This post is the Introductory chapter of my free ebook Self-Esteem And The Single
It is a belief I hold strongly to that some of the negative experiences Singles go through is rooted in issues with their self-esteem. I struggled with low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority from early childhood and as an adult, it did affect how I approached relationships. My interaction with other Singles proves low self-esteem is a problem, one that few may want to acknowledge, which notwithstanding, is very real and expresses itself openly or sometimes subtly in their relationships.
What percentage these self-esteem-induced experiences constitute in the general challenges of Singles is difficult on my part to state or estimate. Perhaps, that is why the idea of addressing the issue stayed in my mind for longer than usual time which I take to address an issue, as I sought to consider if it is worth addressing; if it is worth writing a book on.
I came to the conclusion that it is not the frequency of a problem that should necessitate a treatment. If it’s a problem, no matter how small it may appear, it needs being dealt with.
Self-esteem is as broad as its understanding can be difficult to grasp. The concept can mean different things to different people. Synonyms such as self-worth, self-value and self-respect help shed light on the understanding of the term.
I like to define self-esteem simply as “how much you are worth in YOUR own eyes; in your own evaluation”. That evaluation should tell the degree of your liking and appreciation of you as a whole.
Healthy or positive self-esteem would then mean you have a good evaluation of yourself. You like you, you love you. You appreciate your abilities, your talents and your personality. You believe you are special and unique, created for a purpose, with potential to be a blessing to others. You believe your life can count for something, that you are not a mistake, you are not the scum of the earth, you are not thrash. That you are special in a unique way because you were created to fulfill a part – no matter how small – in this life.
Unhealthy or negative or low self-esteem would mean you dislike who you are, you feel terrible about yourself and wish you were someone else or that you were never born. You compare yourself with others and just wish you were them and not you. Other people’s successes and achievements make you feel terrible about yourself. You are so scared of being your real self that you easily opt for a false you. You don’t believe you are special in anyway positive. Your life is just a dot, a tiny speck in the vast universe of billions of other humans.
It becomes clear that self-esteem is subjective and conditional. There are things that influence how much worth you confer on yourself at any given time, which causes the evaluation to fluctuate with circumstances. A mistake, for example, can greatly influence how someone with a positive self-esteem sees themselves, that they may actually hate themselves at that time. And then they try to overcompensate by seeking to outdo the negative consequences of the mistake, instead of just believing that to err is human, and to move on.
A single lady who previously had positive self-esteem may sink to the depths of the negative after a break up. Someone rejected her love, so that influences the way she sees herself. A guy loses his job for whatever reason, and with the loss also comes a drop in his valuation of himself.
It is thus difficult to understand self-esteem as an invariable state. The goal should be to come to a place of positive self-esteem by appropriately dealing with the causes and sources of low self-esteem, and then maintaining that state of being positive about yourself by fighting against all that exists to attack it.
What (positive) self-esteem is not?
Obsession with or an exaggerated opinion and evaluation of oneself is not positive self-esteem. It could just turn out that an individual who is narcissistic has low self-esteem, and a show of egotism is their way of masking or numbing the feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Instead of being perceived as confident individuals, these people may come off as proud and obnoxious.
Healthy positive self-esteem does not think it is better than everyone else; or that it is flawless; or that it is always right. Healthy self-esteem includes an honest evaluation and acceptance of both one’s strengths and weaknesses.
Someone with positive self-esteem accepts themselves for who they truly are, not who they are not or who they wish they were or are expected to be in the eyes of others. They can seek improvement in the areas of their weaknesses and inadequacy, because of the importance of such improvements, and not as a mask for the ugly picture on the inside. For if the picture on the inside is not changed, any outward amendments are of little value in changing the way the individual sees and feels about themselves. That is why you can see a very beautiful lady who thinks terrible of herself, who endures a terrible relationship because she doesn’t believe she deserves better; or a well-educated guy who still has feelings of inferiority.
Thus positive self-esteem is not love for a flawless self but a liking and love for yourself that includes appreciation of both your strengths and weaknesses – an acceptance of yourself; a decision to believe you are unique and precious. And for the Christian, what God says of you should so much trump what man has to say that we can apologetically say a Christian shouldn’t have issues with low self-esteem. Acceptance of low self-esteem in a Christian might as well be perceived as a result of a faulty knowledge of God’s Word and a lack of intimate relationship with him.
It is against this backdrop that I want to apply the concept of self-esteem or self-worth to the life of the Single. As a Christian, I shall write strongly from a Christian perspective.
We shall see why this topic is important to Singles, possible causes of low self-esteem in this group of special people, how to overcome and a host of other related topics.
This book is dedicated to the single gal or guy who is struggling with low self-esteem. My sincerest prayer is that the Lord will use these words to spur you to begin to appreciate your special uniqueness, who God created you to be and to stand up and receive all that He has prepared for you.
This is what the Table of Contents looks like
3. Importance of positive self-worth to the single person
4. Causes and sources of low self-esteem in Singles
5. How self-esteem affects romantic relationships.
6. Cosmetic cures for low self-esteem
7. The cure for low self-esteem
8. A right kind of mind for the Christian Single
9. Things a Single with low self-esteem should never do or say in relationships
10. How to love someone with low self-esteem
11. Self-esteem, humility and submission
14. Appendix One
15. Other ebooks by Janet Bengan
16. About Janet Bengan
download the free ebook HERE