January 4, 2013

Too much esteem for self-esteem.

Time to take it down a notch.

27 comments:

Michael K said...

It used to be that self esteem resulted from accomplishment. I've noticed in my own kids that that no longer hold true. I have a beautiful daughter who considers herself a "nerd" but has a couple of degrees and speaks four languages. I have another daughter, also beautiful who seems to be very self absorbed and I worry.

bagoh20 said...

It's not so mush that self-esteem has risen, but rather that the bar has dropped. Demanding more of your children, especially self sufficiency is now considered bad parenting, even abuse.

Take this small example: Pony express riders had to be under 18 years old to be hired. They then rode night and day through hostile Indian country with no roads sometimes getting killed along the way. Parents on the frontier routinely either left the home under the supervision of teens miles from help, or would send young teens off on travel alone in the wilderness when needed. Could you imagine your child doing that today, even without the bears, wolves, and Sioux. No ATMs either.

Big Mike said...

Self esteem and mathematical skill level seem to be inversely correlated based on the few studies of college-aged kids I've seen.

But you can tell that the modern educators are lacking in mathematical skills -- they think everybody is above average.

edutcher said...

If the self-esteem is earned, that's one thing.

The problem is that many people have more of it than they ever earned.

Witness our Fuhrer.

Eustace Chilke said...

The cult of self esteem over emphasizes potential and disconnects it from actualization. Everyone, especially young people, are constantly assured that they can become anything that they want. Potential and desire are no basis for esteem. These fall one step short of paying off. The world doesn't give a ripe shit what you could have done.

bagoh20 said...

When I was kid, people would say "You could be President someday." I knew that while possible, that was not true in that I was not special enough in either ability or ambition to get up there. It wasn't until 4 years ago that I realized that the real problem was I was over-qualified. It turns out, they don't really care what grades you get, or even if your main accomplishments are talking about yourself, wasting money and getting high.

I could of been somebody.

William said...

Is it narcisstic to brag about your lack of self esteem?

The Godfather said...

Self "esteem" bothers me. I don't think you are supposed to confer such an honor on yourself. Others have to do that.

You ought to live your life so as to be worthy of the esteem of those whom you esteem. That's different from self esteem.

Self "confidence" may be what they are trying to get at. That's a virtue to aspire to. The reason to say "confidence" rather than "esteem" is that your confidence has to be based on your capabilities. It would be foolish for me to have confidence that I could run a 4-minute mile, or write an Oscar-winning screen play, or win the next Papal election. But when I was a lawyer training younger lawyers, I did want them to be confident that they could do the jobs that they were assigned to do.

As for writing, I hope, Ann, that your law students are learning to write, because for most of the time I was a partner in a big DC firm (1976-03), we were providing remedial writing training for graduates of some of the best law schools in the country.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Bagoh, check out the Coen's True Grit if you haven't.

Tougher times. Lot of assholes around too.

wyo sis said...

Willian
It might be teen agers often say things like "I have low self-esteem."

Craig said...

Milton coined self-esteem with regard to Eve. It was the devil's tool.

Valentine Smith said...

Craig—Paradise Lost??? If you remember, I'd love to know where it is. I thought it a late entry in the "You can be great too" sweepstakes.

It's self-respect they should be touting instead of this esteem bullshit. You know, something that you have to work at a little.

Chip Ahoy said...

You know, I never won one single trophy for anything.

Although I have admired the trophies other people won. I always thought, wow, what an impressive recognition, a solid silver award like that for doing something splendid.

What a dumbass.

My mum won a little turkey for doing something in bowling. I think her league was the worst but nevertheless she won a little turkey and we loved that thing like it was an Oscar or Nobel Prize.



Craig said...

http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=self%20esteem%20paradise%20lost&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFkQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.anvari.org%2Ffortune%2FMiscellaneous_Collections%2F193004_oft-times-nothing-profits-more-than-self-esteem-grounded-on-just-and-right-well-managd.html&ei=CwzoUJCgJ86qlAX6uoGgDA&usg=AFQjCNFiG9XY5m3aALq1UDvuDnGUO-s8gg&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.aGc

DEEBEE said...

AHHH! this explains why our children(s?) are getting obese. Its all going to their head.

MarkD said...

You are as good as you prove yourself to be.

Tank said...

Dennis Prager on self esteem:

By now, most people (with the exception of many psychotherapists) recognize that the self-esteem movement officially launched by California in 1986 has been at best silly, and at worst injurious to society, despite whatever small benefit it may have had to some individuals.

The movement was begun by California assemblyman John Vasconcellos. As the New York Times reported, “Mr. Vasconcellos, a 53-year-old Democrat, is described by an aide as ‘the most radical humanist in the Legislature.’”

In an interview at the time, Mr. Vasconcellos told me he had personally benefited from therapy. It enabled him to improve the poor self-esteem he had inherited from his childhood. He therefore concluded that improving other people’s self-esteem would greatly help society.

And so, California created its Task Force to Promote Self-esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility, whose guiding principle was to raise young people’s self-esteem in order to increase the number of socially responsible people in society.

This belief — that increasing self-esteem will increase goodness in society — spread through the rest of America like proverbial wildfire.

It turns out, however, that the premise was entirely misguided. There is no correlation between goodness and high self-esteem. But there is a correlation between criminality and high self-esteem.

Florida State University professor Roy Baumeister (Ph.D. psychology, Princeton University) has revealed that in a lifetime of study of violent criminals, the one characteristic nearly all these criminals share is high self-esteem.

Yes, people with high self-esteem are the ones most prone to violence.


He talks about this frequently. Probably something to it.

SGT Ted said...

The problem was that, rather than developing a childs self-esteem through accomplishment and success, they decided to blow smoke up their butts instead.

Astro said...

Today everybody is going to get an award for expressing their self esteem! Hurray!

SGT Ted said...

"Self-esteem" is sometimes just a pleasant way to say 'narcissism'.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We all live in Lake Wobegon now.

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
virgil xenophon said...

Ignorance is Bliss wins the thread--it's the Zeitgeist of our times..

Craig said...

Ignorance is bliss is also Milton from the same dialogue between Raphael and Adam.

Jube said...

Is that Freshman Study in high school, or college? If it is college, then almost by definition they have an above average drive to achieve, etc. It may be just average for college, but that is not the full rage of the cohort.

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