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Self Esteem

CowSavior

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#3
There really arent any.
It's all up to your thinking capacity.

I got more by wanting it, but anything I can mentally improve, I will mentally improve on my own...
 

Wisp

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#5
Hehe. My personality is my restraining order... That needs to go on a poster on the wall of my room...
 

loveofreason

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#7
any tips on how to get some?
Fake it.

I went through a phase where I experienced a genuine clarity - the fact that no-one could read my mind! They had no idea how incompetent, repugnant, stupid, intolerable etc. I considered myself to be. I therefore decided to act as if these self-assessments weren't true, and act as though I were confident, likable, interesting, whatever.

The astounding thing was people reacted to me as though my behaviour were me! Faking it worked! None of them had read the bit in the script that said they were supposed to treat me like dirt. They didn't have the least curiosity about my insecurities. A sense of healthy self-esteem arose from my profound surprise and uncommon success.

Perhaps this (fakery) is what underpins all normal social interaction, but to me it was a revelation.

Acting as though you value yourself -> others accepting your act and valuing you accordingly -> a growing sense of self-worth.

I know there are so many instances in which this little chain could come undone. It is a shallow method of address and success might all depend on the root of the low self-esteem (conviction of being a leper; a despicable, worthless non person?) being social, but it's worth experimenting with.
 

Aphasia

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#8
... loveofreason is my emotional clone. :eek:

I'm not actually confident, but I tell myself/ pretend to be confident so much that I'm split equally between being INTJ/INTP during tests (mind over mind). It's definitely not a substitute for real confidence, but it's likely better than nothing. Self-confidence increasing exercises feel somewhat shallow (besides being dumb).
 
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#9
Self-esteem - any tips on how to get some?
It has to be earned, something people aren't being taught in school anymore. Set some small, achievable goals and work conscientiously to meet them. Succeed or fail, working toward something and making any progress at all is a big esteem booster. And even if you fail, if you learn even one thing that helps in the next goal, you've accomplished something. That helps you in your next goal, and gives you a sense of competence, the belief that you can make things happen, no matter how small. Lather, rinse, repeat several times and it all builds on itself.

Loveofreason is right, but for the wrong reason. Self-esteeem CANNOT come from other people, (that's why the "self" part). But setting the goal of having people treat you differently, and changing something in yourself or your environment to make it happen is an example of what I just described. But the reason it worked is not the change in other people, it was the change in himself (herself?).
 

CowSavior

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#10
The only thing that limits you is your mind...

Think harder!:)

Just love yourself for who you are.

It might help if you set a time before bed every night, and think of all the good/ positive things you've done, and everything good about yourself.

I used to do this...
It worked for me.
I used to feel like a complete loser, and that everybody had to have a reason to hate me, and that everybody was always thinking or saying bad things about me, but now I realise that I was just being paranoid and irrational...
 
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Jesin

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#11
Interesting and somehow-related thing to consider: the difference between being apathetic and being carefree.
 

loveofreason

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#12
Loveofreason is right, but for the wrong reason. Self-esteeem CANNOT come from other people, (that's why the "self" part). But setting the goal of having people treat you differently, and changing something in yourself or your environment to make it happen is an example of what I just described. But the reason it worked is not the change in other people, it was the change in himself (herself?).
Yes, good observation. I didn't mean to confer all the power over your self-image to other people. The process jgalt describes is in truth a part of why my example works. It reinforces your own sense of power, accomplishment and success, thus feeding your sense of self-worth in tandem with the first effect I described.

The extent to which we see ourselves reflected in others is part of the information loop upon which we build our self-image. Positive mirroring is crucial to our well-being.* Not the whole story for adults, but a good part of it. If by changing our behaviour we change the mirroring feedback that enters our loop, we can break the back of an otherwise hopelessly self-destructive cycle.

*Especially so to the child. Negative mirroring at childhood is the root cause of low self esteem. I can't emphasize my conviction of that fact highly enough!

Thanks jgalt, for the opportunity to think about this topic more deeply, and to Radioactive for asking the question!


-----

*Aphasia, we were perhaps both cloned from stone or wood?;)
 
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#13
Nihilism might not be the best chosen philosophy either
 

Jesin

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#14
Woah. Reason, that was great *applause*.

