What is Self Esteem and How Does it Develop?

Personal Development

Self-esteem is a sense of self-worth based on how much confidence you feel in yourself.

It is based on how you value yourself and you think about yourself and your abilities.

How Does Self-Esteem Develop?

Several factors are involved, including the experiences one has throughout one’s life.

Parents, in particular, have a great influence on self-esteem development, as they are often the main source of positive experiences for children.

Unconditional parental love is important for developing a child’s sense of security, and this feeling can be translated into later effects on self-esteem as the child grows older.

For example, students who have high self-esteem in elementary school are usually those with authoritative and caring parents who allow the child to voice his or her own opinions.

Basic Psychological Needs

As Alfred Adler has noted, self-esteem development begins with the fulfillment of basic psychological needs.

Maslow identified three primary psychological needs: the need to feel effective, the need to be in control of one’s environment, and the need to be connected to others.

These three needs serve as the cornerstone of psychological growth, and satisfying them will promote self-esteem and a sense of authenticity.

However, there are some differences between these three basic needs.

The first underlying psychological need is the desire to be valued. This need is directly related to social conditions. These social conditions contribute to personal growth and vitality. In addition, social conditions are critical for a sense of belonging.

Social relationships enhance one’s sense of self-worth.

The second basic psychological need is the need to be relevant to others. Those who are attached to their community or their profession will have higher self-esteem.

The fulfillment of these basic psychological needs can lead to an increase in one’s self-esteem.

A study examined how satisfaction of these needs related to various variables.

The satisfaction of relatedness, autonomy, and competence were positively correlated with self-esteem.

The lack of fulfillment of these basic psychological needs can lead to problematic behavior such as eating disorders and career indecision.

In addition, self-esteem may also be negatively affected by social circumstances, such as the support and encouragement of family members.

These basic psychological needs play a central role during both positive and negative events.

The satisfaction of these needs uniquely relates to event-related affect.

The most important aspects of these needs are relatedness and autonomy.

In particular, these two need types are most strongly related to self-generated, satisfying events.

These are the foundations of self-esteem. They are crucial for developing a high level of self-worth.

Self-esteem and childhood: Stages Of Development

In the first stage of development, children develop their self-concept and begin to compare themselves with others.

This stage is characterized by increasing self-consciousness and sensitivity to peer influence.

Children begin to make comparisons and consider their own image in relation to others.

Their perception of self grows in proportion to their experience of making choices.

This stage also marks the beginning of puberty, which is halfway between childhood and adulthood.

The next stage is called commitment.

The child is challenged to commit to a partner in a loving relationship. The success of this stage will depend on how successful they are at the previous stages.

Children with negative feelings may not be able to maintain a healthy relationship.

They may also feel isolated from their peers who have already started a family or married.

Therefore, it is essential to address the issue of self-esteem during the early stages of a child’s development.

As a young child, you can start to foster your child’s self-esteem by encouraging trust and initiative.

Ask your child to take the initiative, involve him in problem-solving activities, and introduce him or her to social situations.

Remember, young children learn how to feel confident by what they can do, and what they can’t do.

They will develop self-esteem by showing you that they are capable of accomplishing tasks.

The next stage of development of self-esteem begins when a child is able to begin to exert personal control over their physical skills.

By allowing them to try new things, they develop a sense of autonomy and independence.

Erikson explains that a child who feels like they can’t accomplish anything is more likely to develop low self-esteem.

This stage of self-esteem also coincides with the beginning of initiative versus guilt, which is another stage of psychosocial development.

Relationships That Build Self-Esteem

Self-esteem depends on liking yourself.

People who do not like themselves often spend time alone. In relationships, it helps to have a strong self-esteem in order to express yourself and express your needs.

Self-esteem is important for relationships, but it is also essential for independence and autonomy. Self-esteem also helps you communicate with others assertively.

You can also improve your self-esteem by being more courageous and assertive in your communication with others.

A low self-esteem can cause you to protect yourself or project neediness to others.

A healthy self-esteem allows you to accept yourself and your flaws, which can deepen intimacy in a relationship.

Your partner will appreciate your uniqueness and will want to build your self-esteem.

If you can make yourself feel good about yourself, you will attract a partner with high self-esteem.

Relationships that build self-esteem are vital to your health and happiness.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers studied 500 participants and asked them how much self-esteem they had.

They also asked participants to describe their partner’s flaws.

People with low self-esteem felt more threatened by their partner’s flaws.

As a result, these individuals were more likely to see their relationship in black-and-white terms.

Self-esteem helps you express yourself and communicate your desires to others.

Social Comparison Theory Of Self-Esteem

A social comparison theory of self-esteem suggests that people evaluate themselves by comparing themselves to others.

This theory was first put forward by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1954 and has been proven to have significant implications for human behavior.

People make all kinds of judgments about themselves, including how they compare themselves to others.

A constant cycle of comparisons can lead to feelings of deep dissatisfaction, guilt, and even destructive behaviors.

The social comparison theory was initially developed by Leon Festinger. Born in New York City in 1919, Festinger studied psychology and had an interest in science.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from City College and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Festinger hypothesized that individuals decrease their tendency to compare themselves to others as their differences increased.

In other words, they decrease their tendency to compare themselves to others when they encounter people who have different capabilities and opinions than they do.

This theory also explains the Frog Pond Effect.

“The frog pond effect is the theory that individuals evaluate themselves as worse than they actually are when in a group of higher-performing individuals”.

It is possible to illustrate this effect by using the analogy of a frog in a pond.

Marsh, Trautwein, and Koller found that people had better academic self-concepts when they were in smaller ponds compared to those in larger ones.

This result demonstrates that the social comparison theory is an important part of self-esteem.

One way to test this theory is to ask children to compare themselves to people who have similar characteristics to theirs.

In this way, students could discover if their own abilities are better or worse than others.

Whether children have a growth or fixed mindset is crucial in determining their own self-esteem.

So, if they are not, they might experience negative consequences from social comparison.

But if they are in a growth mindset, the social comparison theory could provide a better explanation for their low self-esteem.

Ways To Increase Self-Esteem

Having a low self-esteem can lead you to be overly generous and say yes to requests that are not in your best interest.

This can lead to a stress-inducing overload of responsibilities. Here are some tips that can help you increase your self-esteem:

Identify your negative thinking patterns. People with low self-esteem have a habit of finding faults and shortcomings in themselves.

Oftentimes, these messages are lodged deep in their subconscious mind.

By identifying these negative thought patterns, you can begin to move forward with confidence.

Stop making decisions based on what other people think of you.

You may also want to make time for reading and self-help books.

These two steps will help you feel better about yourself and have a better self-image.

Listen to your body. If you feel uneasy or unsatisfied with yourself, you may have low self-esteem.

To improve your self-esteem, take a few moments each day to be aware of your body’s needs.

Doing this can help you recognize how much your body needs and wants. Instead of trying to control it, listen to what it needs.

Trying to control your body will lead to low self-esteem.

Do charitable work. Volunteering for a nonprofit organization can make you feel good about yourself. Doing good deeds for others will benefit both you and the people you help. Volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about is a great way to boost your self-esteem.

The benefits are mutual! In addition to helping other people, you’ll be contributing to your community while improving your own circumstances.

If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, this is a great way to boost your self-esteem and improve your life.

Final Thoughts

Having a high self-esteem is not happenstance. It is something you deliberately work for.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your self-esteem, reading the Mantrality.com blog is a great start. Keep reading and all the best in your journey.