Self-esteem has been a big theme in recent years, particularly around issues of gender, race and sexuality.
But what does it mean to be a “self-asshole” in the real world?
I spoke to researchers from the University of Toronto and the University at Buffalo to find out.
The researchers interviewed more than 1,000 people in the US and UK about their experiences of self-esteem, and found that self-defeating behaviour was a common theme.
For example, respondents were often embarrassed by their appearance or insecurities, and were afraid of being judged for their flaws.
In a recent study of 2,000 American students, researchers found that one in four reported self-doubt, and self-confidence was even higher among the self-assessed.
In another study, researchers asked participants to read an essay about self-improvement and self confidence.
Participants were asked to rate their own feelings of self esteem on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (extremely high).
The self-perceptions of self and others was linked to feelings of negative self-worth.
Researchers also found that people with higher levels of self confidence had higher self-efficacy, which is a key measure of how happy they feel about their lives.
People with higher self esteem also tended to have higher self confidence and greater feelings of control.
Being self-assertive, and feeling confident about yourself, can lead to positive feelings for others.
So what’s the takeaway from all this?
It seems like self-affirmation can be a powerful tool, but it can also be a destructive one.
The research suggests that self confidence is not about how you feel or who you are, but rather what you believe about yourself.
Being a self-confident person can help you feel more confident in yourself, and you can also lead to more positive outcomes.
However, there’s also a downside.
“The idea that self esteem is a measure of someone’s worth, of how much you deserve, is a very powerful tool to use for self-image,” said Daniel Biederman, a psychologist at Northwestern University who was not involved in the research.
“But that same tool can also get you into trouble.”
The takeaway is that self worth is a subjective concept, and can be used to justify bad behaviour.
So instead of worrying about self esteem being an accurate reflection of your self-value, it might be more beneficial to look at how you are perceived.