I guess this is what happens when you get a bunch of INTPs together on one forum. Lots of people asking interesting questions and coming up with insightful answers to other people's questions. Also, the questions and answers already there can inspire other questions and answers.

Whee! I like this forum!
 

Oblivious

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#15
What about Narcissism?

Personally I prefer to be as independent as possible, meaning I try as much as I can to rely only on myself. Maybe because it is simply because I am an introvert, but I relish and enjoy the uplifting feeling of power and freedom in my own life. Mainly because I do not have to depend on the mercy of others or play the give/take game. I seem to have cultivated a strong sense of pride (arrogance?), where I will stop at nothing (but my scruples) to obtain what I desire by my strength and that alone.

This has lead to the study of many disciplines in the effort to be self-contained. A fine arrangement, since learning new things and becoming a better person really cuts to the heart of why I live; to evolve.

So how does independence relate to narcissism relate to self-esteem?

Narcissism does not cost me my independence and above all, is what makes me quite a happy person. Its not a panacea; I still have my ups and downs, but when I really want to, my mood is unassailable. I do this mainly by being the first and final judge of my own actions and my own worth. The judgments of other people still affect me, though not as much as before, and I really do not have to worry about objectivity so much that I have to utilize multiple sources. I am probably the most objective person around anyway.

I have no illusions. I do make mistakes, and my judgment fails at times, and sometimes I fail particularly painfully. However, that only means that the mistake will not be made again, which is comforting in a way. The beauty of independence and personal judgment (besides the fact that I am the only one guaranteed to have my own well being in mind) is that sometimes when I realize I have failed, it is possible that no one has detected it yet. It is therefore possible through swift action to correct it before anyone ridicules me. Like a downed zipper. (When someone tells me I have a downed zipper I tend to tell them I like having a nice breeze blowing in my privates and that they should carry on, but that is another story)

Watch how Stewie tells Matthew Macconaughhey how much he sucks in Family Guy. http://www.familyguyx.net/episode/the_former_life_of_brian/

The trick is just to tell yourself how much you rock because of this, this, and that. With narcissism, you get to define what rocks! Human judgment is never flawless; there is always something out there you can find to make yourself feel better about something. I am pretty good at finding what I want to (Just a case in point example).

A side effect, positive nonetheless, is that I have learnt how to encourage and motivate other people with this skill. I just talk to them about what exactly is getting them down and correct them by convincing them that there is no real reason they should be feeling down by using my hard logic and flexibility. It worked pretty well and was invaluable when leading my final year project (I am often selected as leader for some reason, but that was the only time I have actually lead). Encouraging other people successfully, of course, makes me feel better about myself as well.

The truest, most important thing you can tell yourself is that you are capable of brilliant awesome works if and if only you keep at it. Just look at the famous INTPs: Einstein, Descartes, Socrates, Pascal, Newton to name a few.

To summarize; you guys rock. Carry on.
 
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#16
Narcissism does not work, mainly because it leads to delusions. If we are true INTP's, what we seek more than anything is truth - accuracy. Loveofreason's methods would be pragmatic, but not truthful. Over time, we'd realize that we were faking it and that would bother us more than how other people respond to us. That's why, so many of the other personality types CAN fake it and truly don't care. INTP's can't fake it and don't want to. We'd rather people see the *real* us and that's why we are always doing things not quite the socially-acceptable way.

If we only depend on our own opinion and only accept our own pov, then that easily leads to delusions. It is SOO easy to trick yourself into believing what you are doing is truth when you *really* want it. It takes someone else to bounce us back to reality. No, simply loving ourselves because we've convinced ourselves that's the most important thing is shallow at best, and dangerous to others, at worst.

That is why whojgalt stated it most accurately. The best way to develop a healthy self-esteem is to recognize your true self-image. Pay close attention to how other people view your abilities. Know your own faults and weaknesses. Then, understand your strengths and work it out. Every accomplishment you make will strengthen your confidence in being able to change yourself for the better. When we feel we can't ever change is when we feel most hopeless.
 

Oblivious

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#17
Falling into delusion is a very real danger. Any decision we make will have its own risks and it is our job to minimize these.

