What are some things that boosted your self-esteem? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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What are some things that boosted your self-esteem?


For me, after I got my first software engineering job, my sister told me that everyone in the family including my cousins, aunts and uncles, were saying that I was a "self-made man." It made me feel good about myself, somewhat, although they didn't see me in person. It actually created a bit of anxiety because they would have had high expectations of me and I no doubt would have let them down if they actually knew me. Still, it was a good thing. Respect from your family means a lot, at least for me.

Other things that temporarily boosted my self-esteem were cases where somebody started sh*t with me and I verbally manhandled them. I can handle myself pretty well when I stay calm and I'm thinking clearly. It's the feeling where you think about what happened and say "YES!".

Not too many other things have made me feel good about myself. Friends can make you feel good about yourself, but it's been a long time since I've had any friends. Other than my wife, that is. She's a good friend.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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The lack of responses in this thread shows just how tough it is to raise your self-esteem. There are no meds to boost self-esteem, other than maybe alcohol. There's no diagnosis in the DSM for low self-esteem for that reason. Drug companies can't make money from it, so they just left it out. Yet low self-esteem is the root cause of social anxiety for most people.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 12:00 PM
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Nothing really raises my self esteem, especially not comments from family or friends because they just say these things to cheer you up without necessarily meaning it.

Friends sometimes say to me you are smart, you are funny, you are strong but it's all wrong because I wouldn't be in this situation if I was what they say I am.

In the end the only thing I do is bring myself down, every day again and again. I've been doing this since high school.By now nothing raises my self esteem anymore. Is it justified? Perhaps, perhaps not but in my mind I'm nothing but a burden and nothing will convince me something else.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 12:33 PM
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Way back when I had a couple of readers and used to get a positive comment or two on my writing whenever I posted a new piece. Sometimes I'd even print out the reviews and look at them when I was sad, to cheer me up, convince me I was contributing something to the world, and inspire me to keep writing.

Haven't had readers in maybe a decade now, though. :/

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Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 01:14 PM
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maslow View Post
For me, after I got my first software engineering job, my sister told me that everyone in the family including my cousins, aunts and uncles, were saying that I was a "self-made man." It made me feel good about myself, somewhat, although they didn't see me in person. It actually created a bit of anxiety because they would have had high expectations of me and I no doubt would have let them down if they actually knew me. Still, it was a good thing. Respect from your family means a lot, at least for me.

Other things that temporarily boosted my self-esteem were cases where somebody started sh*t with me and I verbally manhandled them. I can handle myself pretty well when I stay calm and I'm thinking clearly. It's the feeling where you think about what happened and say "YES!".

Not too many other things have made me feel good about myself. Friends can make you feel good about yourself, but it's been a long time since I've had any friends. Other than my wife, that is. She's a good friend.

I kinda had the same feeling, after getting my first real job, it feels kinda nice that your moving in the right direction in life and you get respect from others.
You said your a software engineer, that's what I studied as well.


It seems to me that when people ask me what I do for a living, people typically are impressed for some reason. I wonder if you get the same attitude from other people?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehuti88 View Post
Way back when I had a couple of readers and used to get a positive comment or two on my writing whenever I posted a new piece. Sometimes I'd even print out the reviews and look at them when I was sad, to cheer me up, convince me I was contributing something to the world, and inspire me to keep writing.

Haven't had readers in maybe a decade now, though. :/
That last line is very sad. Do you still share your writing? I write a little and that was one thing I used to be very sensitive about. "It's alright, but I think you shouldn't write this, you should write X" was a mild comment that gave me concern for years! Got a bit of a tougher skin now. A bit.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 02:17 AM
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When I was in junior high I received standardized test results that stated I had scored a 97 percentile. When I read that the score meant I scored higher than 97% of other students taking the nationwide test, I was amazed. This was after spending the first ten years of my life legally blind because no one knew I needed glasses.


I then proceeded to start college at 14. Drop out of high school at 15. Pass a GED test at 16. And graduate from college at 18. My first job at 19 was with the grandson of the founder of the college I had just graduated from.


