their errors?  You learn from your mistakes and grow. But you just want to overlook them and pretend they don't exist which is counterproductive. 

katt7369
katt7369

I have been dating this guy off and on for 3 yrs he is so insecure and he has low self esteem I love him but I do not want to keep going through this with him. I am faithful to him and he thinks that i am cheating i can not even take a bath without him thinking that i am doing something wrong. He is mentally physically and emotionally abusing me yes i know i can do better but it just hurt me so because i am not doing anything wrong and its like i am killing my self to prove to him that i love him and want him only but he does not believe me i get so tired of him telling me that i want a pretty boy or i want someone with a bigger penis its just crazy  please someone help me and tell me what i should do it suppose to be over the last time i talk to him was 8/23/2013 and the last time he text me was 8/27/2013  he has been calling me but i do not respond to his text or phone calls cause he never has anything positive to say 

Raz zy
Raz zy

@katt7369 You sound like you're insecure as well to keep dating a trifling dude on and off for 3 years.  Nobody can help you but yourself.  And since you keep giving access to this fool, you must like it, otherwise you would have kicked this knucklehead to the curb when he first started showing his trifling behavior.  Low self esteem people tend to gravitate to other low self esteem folks and feed off one another. This is what I see happening here. 

Brendan
Brendan

I'm half black. Many people would argue we (light skinned mulattoes) have the lowest self esteem of all the black men.
I would agree. It gets better every year for me though. Thank you for this article, it points out a lot of things I am still changing in myself. I'm turning 25 this year, and hope to have my shit together enough to get a woman before Im 30.

Marcus
Marcus

Well there are still a lot of problems in the black community. It's not hard to believe that some black men put on an exterior of confidence and over the top personalities, because that's all they're able to see. Fatherless homes mix into the equation to boot.

One point I would like to make is the vicious double standard that seems to apply directly to black men, and who it's 'Proper' for them to date.

A Black woman can become a professional and marry some white boy and the cultural mindset still says 'Good for her, she's gone up a class.'

If a black man dates a white woman people evoke these images of 'Daddy's princesses' rebelling for a fling with the black bad boy. Or he's betraying his race. Even other black women look down on him dating 'Some white bitch.' - He's not allowed to date outside of his race, or risk being labeled an uncle tom. Someone forsaking his culture.

Like I said, it doesn't make it surprising to see low self-esteem in Black men when they're not even allowed to have the basic choice to date one women over another! Or else risk being socially ostracized.

Fixing low self-esteem, personally, is going to need a lot more time for people to strike at the root issues of what's wrong with Black America.

Marcus
Marcus

Black women are not all wine and grapes when it comes to self-esteem either. i know plenty of black females who wont date a nice educated black man who is doing something with his life. I had my girlfriend tell me she would rather get beat up by her ex than have another women put up with him. I was faithful and always treated her well. On valentines day she left me for him.now she telling me that she love him even though he hit her and verbally abuse her. BLACK WOMEN want a thugs ass ni99a. that's all they tell me.So how can GOOD black men be recognized if black women don't want us? you will always think that black men have low self esteem when that's the only type of black men that black women like. you don't hear too many white or hispanic women complaining . you want to know why? because they accept and date the good black man!!

Ed
Ed

This describes way too many men. The question I have is how have women contributed to this? Have they emasculated and ridiculed men without concern for the impact this might have on the self esteem of men? Shunning men who are emotionally vulnerable is why men choose to adopt hyper masculine bravado. They know if they show weakness strong black women will treat them poorly. Trying to be "The Man" and failing to do so leaves them jaded with a poor view of themselves. If women accept men just being human they will have less reason to put on this false front and can be more comfortable with their natural self, whatever that may be.

If black men have a low self esteem we should look to the cause instead of telling women to avoid them all together. Women once upon a time thought it was wise to nurture men and develop their talents, self esteem, and spiritual well being because they have a vested interest in doing so.

