Self-Esteem: Understanding the ConceptSelf-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.
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 sheShe’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 thinkshimself 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 aroundclock really helps. It is very obvious that her parents are proud ofKaris 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 herMaybe Davina just suffers from an “identity crisis,” which mostadolescence tend to struggle with, but I believe that the real problemis that her parents aren’t there for her. If Davina had the approvalof her parents in the beginning, I don’t think she would be this way.
I think that Davina feels that it’s her fault that her parentsand when neither wanted her, she lost all her self worth. She justcouldn’t make the grades in school anymore, although she really wantsIf a person falls short of their goals and is unsuccessful, then theywill have a low self-esteem (Baumeister, 1984, p. 88).I think that isalso part of the problem. Davina used to get good grades, in the backof her mind she knows she could do it again. Unfortunately she lostall confidence when her parents left her. Davina wanted approval fromher parents and was dependent on them to be there for her, like Karis’sparents are, but Davina’s parents weren’t able to meet up with her stan!dards, and so her standard of self-support wasn’t available to herself(Beane, 1993, p. 104).All Davina needed was her parents to tell herthat she was doing good, that she wasn’t fat, and that they loved her,but instead they walked right out of her life.Rosenberg found thatadolescents are mainly concerned with what their peers think of them,but those with low self-esteem tend to worry more about what others say,unlike those will high self esteem (Baumeister, 1984, p. 24). Just bylooking at my two friends, it is obvious that Rosenberg was correct inassumptions. Karis doesn’t care that much about what others think, butDavina is always questioning and wondering what people will say aboutif she does this or that. The teenage years are said to be the hardest.
This is when teens go through many changes, and have an “identity(Beane, 1993, p. 23). They are always trying to find where they fit in,what their role is in life. Finding a good stable self-esteem is theykey to a healthy life and a good self-esteem.
Baumeister, Roy F. (Eds.). (1993). Self -Esteem, the puzzle ofBeane, James A. (1984). Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, and the Curriculum.
Bibliography:Baumeister, Roy F. (Eds.). (1993). Self -Esteem, the puzzle ofSelf-Regard. New York:Plenum Press.
Beane, James A. (1984). Self-Concept, Self-Esteem, and the Curriculum.
New York: TeachersCollege Press.
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