Fast forward to now. After 35 years of working as a computer programmer, I haven't been able to find a job for the last two years. I've tried to keep my job skills up to date by taking college courses over the years. But apparently C++, Java, HTML, ASP.Net, Visual Basic, JavaScript, etc. are not needed or used in today's technology.


I'd be willing to work for $10 per hour, but no one is hiring me. It seems to me that if someone with my experience can't find work that this country is in deep trouble. It doesn't really matter what kind of esteem I have, if no one will give me a chance then why bother going on.


I think fifty years of American corporations attacking unions, wages, workers, etc. has left us with a sham economy. I'm hoping my fellow Americans will wake up in time to save our country and the planet from the fascism that has taken over.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 02:46 AM
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I prefer the concept of self efficacy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy the two are linked for me. Building up my self-efficacy is probably my most important task.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 03:27 AM
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I think for me it was because I had plenty of good friends when I was younger. I had a group of mates that I'd known for a long time - and that I knew would basically do anything for me. I remember calling one of them up in the middle of the night when I was scared in London one time and he talked me down. That same guy once said that I could make anything sound funny - it makes me feel good that I can do that. I need to be in the right mood though - especially nowadays.

Also I guess having girlfriends when I was younger - and getting attention from women. That helps a lot - it changes as you get older though, especially once you hit your 50's. Looks fade.

Having a family of my own has helped me a lot - knowing I have two people that love me, no matter how stupid I am. (and have definitely been)

All this talk about self-esteem though I find a bit silly tbh. I know on a few levels my self-esteem is not good at all. Because I know I've never been any good at holding down a job, and I never had a real career. I did very well at Uni but I've never once had a job that has even vaguely challenged me. They were all just low level jobs that I could do with my eyes closed. My problems with anxiety or whatever always got in the way. So I know I'm way behind many other people my age in that respect - and that I'll never own my own home. That embarasses me but I've come to terms with it now. Not much I can do about it anymore - I'm a bit old to start with all that nowadays.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabbath9 View Post
When I was in junior high I received standardized test results that stated I had scored a 97 percentile. When I read that the score meant I scored higher than 97% of other students taking the nationwide test, I was amazed. This was after spending the first ten years of my life legally blind because no one knew I needed glasses.


I then proceeded to start college at 14. Drop out of high school at 15. Pass a GED test at 16. And graduate from college at 18. My first job at 19 was with the grandson of the founder of the college I had just graduated from.


Fast forward to now. After 35 years of working as a computer programmer, I haven't been able to find a job for the last two years. I've tried to keep my job skills up to date by taking college courses over the years. But apparently C++, Java, HTML, ASP.Net, Visual Basic, JavaScript, etc. are not needed or used in today's technology.


I'd be willing to work for $10 per hour, but no one is hiring me. It seems to me that if someone with my experience can't find work that this country is in deep trouble. It doesn't really matter what kind of esteem I have, if no one will give me a chance then why bother going on.


I think fifty years of American corporations attacking unions, wages, workers, etc. has left us with a sham economy. I'm hoping my fellow Americans will wake up in time to save our country and the planet from the fascism that has taken over.
What about doing jobs from that site - is it called Upwork or something? My son used to get work from that I think. Probably a lot of competition though I guess from people in third-world countries that will work for peanuts.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllGlad View Post
I kinda had the same feeling, after getting my first real job, it feels kinda nice that your moving in the right direction in life and you get respect from others.
You said your a software engineer, that's what I studied as well.


It seems to me that when people ask me what I do for a living, people typically are impressed for some reason. I wonder if you get the same attitude from other people?
Yeah, even doctors seemed impressed when I told them I was a software engineer. That didn't really affect my self-esteem, though, because of all the interpersonal problems I was having at work. I felt like a failure.

