Self Esteem: Friend or Foe

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Adam C. Layer Feb. 25, 2013 Self Esteem: Friend or Foe Lauren Slater, in her article “The Trouble with Self-Esteem” starts out by stating that self-esteem is generally regarded as a positive thing. A person of high self-esteem is a successful well-respected member of society, with the opposite being true for a person of low self-esteem. She explains that in the social science and psychological world this notion has been rarely challenged until recently. She shares examples of many papers and essays whose premise is to contradict these well-accepted ideas. She goes on to cite that we as Americans focus on self-esteem, creating associations and task forces to aid in the development of self-esteem. Slater quotes researchers and…show more content…
Inappropriate pride would most definitely be detrimental and could effortlessly lead one to be offended, easily provoked, or violent. This is because pride and self-esteem are vastly different. Self-esteem means you feel good about yourself, that you are pleased with yourself and confident in your abilities, nothing more and nothing less. These are personal, internal things, involved solely with oneself. Self-esteem, or feeling good about yourself, would naturally lead us to being happy and therefore treating others well. However, pride, as I will call it, referring to improper pride, is unlike self-esteem; it’s believing that one is better than another person not merely thinking highly of oneself without comparison and competition. These feelings of pride would lead one to belittle and degrade others in an attempt to exalt oneself. The way we combat pride is through it’s antonym, i.e. humility. How do we do that? Slater suggests using self-appraisal. This is the act of evaluating ourselves, our talents, goals, desires, successes, etc. It’s endless. Using the key of being honest with ourselves in where we stand, we then recognize we are only human and that we have weaknesses. These understandings keep the feelings of superiority and hatred at bay while affording us the room to esteem ourselves of worth. In
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