Normal and Self Esteem

Self esteem is not an easy subject to talk about. Most people have a hard time dealing with what we have come to regard in our society as self esteem “issues.” Is it too much to ask than when we are not happy with who we are that we can be self conscious? Is self esteem really a measure of who you are, a temperature gauge of how effective you are at living life?

I think that plenty is wrong with our society. I have written about individualism and believe that if we don’t care about others we end up pretty unhappy ourselves. However broken I might see some things in our society, it rules a lot of what our life becomes. As much as people like to think that they are not affected by what society dictates, we all fall pray to it in various degrees. I think one of the most dangerous is the sense of what is normal.

It begins at home. The way our family sees the world and life its part of who we are. Even the people that go completely against their family’s world view are being directly affected by it. Some of us think our parents are truly our mentors and that we should live up to them, some of us want to surpass who they are and some just go in the complete opposite direction. However, I think that for most it is hard to completely wipe the slate clean from people that you spend your forming years with.

Everything said up to this point was leading to the point of this post. I am going to attach the term maturity to self esteem and normality and make the following statement. I believe that maturity is achieved the moment we can separate everything we think its normal from what we are or want to become in order to achieve true self esteem. The moment we accept who we are, and that we are not destined to be what society or our parents thought we should be who we want to become I believe we achieve maturity. The moment we know we are our own person and take on the responsibility of life. Read that last sentence again. I think responsibility gets shoved into people when they are not ready for it and then it becomes a burden rather than something we feel proud to have.

There are many examples in my life of things that clearly illustrate this point. I think the easiest to talk about is when people do not see a negative learned behavior that affects others. Like the girl that keeps on dating the guy that beats her because that is what her Dad used to do to her mother. That is an example of a learned behavior that gets put into someone’s psyche as normal and it is very hard for many to get out. I think it is maturity to stand up and say, this is not normal and not right and I need to break the cycle.

2 Responses to Normal and Self Esteem

  1. “Self regulation is to regulation as self-esteem is to esteem.”

    Anyhow, I think you’re pretty close to the mark on this one. One strong symptom of maturity is the ability to take ownership of your actions. Something out of your control, beyond your immediate responsibility, can happen and you can take responsibility for how you handle it.

  2. I think your post is one type of maturity, but I think the previous commenter makes a good point. I kept thinking about how my parents forced me into doing a lot of things for my siblings that made me more mature for my age, but they weren’t necessarily things that I wanted to accept nor did I want them to be part of my personality — it was my ability to take the responsibility that was handed to me.

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