The development of low self-esteem (5)

The development of low self-esteem

Now I have desribed that being raised in a environment where you don´t feel loved and accepted the way you are can often affects your self-esteem.
Remember that the rule is five times more good comments to every critisizing comment (this can be hard to transform into practice but it´s good to be aware of it).
The next step in our analysis consists of behaviors or compensatory strategies you do to keep your schema that consists of negative thoughts about yourself alive. An example is that if you have a childhood where you didn´t get your feelings validated in healthy way (most parents mean well by are coloured by their own background which make them not know better) you get compensatory strategie that bring you some sort of relief in the short run but more feelings of helplessness in the long run.
Here are a few examples of compensatory strategies:
– You do more for others than they do for you
– You listen more to others than they listen to you,
– You starve yourself or you eat too much,
– You do too many “shoulds” in life compared to “wants”
– You follow impulses to wash yourself too much, check the door lock, if the stove is on etc for more than one hour a day)

When you look for what compensatory strategies you have, try to think about what behaviors you have that bring some kind of relief in the short run but that make you feel more helpless in the long run.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

Now I have desribed that being raised in a environment where you don´t feel loved and accepted the way you are can often affects your self-esteem.
Remember that the rule is five times more good comments to every critisizing comment (this can be hard to transform into practice but it´s good to be aware of it).
The next step in our analysis consists of behaviors or compensatory strategies you do to keep your schema that consists of negative thoughts about yourself alive. An example is that if you have a childhood where you didn´t get your feelings validated in healthy way (most parents mean well by are coloured by their own background which make them not know better) you get compensatory strategie that bring you some sort of relief in the short run but more feelings of helplessness in the long run.
Here are a few examples of compensatory strategies:
– You do more for others than they do for you
– You listen more to others than they listen to you,
– You starve yourself or you eat too much,
– You do too many “shoulds” in life compared to “wants”
– You follow impulses to wash yourself too much, check the door lock, if the stove is on etc for more than one hour a day)

When you look for what compensatory strategies you have, try to think about what behaviors you have that bring some kind of relief in the short run but that make you feel more helpless in the long run.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem (4)

The development of low self-esteem

Having a schema like for example I am not likable makes you develop life rules that go along with those thoughts. Examples of rules can be:
– If I always adjust to other people´s needs, they will like me.
– If I never ask people for anything they will find me easy to be with and they will like me.
– If i always have a happy face people will become in a good mood when they are with me and they will like me.
– If I never tell personal things people won´t be able to form a negative opinion of me.
– If I never hang out myself emotionally peope won´t be able to fool me or betray me.
– If I never hang out myself emotionally I won´t be sad if people don´like me and leave me.
– If I never show my feeling to other people, they won´t perceive me as strong and stable.

Your life rules will further lead to behaviors that are sometimes called compensatory behaviors. These behaviors often give you some sort of relief in the short run but they tie the knot and the vicious circle even mor ein the long run.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

Having a schema like for example I am not likable makes you develop life rules that go along with those thoughts. Examples of rules can be:
– If I always adjust to other people´s needs, they will like me.
– If I never ask people for anything they will find me easy to be with and they will like me.
– If i always have a happy face people will become in a good mood when they are with me and they will like me.
– If I never tell personal things people won´t be able to form a negative opinion of me.
– If I never hang out myself emotionally peope won´t be able to fool me or betray me.
– If I never hang out myself emotionally I won´t be sad if people don´like me and leave me.
– If I never show my feeling to other people, they won´t perceive me as strong and stable.

Your life rules will further lead to behaviors that are sometimes called compensatory behaviors. These behaviors often give you some sort of relief in the short run but they tie the knot and the vicious circle even mor ein the long run.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem (3)

The development of low self-esteem

Now I want to explain how a schema (your innermost, mostly unconscious thoughts about yourself) is formed.
Examples of what a schema can look like is when you have low self-esteem is:
– I am a bad person.
– I am not lovable and everyone will abandon me.
– I am worthless and others will use me.
– I am a failure.
– I am dependent of others since I am incompetent to take care of myself.
– I am not lovable and I will always be alone and feel lonely.

Low self-esteem is formed in childhood most of the time but you sometimes get low self-esteem as an adult. The importand thing to remember is than no matter when and how you get low self-esteem it is possible to improve. Generally speaking you need to analyze where and how in your daily life your low self-esteem appears and then you need to start making changes little by little. If it feelis overwhelming make the steps smaller and remember that you can´t avoid the negative feelings altogether and that is not the goal. The psyche wants balance so there should be a balance between positive and negative feelings.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

Now I want to explain how a schema (your innermost, mostly unconscious thoughts about yourself) is formed.
Examples of what a schema can look like is when you have low self-esteem is:
– I am a bad person.
– I am not lovable and everyone will abandon me.
– I am worthless and others will use me.
– I am a failure.
– I am dependent of others since I am incompetent to take care of myself.
– I am not lovable and I will always be alone and feel lonely.