I would contend that narcissism, at least in the way I view it, does not have to come into conflict with objectivity and over all logical rigor. Just the same way many otherwise dangerous things can be harnessed and put to benefit, like nuclear power or fire.

I have no illusions. I do make mistakes, and my judgment fails at times, and sometimes I fail particularly painfully. However, that only means that the mistake will not be made again, which is comforting in a way. The beauty of independence and personal judgment (besides the fact that I am the only one guaranteed to have my own well being in mind) is that sometimes when I realize I have failed, it is possible that no one has detected it yet. It is therefore possible through swift action to correct it before anyone ridicules me. Like a downed zipper. (When someone tells me I have a downed zipper I tend to tell them I like having a nice breeze blowing in my privates and that they should carry on, but that is another story)
I chiefly choose this method of bolstering my self-esteem mainly because I am already quite proficient at coldly analyzing facts and data to come at a balanced and reasonable judgment. I can lie to people, but I can never really lie to myself. A spade is a spade. I can twist it and tell people its a spoon or even a spork, but in my heart I will always think it is a spade since I know it is a spade.

Truth is one of the most important things in my life personally. To me it is the purest form of power and is more important than many many things. The heart of what I am really trying to convey here is that while there are many things we may hate ourselves for, and while the recognition of these things is integral to our psychological evolution as humans, we must not allow these things to be the end of us.

I will contend that the positive things about us are just as important. That is really the main thrust of my mini-essay;

That In The Never Ending Battle For Our Souls Against The Dark And Twisted Armies Of Depression And Psychosis That Narcissism Shall Be Our Blade And That Our Objectivity Be Our Shield.
 

Ermine

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#18
maybe you really mean egoism, as defined by Ayn Rand. Usually when people think narcissism, they think of the story of Narcissus, aka self absorption to the point of ignoring everyone else.

On the other hand, egoism has the same sense of independence and autonomy, but more objective. It's a sort of mutual understanding that I don't rely on you and you don't rely on me, along with the delicate balance of working together with exacting equality, not one depending on the other, no one having the upper hand.
 

Jesin

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#20
Look, this is about self esteem. The point of faking self esteem is to trick yourself into thinking you have high self esteem. Self esteem is one of those things where, if you think you have a lot of it, that means you really do have a lot of it. If manage you trick yourself into thinking your self esteem is high, then it really will be.

A somewhat-related link that just popped up on news.yc:
http://david.weebly.com/1/post/2008/05/being-fun.html
 
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#21
maybe you really mean egoism, as defined by Ayn Rand.
I was just about to make the same comment, though I was going to leave Rand out of it and just call it rational self-interest. Oblivious, that's not narcissism you're describing, it's what I think is the healthiest and only morally consistent way to be.

And leadership is often a latent quality in INTP's. Since we tend to make mental models of things, we are naturals at trailblazing. Our apparent confident knowledge of what to do is often compelling to others. We just have to get over that whole not liking people thing - or be in a context where it doesn't matter - and avoid the tendency to be easily distracted.

loveofreason, always glad to help. :cool: Your belief that "Negative mirroring at childhood is the root cause of low self esteem", I think, is prety spot on, except it is also possible to foster low self-esteem in both children and adults by simple inaction leading to a sense of diminished competence (and thus control and power). That, though, is often a symptom of already low self-esteem, and so may not be the root. However, in cases where kids are "spoiled" and never have to do anything for themselves, it can actually have at it's root not a negative mirroring, but an unjustified and over the top positive mirroring. I think all this artificial propping up of pretend self-esteem in schools is probably hurting kids long-term self-esteem far more than helping it.
 

Oblivious

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#22
Dagnabbit.

Just when I finally think I've come up with a groundbreaking theory I can write about and publish and become famous of and finally retire and play video games for the rest of my life I find out someone has not only already conceived it, but also wrote numerous volumes on the subject and last but not least is most likely dead.

Talk about way ahead. This is emergence and pantheism all over again dagnabbit.
 
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#25
Kind of reminds me of when I was in 8th grade. I came up with an awesome new idea for philosophy, and the next day I realized that my idea was already taken by Aristotle. :(
Fernando, that happens to me all the time. Except now I know so many of the existing theories, I'm starting to come up with some that have a chance of being truly new. Well, maybe.