Yes I am asking you to invest in men even if your newly forged confident man might move on one day. It's in the interest of every women to have men like this be the norm. If he moves on then find yourself another, with your new found talents and experience you should be able to select a better one.

Men don't have a problem building up a women or choosing a women of lower position as his wife. Men are willing to put their ego aside and treat a women like a lady. These are normal expectations we have for men and was also at one time the case for women. Feminism discouraged women from being warm and kind so that they may embrace masculine qualities which were not known for engendering humanistic caring. Women need to use their feminity to bring love back into the world. It has gotten to harsh, judgmental, and cold hearted.

SEVEN
SEVEN

Another ignorant white person with nothing else to do...maybe your the one with the low self esteem

Men suck
Men suck

You can take words and twist them to mean whatever you want them to mean. Politicians do it everyday... just like this article.

Nigerian Sista
Nigerian Sista

I don't see how anyone could criticze the article that was printed. Ms. Cooper was stating the key factors that illustrate that a mane is insecure. It was done with the purpse to show a woman what kind of man to leave alone. She will not be in the position to help him with his issue, he will more than likely have to seek professional counseling especially if his behavior stems from something deep rooted in his childhood. I think that there are will always be people who don't like to hear the truth especially when it pertains to the horrible ways some black males treat black women. Maybe it's because for so long it was pushed under the rug and not adressed, and especially not publicly. But too much has happened and black women have been trashed privately and PUBLICLY, so why can't certain issues be addressed publicly? Great article Ms. Cooper.

SilentBro
SilentBro

Informative article with clear and concise indicators that women can use to help them determine if they are with a man with low self esteem. It can be confusing because sometimes these men possess a lot of bravada and #6 (material possessions) so it appears that they have a handle on themselves but they are just over compensating for what is lacking within.

Mikey
Mikey

Hi, I have to say I am frustrated with this article. Whilst the article highlights some great points, that is where it ends. At no point are any solutions proposed or any positives given about Black Men (although the title gives that one away).

I enjoy reading articles on the site generally, however at times it seems you are taking an axe to man's personality trying to break him down. If you are trying to deconstruct so you rebuild a better man, good for you. If you see that as not your job, why is it your job to critise? By all means challenge, but let's do so that we move one or more steps forward rather than staying where are or going retrograde.

kf
kf

A lot of these men exist. I know I have met quite a few. When the shiny bravado fake confident exterior wears off, this is what is underneath. You get a glimpse of it every now in then from a sarcastic or toxic statement that leaves a woman scratching her head, when actually she should just cut and run. Add a good dose of toxicity and whining about the last girl that left them (for good reason)and it's a nightmare that can make a woman question herself and her sanity...for minute. Great article...explains a lot. There is a wide spectrum of men and women out there, this is just the bad end of the male side, no harm in hipping us normal folks on what the heck is up with some of these guys.

Bigdaddy
Bigdaddy

This article is entitled...Do MOST Black Men have low self esteem. It does not answer and goes on as if this is fact. It looks at a COMMON human condition and attributes it to black men and then more inapproproiately to most Black men. I think this article simply SUCKS.

HAPPY WOMEN
HAPPY WOMEN

I HAVE BEEN HEALED I AM CURRENTLY DEALING WITH THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR NOW I KNOW HOW TO CHALLANGE IT

Danta'
Danta'

Great Article. especially about avoiding males like this or having the male confront whatever issues he has. Maybe there is hope.

Raz
Raz

This is most definitely a keeper for women to use to gauge what is going on when they deal with brothas who are riding them hard, and the woman is blaming herself and he is blaming her too.

Now she has a tool to realize that it’s not her, but him even though he is blaming her for his ‘ills’ in life. Thanks again for yet another empowering article that is helpful for both genders.

If a woman is involved with a guy and has this sort of insight, then perhaps she can help him see what’s going on inside of him (if the dude is willing). If not, then she has to adopt the attitude that she can’t fix what she didn’t break and make whatever adjustments she needs for her own piece of mind.

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