Low self-esteem is formed in childhood most of the time but you sometimes get low self-esteem as an adult. The importand thing to remember is than no matter when and how you get low self-esteem it is possible to improve. Generally speaking you need to analyze where and how in your daily life your low self-esteem appears and then you need to start making changes little by little. If it feelis overwhelming make the steps smaller and remember that you can´t avoid the negative feelings altogether and that is not the goal. The psyche wants balance so there should be a balance between positive and negative feelings.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem (2)

The development of low self-esteem

As you can see, the most common way of developing low self-esteem is that your needs haven´t been met in a way that was good for you during your childhood. I want to point out though that you can get low self-esteem in other ways too as an adult.
Examples of that is that you might have a violent partner, people are mean to you at work, you haven´t been able to get a job for a long time and/or you have a bad financial situation or you have been traumatized in some way.
Rememember that no matter how you developed your low self-esteem, it is possible to build it up! As I have said many times before, think about that it is logical to feel bad about yourself when you for some reason have learned to treat yourself and think about yourself in a disrespectful way. The problem is that you unconsciously train your brain to get wired in way that it “feels natural” to treat yourself in a bad way som it´s possible that you don´t even think about it. That is why to need to take a few weeks to analyze where you feel worse than usual and that way track the situations where you don´t stand up for your needs. After that you have to start making some changes and also work on accepting yourself and your needs.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

As you can see, the most common way of developing low self-esteem is that your needs haven´t been met in a way that was good for you during your childhood. I want to point out though that you can get low self-esteem in other ways too as an adult.
Examples of that is that you might have a violent partner, people are mean to you at work, you haven´t been able to get a job for a long time and/or you have a bad financial situation or you have been traumatized in some way.
Rememember that no matter how you developed your low self-esteem, it is possible to build it up! As I have said many times before, think about that it is logical to feel bad about yourself when you for some reason have learned to treat yourself and think about yourself in a disrespectful way. The problem is that you unconsciously train your brain to get wired in way that it “feels natural” to treat yourself in a bad way som it´s possible that you don´t even think about it. That is why to need to take a few weeks to analyze where you feel worse than usual and that way track the situations where you don´t stand up for your needs. After that you have to start making some changes and also work on accepting yourself and your needs.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

The development of low self-esteem

When I want to analyze how you have developed low self-esteem, I often do a case analysis out of a cognitive perspective.
I ask a lot of questions about your childhood to find out if there are any factors in your past that have contributed to the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Examples are:
1. May be you had parents who critisized you most of the time
2. May be you felt different from your friends because of your culture, weight, religion etc.
3. May be you were teased by your classmates.
4. May be nobody validated you, showed interest in you, set limits for you.
5. May be you felt different in your family.
6. May be you had parents with lots of own problems so that they couldn´t be involved in your life.
7. May be you family was different from other families because of culture, religin etc. (Read more in (Improver your self-esteem by Melanie Fennell).

These are just examples of possible explanations to why you have got low self-esteem. It´s good for you to find out why since I think the psyche likes control and structure so you will get a better grip of your problem if you can get as much information about it as possible. That way you can more and more pinpoint the roots and then your way of handling your problem in the present. Then you can learn strategies about what you and how you want to make changes.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

The development of low self-esteem

When I want to analyze how you have developed low self-esteem, I often do a case analysis out of a cognitive perspective.
I ask a lot of questions about your childhood to find out if there are any factors in your past that have contributed to the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Examples are:
1. May be you had parents who critisized you most of the time
2. May be you felt different from your friends because of your culture, weight, religion etc.
3. May be you were teased by your classmates.
4. May be nobody validated you, showed interest in you, set limits for you.
5. May be you felt different in your family.
6. May be you had parents with lots of own problems so that they couldn´t be involved in your life.
7. May be you family was different from other families because of culture, religin etc. (Read more in (Improver your self-esteem by Melanie Fennell).

These are just examples of possible explanations to why you have got low self-esteem. It´s good for you to find out why since I think the psyche likes control and structure so you will get a better grip of your problem if you can get as much information about it as possible. That way you can more and more pinpoint the roots and then your way of handling your problem in the present. Then you can learn strategies about what you and how you want to make changes.