Oblivious, pick up a copy of Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's 1100 pages, but I suspect you won't mind the length, and I think you'll like the book. And don't skip the 70-page speech in the middle, like everyone else does. It's worthwhile.
 

Wisp

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#26
Who writes a 70 page speech? I barely have the attention span to write an essay...
 

Wisp

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#30
Speech, not essay. And, yes, INTJ does explain...
 
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#31
Well, it's really an essay, but since it's in a novel, she used the device of having the character hijack the national radio broadcasts and read it (it took three hours in novel time), hence "speech".

Besides, if you already have one blockbuster novel under your belt that was made into a movie with Gary Cooper, you have a contract for another one, and you've developed a fairly original philosophy that you want to get the word out about, it's not hard to find the time to write all that. It's not like she had to go work at McDonald's during the day and write at night. (There were only like ten McDonald's in existence at the time anyway).

By the way, if you haven't made the connection yet (Fernando, I'm sure you have), the first line of the novel is "Who is John Galt?"
 

EditorOne

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#32
" I therefore decided to act .... t as though I were confident, likable, interesting, whatever."

This works at another level, and it's not untruthful or whatever: It's more like practicing. Act confident and eventually you learn what it's like to be confident. When you ARE confident, you then know what that feels like, looks like, and is comprised of, so you have arrived at a moment of truth through what we usually think of as the less attractive route: By experience, rather than by thinking about it.

Corollary: If you act as if you belong wherever you happen to find yourself, people tend to leave you alone. That's good, right? :-)

Aristotle anecdote: Know what it feels like. I forget the details (of course) but in college we had an assignment to analyze the flaws in somebody's philosophy, maybe Descartes. I chewed on it, came up with some things, turned it in, and got a nasty comment from the professor that we weren't supposed to read ahead to David Hume before doing the assignment. Two useful epiphanies: 1. Some part of my brain was at least in the same league with David Hume's; 2. Some professors refuse to believe freshmen in college are capable of original thinking. All in all a good moment.
 

Wisp

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#33
Haha. That sucks. Stupid narrowminded professors, trying to weed out the intelligence of our generation and replacing with *shudder* STANDARDIZED KNOWLEDGE
 

Ermine

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#34
And just the fact that there are professors out there that underestimate young people and don't like it when the student knows more than expected. That makes a teacher useless in my opinion.
 
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#35
Who skips the speech? I mean, seriously, why are you reading the book?

I have a buddy that has such horrible self-esteem that it sucks to hang out with him. You can't have a beer with the guy and not here about how fat he is or how long it has been since he paid a hooker to sleep with him. I guess we aren't really friends, but he used to my friend's roomate and we all wargame together, so one of those forced friendships.

The advice we always gave him was to just act like he liked himself and that the rest would come. I partly gave him the advice so I could drink more than 3 beers with him without wanting to kill him or sulk.
 

Olba

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#36
maybe you really mean egoism, as defined by Ayn Rand. Usually when people think narcissism, they think of the story of Narcissus, aka self absorption to the point of ignoring everyone else.
As far as I can see, there is nothing wrong about thinking of Narcissus when thinking about narcissism. After all, the whole meaning to the word comes from the myth.

And I doubt anyone here ever said anything about NPD, so I doubt we have any need to go there.

On the other hand, egoism has the same sense of independence and autonomy, but more objective. It's a sort of mutual understanding that I don't rely on you and you don't rely on me, along with the delicate balance of working together with exacting equality, not one depending on the other, no one having the upper hand.
Well, considering that the dictionaries define "self-esteem" as confidence and believing in your own value and ability, I see no reason why it couldn't go hand in hand with egoism. After all, psychological egoism values oneself over everyone else. If that isn't believing in one's value, then what is? Of course, it, too, can be delusional, but nowhere near to the extent of narcissism.

I consider myself to be an egoist, as I am extremely selfish. Also, based on what I said in the Suicide topic, I could be a mild case of narcissism. However, I would rather not think so, since in the end it comes down to rational thinking rather than a delusion about my self.