Nobody loves me but my dog, and I think he might be jivin', too.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidfoxes View Post
That last line is very sad. Do you still share your writing?
I never stopped sharing it (on multiple sites), just nobody's interested in it. :/ I get a random comment maybe once or twice every few years (I actually got one the day after I posted this), but after that, nobody ever returns to read anything else anymore. And it seems like when someone does comment, it's always on a story I stopped working on years ago because nobody was interested in it. Nobody ever seems interested in whatever I'm currently working on.

This ran long, so...

 

Quote:
I write a little and that was one thing I used to be very sensitive about. "It's alright, but I think you shouldn't write this, you should write X" was a mild comment that gave me concern for years! Got a bit of a tougher skin now. A bit.
I got a couple of comments like that (plus some REALLY mean ones, that ridiculed me personally) in the past. One time somebody sent me an e-mail lavishing me with praise and I felt so good, I replied to thank them. They wrote back and basically said, "You're such a talented writer, why do you waste your skills writing all this fantasy crap? Why don't you really make use of your talent to write realistic fiction...?"

So...that was really a slap in the face, right after I'd felt so flattered, too. :/ I've gotten similar advice here on SAS, to write more realistic stuff based on my personal experiences and maybe I'd get readers, but 1. I write to get away from my miserable reality, I really do not want to write stories about it!; and 2. I do not believe there would be any reader interest in my life...I used to blog on other sites and nobody read that, either. I don't do much of anything IRL worth writing about.

I also once had someone gush enthusiastically over one story of mine, then the next story I posted, they simply wrote, "There is nothing about this that is even remotely good." (Granted, I hadn't enjoyed writing that particular story so it probably did suck, but it was a subject that was really popular, so I'd thought it might get more readers. So that's what happened when I tried writing what I thought others would prefer to read, instead of what I wanted to write.)

But mostly I would just get people trolling me over my work. Calling me and my characters mentally challenged, making jokes about Britney Spears loving my "high literature"-type writing, "This story is the literary equivalent of diaper wipings!", telling me to stop writing completely because they'd completely misinterpreted the summary of a story and hadn't actually read any if it at all, etc. A bunch of people made fun of one story behind my back (I found out because the forum link appeared in that story's list of referrals), making a bunch of assumptions about stuff that wasn't even in the story. All they'd read was the story description.

And if I ever tried to protest I was told to toughen up because "a real editor won't be so kind to you." (Even though I gave up thoughts of getting published long ago.) The frustrating thing is one of these guys did make some good points about what needed work, but he was so sarcastic and offensive about it that it took years for me to get his point. I would've gotten it a lot faster if he'd been tactful and sincere. That particular "reviewer" also ended up kind of stalking me for a while, every time I opened up comments on my site after turning them off, he'd start trolling me again, it wasn't even about my writing anymore.

(I also had one guy, after we had a falling out, repeatedly target my writing as a way to hurt me; he'd sign up with numerous accounts and repeatedly downvote it. Kept at it for a year. I had to restrict my writing from public view. Now every time I get a rating/review on that site, I expect it to be one star.) (All the infrequent comments I get there BTW are just vague "form reviews" from members of review groups trying to get credit. "You used good description here, you drew the reader in here, etc."-type of stuff; none of it is ever story specific. The last such review I got was on my fiction folder, not a story itself...weird.)

I used to actively seek constructive criticism on my work but almost all the critique I got was really sarcastic and insulting and seemed designed to discourage me from writing altogether, so I stopped advertising myself or participating on writing forums. (I didn't even share my work on those, but got lots of sneering criticism anyway, they never considered me a "real" writer so I stopped calling myself one; I've been writing for over thirty years but call myself an amateur or wannabe writer, now. I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking I'm legit.)

I stopped offering critique on other amateur writers' work too (I'd look for subject matter similar to mine), because even though I went out of my way to be polite and helpful (unlike the critique I got), other writers always seemed grumpy about my comments, like they'd tell me, "I KNOW about all the grammar errors, I'll fix them later, why don't you just focus on the story?" (I figured it's best to try to fix that stuff before asking for critique, but I guess I'm in the minority.) I was never rude in my criticism, even with the worst writing I'd try to point out what was good. Plus I'd often spend hours writing up my reviews, and to have all that time and work dismissed so brusquely (if the other writer even acknowledged my help at all, some would publicly thank everyone who'd helped but my name would be left off the list) just turned me off from trying to help out my fellow amateur writers. And they were never interested in helping me out in return (if they did, they'd offer a bland, one-paragraph comment on the shortest story of mine they could find), so... I figure they don't want my help.

