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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Partly a stream of consciousness:

We can wax poetic about loving oneself and being confident in our abilities to perform a task or make a goal happen, but the acceptance, positive feedback from others makes things a lot easier to be comfortable with yourself.

Plenty of people's moods are dictated on how they are validated/invalidated by their peers, and even strangers, seemingly.

If you get mostly negative feedback, or none at all, it's going to be difficult to remain positive about yourself. The catch-22 is you then start to beat yourself up over it with negative self talk and trying to find at least a sliver of happiness feels like its light years away. And then even positive reinforcement just bounces off you.
 

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I think it's more about accepting the parts of yourself you don't like and loving yourself anyway, even if you're the worst person imaginable (in your own eyes) because everyone you don't deserve to treat yourself, or have others treat you badly.

And I think there's a mind frame that works well for that but I don't have it all the time and I think some people have never managed to get into that kind of mind state.

I don't think it's just loving yourself, I think it's being really compassionate about everyone and everything and exercising that part of your brain. If you're a naturally pessimistic, critical person it's going to be difficult but not impossible (at least not impossible all the time.) But only if you work at it.

You can't change every part of yourself but you can change how you feel about yourself.

The external praise you get from others only boosts your self esteem temporarily it's like taking a drug for low self esteem. You need to change the way you think about yourself and it's not exactly 'loving' yourself though that emotion helps. It's accepting the parts of yourself that you can't change.
 

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It comes from others around you in the form of validation. Also when you are a child you are GREATLY shaped by those around you (family,friends, teachers) and you carry what you are told you are as a child all the way to your death.
Very interesting stuff, I bug my sociology teacher too much asking him about all this.
 

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Partly a stream of consciousness:

We can wax poetic about loving oneself and being confident in our abilities to perform a task or make a goal happen, but the acceptance, positive feedback from others makes things a lot easier to be comfortable with yourself.

Plenty of people's moods are dictated on how they are validated/invalidated by their peers, and even strangers, seemingly.

If you get mostly negative feedback, or none at all, it's going to be difficult to remain positive about yourself. The catch-22 is you then start to beat yourself up over it with negative self talk and trying to find at least a sliver of happiness feels like its light years away. And then even positive reinforcement just bounces off you.
THANK YOU!!! There are so many delusional people who refuse to believe this. It's common sense. Positive feedback and external validation = high self-esteem. A lifetime of bullying = low self esteem.
 

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You can't edit posts here? That was my first post on this forum.

So I grew up around bullying and was a shy kid. I don't know whether problems in my brain or social habit preceded the bullying or whether the bullying potentially caused them or whether it's a combination thereof. I just know I have some anxiety issues and/or confidence issues.

For me it's always those first few humps that're the toughest. Once I realize the circumstances around me around so scary after all, I clam down a good amount. With experience comes some comfort in yoru surroundings.
 

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THANK YOU!!! There are so many delusional people who refuse to believe this. It's common sense. Positive feedback and external validation = high self-esteem. A lifetime of bullying = low self esteem.
Positive feedback and external validation OR a lifetime of bullying are influences on your self-esteem. They don't have to be the foundation of your self-esteem, though, and by definition(self-esteem) can't be.

If you've been bullied your whole life, of course you're naturally going to think "well there is a reason for it, they must be validated for how they are treating me", but despite that, you're still in total control of how you think of yourself.

So, in response to the OP, I would say the total of "self-esteem" comes from various sources, but it starts with yourself.
If you start by believing you have value, but others don't seem to, you'll simply disagree with them and keep going.
 

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Positive feedback and external validation OR a lifetime of bullying are influences on your self-esteem. They don't have to be the foundation of your self-esteem, though, and by definition(self-esteem) can't be.

If you've been bullied your whole life, of course you're naturally going to think "well there is a reason for it, they must be validated for how they are treating me", but despite that, you're still in total control of how you think of yourself.
I never said that feedback/validation is the only force governing your self-esteem, but it is a major influence for pretty much everyone. The vast majority of people do not have the self-control to COMPLETELY disregard what EVERYONE ELSE says about them.

