I’m a pretty self-absorbed person.
I can’t really think of a single day when I didn’t feel good about myself.
So I have no problem saying “I’m self-critical”, or even, “I can’t help myself.”
But this is no longer the case.
A new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Psychological Society suggests there’s a growing need for self-esteem management.
The authors say it’s becoming harder to feel self-sufficient.
Self-esteem is an umbrella term for how you feel about yourself.
It includes self-acceptance, self-compassion, self esteem and self-love.
There are some people who can’t even express how much they value themselves, let alone feel they deserve it.
They have a tough time acknowledging that they’re actually good at what they do.
“There’s a whole range of self-help approaches that have been around for a long time, but they’re really not as effective as self-confidence management,” says Professor Stephen LeBlanc from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology.
The report comes as the government introduces a raft of new measures aimed at tackling bullying and bullying-related issues.
These include a range of targeted services aimed at schools and youth groups, as well as a crackdown on hate speech.
The most notable new measures include a new mandatory “shame” course for teachers.
It’s designed to teach teachers how to recognise bullying, and how to report it.
A mandatory “zero tolerance” policy for bullying has also been introduced, as part of a wider plan to combat the issue.
“The aim is to get rid of bullying as a way of life in schools,” says Dr LeBlanch.
“It’s really important that we teach children that bullying is not okay.
It does not represent the way they’re meant to be.”
Dr Leblanc says the idea of bullying and hate speech are “part of a larger social problem” and that the government is “just not seeing it”.
“We’re not going to get a social norming process in this country where there’s just this one set of rules and they all work in tandem,” he says.
He says the new measures, along with new laws on cyberbullying and social media, have been “a lot of work” but they’ve made a “big difference” for students and young people.
“In the first year or two, there were about 500 students who were involved in bullying, but that was because the school had zero tolerance for bullying.
Now that number has gone up by around 400,” he said.
What’s in a self-image?
Dr LeBLanc says that for some people, their self-concept is quite different to their actual self-worth.
For example, if you’re a woman, you might have a sense of self as a strong leader who has a good sense of who she is, she may feel proud of herself for having worked hard.
“But that’s not the case for people who have more feminine characteristics,” he explains.
That may be a self confidence thing or an ego confidence thing.” “
I think people tend to be a bit more self-confident, a bit less anxious and a bit happier.
That may be a self confidence thing or an ego confidence thing.”
Dr Paul D’Antonio from the National Psychology Centre at the University’s Australian National University says the findings are important.
“This research suggests that when people are able to recognise their own strengths, they can be much more self reliant than they think,” he told the ABC.
“And it shows that these people are not self-directed.”
Dr D’ANTONIO says there’s been a rise in “self-esteem” measures in recent years, including self-awareness tests and self confidence assessments.
These are “important measures” that help students understand themselves better, he says, because “they’re about self-identifying, and not about what others think of you”.