Self -Esteem And How It Affects Individual Self-Adaptation

BY: Nur Amira

Self -esteem has always been an important part of human life. It can be a predictor that brings certain outcomes that can affect our psychological well -being. In fact, it is said that having high self -esteem will bring positive results in our lives. Psychologists see self-esteem as a personality trait of an individual. We can say that everyone’s self -esteem is different.

Self -esteem can be defined as one’s respect for oneself. It can also be defined as a positive and negative self-evaluation of ourselves. Everyone can’t run away from making an assessment of themselves because it’s a normal thing. A self-assessment can help oneself to reflect on themselves which will then contribute to decisions made as an attitude towards oneself. What is certain is that an individual’s behaviour will reflect our existing perceptions of ourselves as well as the way we value our personalities.

Moreover, self -esteem is part of a trait that is relatively stable over time, with some people having high self-esteem and some people having lower self-esteem. Having high self-esteem will also be able to help people strive to get something they want to do. However, being overconfident does not do any good. Sometimes having a relatively low self-esteem can help people in making a better assessment of themselves. Therefore, it is better if one has a balance in one self-worth.

Self-esteem has existed in all of us since early childhood, which includes many factors that can affect a person’s self-esteem. Factors that often influence self-esteem are family, academic performance, employment, relationships, culture and others. One of the correlations that is always made by society is that high self -esteem leads to good academic performance and it is not true at all. Having high self -esteem is part of the result of good school performance. On top of that, performance in the work environment also sometimes has an influence on self-esteem, but everyone has different outcomes.

In general, one study has found that self-esteem is not necessarily the cause of excellent job performance. But, it is the strong perseverance and determination of a person that moves and inspires them after going through failure. According to Rosenberg, a good self-concept also consists of high self-esteem. He also said that when human beings are able to form a good self-concept, they are often not easily hurt and influenced by the words of others. They are not easily affected by anything. Moreover, they also have good self-control and are not easily agitated when dealing with people. Individuals who have a good self -concept are also usually very self -satisfied, happy and energetic, they are willing to take moderate risks and so on. Finally, the manifestation of individual self-esteem is also shown through many things such as rebellion. Thus, parents play a key role in developing better self-esteem for their children.



Emotional angle

Happiness is related to having a consistent and close self -esteem. Studies from Baumeister and his colleagues have stated that, having a high self -esteem can bring greater happiness, even if their study is not yet complete. Next, someone with low self -esteem is more likely to contribute towards depression than those with high self -esteem and vice versa.

Angle of achievement

The achievement that will be affected by the adjustment can be divided into two aspects, namely in terms of education and in terms of employment. In terms of education, high self-esteem has not been mentioned as a cause of having good performance in academics (Forsyth, 2007). But in fact having a high self -esteem can make one’s decision low and weak. In conclusion that achievement in one’s studies is not assessed through high or low self -esteem. Furthermore, regarding a person’s achievement in the aspect of employment, the results of the study are mixed and do not have permanent results. There are several studies found that having high self -esteem would be associated with better achievement, however there were some other studies found that there was no change in career aspects if associated with one’s self -esteem level. But a person’s success in his career or job must have a high self -esteem.

The interpersonal field

Baumeister and colleagues noted that those with high self -esteem were more liked and attractive, in addition to having better relationships, and exerting a positive influence on others than those with low self -esteem. Furthermore, regarding romantic relationships, those with low self -esteem were more likely to distrust their partner’s love and support and worry about rejection than those with high self -esteem. There is no evidence to suggest that a person’s high or low self -esteem is related to how sooner or later a relationship will end. The relationship in group work is that those with high self-esteem are more likely to talk and throw ideas than those with low self-esteem. Directly, those with high self -esteem are more seen to contribute a lot to the group.

Weaknesses of low self -esteem and self -blame nature

When faced with something, they become more de-moralized after a failure happens to them than those who have high self -esteem. For those with low self -esteem, failure contributes them towards depression and undetermined motivation to do things better and with quality. Next, those with high self -esteem survive longer if failure happens to them. In addition, individuals with low self -esteem often have negative perceptions of their performance such as for example in social situations, interviews for jobs or even in each test. Therefore, those with low self-esteem do not do things in earnest for fear of failure. As a result, they will be unprepared to face the challenges ahead and then they will blame themselves if they do something bad and they will feel depressed as well as prone towards depression. This rotation will not only happen to those with low self -esteem, but also happen to those with high self -esteem. In conclusion low self -esteem will not only affect the present, but also the future.

High self -esteem and narcissism

Narcissism is a tendency to consider oneself important while narcissism is that individuals are too eager to think of themselves well and this group is very sensitive to criticism of them (Twenge & Campbell, 2003). They are also busy with the success of their fantasies, and believe they deserve to seek special treatment or care, and they will act aggressively if they get a threat to their self -esteem. Further, those with unstable self -esteem will also act in such a way (Kernis, 2003). These narcissists will be aggressive if there is provocation, without provocation they are unlikely to be more aggressive than non -narcissistic (Baumeister, Bushman & Campbell, 2000; Twenge & Campbell , 2003) Baumeister and colleagues noted that narcissists who receive threats, have a high tendency to engage in crimes such as individual or group violence, abusers and other criminal activities (Baumeister, 1999)


Nur Amira 

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  1. Baumeister, R. F. (1999). Self-concept, self-esteem, and identity. In Personality: Contemporary theory and research, 2nd ed. (pp. 339-375). Chicago, IL, US: Nelson-Hall Publishers.
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