I guess the most classical advice that borders self-esteem would be the one that said something about how every single one of us is different in our own way. After all, if you're unique, there has to be some vaue to your existence, since it is one of a kind. The confidence part of self-esteem only exists once you realize the value. If you're blinded from the value, you cannot have the confidence.

As for one's ability to do something, it's also rationally solvable. Not everyone is good in the same thing. You're not supposed to be good in the same things as the guy sitting next to you. Also, ability doesn't have to be learned, but it doesn't have to be natural either. This is one of the most common delusions people have. That is, since they seemingly cannot do anything well right now, they can never do it well.

In the end, all the advice in the world is useless if you're not willing to take it. I don't mean that you have to accept all advice as good advice. Rather I mean that there is no point in asking for advice or for anyone to give any if you're not willing to do something. You cannot possibly expect things to change just because you don't like how they are right now. However, you can expect them to change if you're willing to put forth effort. Therefore, one of the key elements to a higher level of self-esteem is motivation.
 

Ermine

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#37
Olba said:
As far as I can see, there is nothing wrong about thinking of Narcissus when thinking about narcissism. After all, the whole meaning to the word comes from the myth.
Did I say there was anything wrong with that?

Olba said:
I consider myself to be an egoist, as I am extremely selfish. Also, based on what I said in the Suicide topic, I could be a mild case of narcissism. However, I would rather not think so, since in the end it comes down to rational thinking rather than a delusion about my self.
I think I might have the same problem. However, it seems to have a very different effect for me. While I don't think I'm better than everyone else, my egoistic attitude makes it hard for me to totally understand selfless acts. Concepts like true love, the center of Christianity (Jesus dying for everyone in the world when he was perfect), and the conditions that come with families are somewhat lost on me. Makes me feel dead sometimes.
 

Olba

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#38
Did I say there was anything wrong with that?
And?

I think I might have the same problem. However, it seems to have a very different effect for me. While I don't think I'm better than everyone else, my egoistic attitude makes it hard for me to totally understand selfless acts. Concepts like true love, the center of Christianity (Jesus dying for everyone in the world when he was perfect), and the conditions that come with families are somewhat lost on me. Makes me feel dead sometimes.
Actually, there're a few things wrong here.

Of course, I never said that I'm better than everyone else, all I said is that I have more value to myself than everyone else. That is, I value myself and my life over everyone else's, along with things like honour and so forth. To me, dying for honour is meaningless. To me, death itself is meaningless, an eventual end to meaning itself, so I see no reason why I shouldn't postpone it if I can.

Also, Jesus wasn't perfect. He was far from it. Firstly, his family was poor and so was he. He wasn't even perfect. After all, no one who is perfect would cause such an uproar as what he did. And actually, sacrificing Jesus is pretty meaningless, at least according to the Holy Trinity. The Trinity seems "God" as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, where Father is the God-figure in the Bible, Son is Jesus and Holy Spirit is the spirit that makes people do acts in the name of Father or Son. Well, Jesus was God among the mortals. A mentor-like person once said to me that Jesus was a necessity so that God's objectivity couldn't be questioned. After all, via the experiences of Jesus, who is a part of the Holy Trinity, God himself has experienced the worst possible life, therefore He understands.

Actually, there is no such a concept as acts that are not selfish. If you think back to the absolute end, every single act is selfish. An act isn't selfish only if it can never possess a selfish nature to it. That is, an act whose cause and the motive of the one committing are never self-centeric. Which is plain simply impossible. People who say that selfish people are foolish are in clear, irrational denial. After all, each and every individual should always aim for self-preservation. That, in turn, is rational because in the end the only thing which every single one of us has is a life. Therefore it's clearly rational to try to preserve that which we have. After all, life is the only thing we have. Life is the reason we have other things, the root of it all. So saying that selfish people or egoists are evil is totally irrational.
 

myexplodingcat

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#39
Fake it.

I went through a phase where I experienced a genuine clarity - the fact that no-one could read my mind! They had no idea how incompetent, repugnant, stupid, intolerable etc. I considered myself to be. I therefore decided to act as if these self-assessments weren't true, and act as though I were confident, likable, interesting, whatever.