And my experiences with writing teachers IRL, in late high school/college, were just about as bad. I was a wordy genre writer, not a terse literary writer, and so those teachers rarely had an encouraging word for me. (I could devote a whole other post to those bad experiences.) Only the teachers I had in my freshman year and earlier, when I was a kid, seemed to like my work. As an adult writer, I've never been taken seriously. So I guess that means my writing is juvenile.

By now I've gotten so much criticism and mockery I don't want people reading my work anymore unless they want to and they like it. I always assume the default is that people don't like it so I'd rather not hear from them, since I've heard most of the negative stuff already. If I plug my own work, I'm just asking for more ridicule.


...Anyway, yeah. :/ I never stopped writing or thinking about writing or even sharing it, I just don't advertise myself or ask for critique or offer any anymore, or post on writing sites, or try to just socialize with other writers, because I tried all that for years and all I ever got was discouragement and insults. Most of the times I got positive comments were when someone accidentally came across my work or, unfortunately, years after I'd given up hope/lost interest in a particular story. It almost never goes well when I deliberately draw attention to my work, so of course the feedback I get is very rare. Probably for the best, but still.



Sorry for the length of that. People often advise me to try out writing sites or online courses or networking with other writers...this is why I don't. I'll keep writing because I literally can't stop, but I don't hold much hope for finding readers anymore, and that just makes me sad, sometimes. I really wanted to contribute something to the world.

If I don't reply to you, it's NOTHING PERSONAL. It's my ANXIETY.

***

(Devetko's boyfriend Stan Brooks & Det. Reichert are horsing around.)

Det. Kristeva: "If it were legal you'd marry me, right?"
Det. Devetko: "Definitely."

(It's legal now!! But Kristeva's already married. ;_; )

***

"No canoes...no maple sugar...this place is horribly uncivilized."--Manabozho, Escape From Manitou Island
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:00 PM
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@tehuti88

Oh wow. It makes me glad I never had the courage to seek exposure for my writing. In the early days, what you went through would have been enough to crush the living light out of me. Much strength and perseverence to you.

I have to say this has question marks all over it for me. Why?? A lot of this seems to be very targeted bullying. As in, what did you do to these people? Kidnapped their children and rewrote their DNA to make them look like they were yours? I just can't understand the sheer vitriol. It doesn't make sense. I know people can be cruel, but this sounds excessive, even by internet standards. I am not, obviously, saying you did something to deserve this, only that it's bonkers. I know the fantasy genre is sometimes belittled and not seen as 'literary enuff', but what the hell is wrong with people.

Sorry you had to experience all that. Your behaviour makes sense. Sometimes keeping yourself safe is more important than reaching out to the world.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Having some meaning in life seems to boost my self-esteem. Lack of meaning is a lack of reason to go on living.

Nobody loves me but my dog, and I think he might be jivin', too.
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:55 PM
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:56 PM
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 01:59 PM
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30 mg cipralex also does that (if you ain’t used to it that happens after sometime)
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 03:27 PM
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 10:20 AM
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Realizing that no one could have lived my life better than I have because humans are subject to universal laws of nature.
Realizing that every person who looks down on me is an ignorant narcissist.

As a result, my self-esteem is always very strong. I don't really think it can get any better than it is, since it's basically unconditional.

I can still feel momentarily embarrassed or ashamed in an encounter, because I still have some old programming and my anxiety can throw me off-balance, but my self-esteem heals like Wolverine. I still have to take into consideration what other people think of me to avoid conflicts with people who might be dangerous or disruptive, but their opinions are basically a matter of indifference to me now. People are entitled to their delusions.

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