So, in response to the OP, I would say the total of "self-esteem" comes from various sources, but it starts with yourself.
If you start by believing you have value, but others don't seem to, you'll simply disagree with them and keep going.
Yes, because it's oh-so-easy to be confident and feel that you have value, even with tons of negative forces around you, right? It's just so simple to ignore bullying and not let it affect you at all, right? This sounds like something that someone who has never been bullied in their life would say. :no
 

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Yes, because it's oh-so-easy to be confident and feel that you have value, even with tons of negative forces around you, right? It's just so simple to ignore bullying and not let it affect you at all, right? This sounds like something that someone who has never been bullied in their life would say. :no
I was bullied by the boys at school who were older than me...plenty. I had people make fun of my two front teeth(they were massive), my lack of "nice clothes", my weight...it hurt my feelings at the time, but I was a cocky kid so I disregarded it.

You're upset, I guess, so I'll forgive the "tone" of your reply...I will only say that I never said it was easy or simple, just that you are, in fact, in control of how you think about yourself.

You do not have to believe any of the things you currently believe about yourself.
 

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It would be ridiculous not to.
Because they're your beliefs? Or because so many people believe things about you, so they must be true? Both?

The things people have said about me throughout my life have affected my self-esteem, but I independently believe some of those things anyways.

For example, if a whole bunch of people were to say "Wow, you're so fat, it's gross"...it'd hurt my feelings/embarrass me, but wouldn't really effect my self-esteem...because I already believed that anyways, regardless of their opinion. If I didn't view myself as fat and gross, it wouldn't matter to me if everyone else did. That's "self-esteem"...whether it's negative or positive, it starts with you.
 

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Because they're your beliefs? Or because so many people believe things about you, so they must be true? Both?

The things people have said about me throughout my life have affected my self-esteem, but I independently believe some of those things anyways.

For example, if a whole bunch of people were to say "Wow, you're so fat, it's gross"...it'd hurt my feelings/embarrass me, but wouldn't really effect my self-esteem...because I already believed that anyways, regardless of their opinion. If I didn't view myself as fat and gross, it wouldn't matter to me if everyone else did. That's "self-esteem"...whether it's negative or positive, it starts with you.
Majority rules. It makes sense to believe what hundreds of people tell you. I didn't know how I looked until people felt the need to inform me that I was hideous.
 

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Majority rules. It makes sense to believe what hundreds of people tell you. I didn't know how I looked until people felt the need to inform me that I was hideous.
So you still don't know how you look then, you only know what some other people have said to you. You took their collective opinion and made it your own. You don't have to do that, but if that's how you feel like doing it, that's a choice...one I understand. Fighting back against those opinions, when you have no real evidence to fight with, is practically impossible, and at best, exhausting.
 

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So you still don't know how you look then, you only know what some other people have said to you. You took their collective opinion and made it your own. You don't have to do that, but if that's how you feel like doing it, that's a choice...one I understand. Fighting back against those opinions, when you have no real evidence to fight with, is practically impossible, and at best, exhausting.
Exactly, it would be a waste of time to think otherwise. I'm fine with my opinion because I know it's correct based on evidence. You said yourself that you were cocky, and i'm guessing that you haven't felt insecure about your appearance, so this isn't something you'd understand.
 

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It comes from others around you in the form of validation.
Yes, partially.

Also, I have certain physical and personality traits that I find attractive and admirable. My self-esteem largely stems from how well I match up to these traits. I've found that my confidence improves the more I work on where I want to be as a person - taking into account things like my appearance, goals, emotional strength, etc.
 

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You can do things about yourself to build it up like going to the gym and eating right make people feel good about themselves cuz theyre being healthy or wearing makeup makes you feel pretty =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Some more thoughts:

Self improvement helps start the battle, but surely does not win the war.

Negative self-talk doesn't help your cause whatsoever. Especially if your support system is nowhere near positive.

Where is the beginning and the end to all of it? It can get exhausting trying to understand why feeling confidence, contentedness and genuine happiness is like some faraway star in the galaxy.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who have felt like they have tried their damn hardest to set goals for themselves, actually reach them, and they have received nothing but their own pot to piss in. What happens to them?

A snap of the fingers isn't going to make you feel confident and worthy and happy. Of course you need to push yourself to put in the hard work it takes to change your mindset. But I feel that without those little markers people give you telling you are on the right track, it leaves a lot of doubt.

Doubt, uncertainty, risk, and fear. How should you expect to know something if you were never told?
 
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