The astounding thing was people reacted to me as though my behaviour were me! Faking it worked! None of them had read the bit in the script that said they were supposed to treat me like dirt. They didn't have the least curiosity about my insecurities. A sense of healthy self-esteem arose from my profound surprise and uncommon success.

Perhaps this (fakery) is what underpins all normal social interaction, but to me it was a revelation.

Acting as though you value yourself -> others accepting your act and valuing you accordingly -> a growing sense of self-worth.

I know there are so many instances in which this little chain could come undone. It is a shallow method of address and success might all depend on the root of the low self-esteem (conviction of being a leper; a despicable, worthless non person?) being social, but it's worth experimenting with.
Uh, yeah. Yeah. And yeah. We seem to have higher standards for ourselves than most other people.

INTPs like to master things; so far, I've done writing, RPGXP (video game maker), Pig Latin, French, website management, karate, and probably a bunch of other stuff I'm forgetting.

So... when people ask you your hobbies, or what you like to do in your free time, POINT THESE OUT. Then ask theirs, of course. You can throw these around easily, and even if it sounds like a list of accomplishments to you, it won't, necessarily, to them. The most common response I get is a general air of, "You're absolutely insane, but I really really really wish I had done some of that first/you're admirable." Of course, the wishing that they'd done it first might be my interpretation.

Then, predictably, you'll feel kind of guilty once they're impressed, but you don't have to bring it up again unless you really like your topic (preferably if they do too). This is the way you meet other INTPs, because most people will point out that _______________ really likes to do that, too. And usually _____________ likes to do a lot more than what they say _________________ likes to do.

It'll happen.

The never-ending question for an INTP is, how is one to compensate for the fact that they're self-critical without going overboard and getting arrogant? That's what I want to know. There must be a balance, but it would be different for every INTP. Finding it would require subtle testing and observation of others' reactions, and involve a certain judge of whether or not they're jealous of you, which some people insist when you talk to them about this. This testing would be completely trial-and-error, testing how far you could go, but it would put a reputation in danger and possibly ruin self-esteem worse than not knowing one's limit. I'm not a risk taker, though, so I'm not about to go for that. I'll just stay in my corner of the room, and I'm pretty sure a lot of you will do the same.
 

Zensunni

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#40
any tips on how to get some?
It is called SELF esteem for a reason.

Quit being hyper-critical of yourself, maybe. Ask others what your good points are and when they tell you, don't assume they are wrong because they don't know you well enough. Assume maybe you are wrong.

Either that or you are really a lame person and you are being objective. In which case, you do not deserve to have a good opinion of yourself.
 
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#41
1) Whether our reality is "real" or not, it is only shown to us as a subjective image in our minds, aka thoughts.
2) One can alter own thoughts as they see fit.

Conclusion: One can alter reality as they see fit.

There's nothing to stop me from doing anything, so having low self esteem would be ridiculous and absurd.
 

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#42
Spend some time contemplating the size of the universe. Lope over and look at some of the Hubble deep sky pictures, or work for GalaxyZoo for a while just to get an idea of how many billions of galaxies there are.

After a while you'll realize that every one of us is so small and insignificant as to not matter, so might as well not feel particularly bad about yourself. I'm actually not kidding.
 
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#43
Indeed. Self esteem is overly emphasized and (yes, I'm going to say it) over rated. Instead of teaching kids how to dust themselves off after they fail or get rejected we waste our time telling them that "everybody is a winner".
 
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#44
One thing I used to do was tell too many self-deprecating jokes. Its okay every now and then. But if you do it too much, you're programming your subconscious to think that you're a piece of sh!t and don't deserve this or that.

Now I go by HORRIBLY ARROGANT humor. See, its still funny, but you're not being self-sabotaging.

Here's a tip: The reason for everything is because you're handsome.

Person:"Why are you wearing that ugly shirt."
You:"Cuz I'm handsome."

If that joke bombs, make fun of how much it bombed, yet you're still sexier than your friend.

Horribly Arrogant humor works even better if you're the fat guy with no sex appeal at all.

But remember, we're reprogramming your subconscious. If you're the fat guy, you might start to feel better about yourself. Then you might exercise more. Then you might actually like yourself and more people might actually like you and want to be around you.

Are you ready for this?
 
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