To be continued…
Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Why can´t I stop my ruminating self abusive thoughts?

Why can´t I stop my ruminating self abusive thoughts?

In cognitive Behavior therapy we talk about thought errors or I prefer thought traps.
This means that you think thoughts that go along with your low self-esteem and that also reinforce it.
Example of thought errors when you have low self-esteem are:
1. Self-abusive thoughts like ” I am weird”, “I am bad”, “I am not likeable”.
2. Critical thoughts about what you do (I call them Hitler thoughts) like I made a mistake at the test som i am a failure, I shoudn´t have said that comment which made me sound like an idiot, I laughed at the wrong place, i sounded like a fool etc.
3. You think catastrophic thoughts about things in the future; I will fail this test and I will never finish university, I will be dumped by every partner and I will end up alone, I will have a bad time at the party so there is no use fo mer to go.
4. When you have low self-esteem you always compare yourself to others in way where you feel inferior; All my friends have a partner, i am the only one who will always be alone, all my friends seem to move forward in life except for me, all my friends have better salaries, I am the only one with a low income etc.
5. You make catastophies around you feelings; I can´t stand feeling this kind of anxiety, I will always feel this depressed and I can´t stand it, I am feeling so nervous, people will think I am a nerve wreck etc.
6. You vissualize yourself in bad situations; you see youself old and lonely, you see everyone else with happy families except for yourself, you see yourself writing the same job applications in ten years from now etc. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson).

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Why can´t I stop my ruminating self abusive thoughts?

In cognitive Behavior therapy we talk about thought errors or I prefer thought traps.
This means that you think thoughts that go along with your low self-esteem and that also reinforce it.
Example of thought errors when you have low self-esteem are:
1. Self-abusive thoughts like ” I am weird”, “I am bad”, “I am not likeable”.
2. Critical thoughts about what you do (I call them Hitler thoughts) like I made a mistake at the test som i am a failure, I shoudn´t have said that comment which made me sound like an idiot, I laughed at the wrong place, i sounded like a fool etc.
3. You think catastrophic thoughts about things in the future; I will fail this test and I will never finish university, I will be dumped by every partner and I will end up alone, I will have a bad time at the party so there is no use fo mer to go.
4. When you have low self-esteem you always compare yourself to others in way where you feel inferior; All my friends have a partner, i am the only one who will always be alone, all my friends seem to move forward in life except for me, all my friends have better salaries, I am the only one with a low income etc.
5. You make catastophies around you feelings; I can´t stand feeling this kind of anxiety, I will always feel this depressed and I can´t stand it, I am feeling so nervous, people will think I am a nerve wreck etc.
6. You vissualize yourself in bad situations; you see youself old and lonely, you see everyone else with happy families except for yourself, you see yourself writing the same job applications in ten years from now etc. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson).

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Why do I still have low self-esteem although I am trying to improve it? (2)

Why do I still have low self-esteem although I am trying to improve it?

As I mentioned in my last article iit´s important to find out what is maintaining your low self-esteem. It is definitely things in your daily life that you do that is maintaining your low self-esteem. So here are the steps you need to start with to improve your self-esteem:
1. Take you calendar and register what in your daily life makes you feel bad. If it´s hard to get a grip of what it is take one activity at a time and register your feelings afterwards.
2. When you have found out what or who makes you feel bad, try to analyze what you do, often you do as someone else wants or youdo favors for someone else in order to be liked. This is not harmful if you get energy back from that person or activity in the long run but if there is no balance, the result is that your own feelings get run over and the consequence is negative feelings and low self-esteem.
Remember what I have said earlier; if you treat your psyche in a bad way, your psyche will give you negative feelings back.
3. If you have never asked yourself what opinions you have about different things you might not know what you like. If you recognize yourself in this, take some time and write down what you like about different things for example, food, sports, movies, music, personalities, books, clothes, travel destinations etc.

4. If you notice that you let your needs get run over by your partner because you are afraid of abandonment, read more in my articles about relationships.
5. If you realize that you can´t help being mean to yourself since you overeat, abuse alcohol or drugs or other addictions, you need to address both the harmful behavior and your self-esteem. Remember again; when your psyche feels pushed against a corner since you behave in a mean way towards it, it invents destructive behaviors in order to escape from the awful feelings the “running over” behavior leads to.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Why do I still have low self-esteem although I am trying to improve it?

As I mentioned in my last article iit´s important to find out what is maintaining your low self-esteem. It is definitely things in your daily life that you do that is maintaining your low self-esteem. So here are the steps you need to start with to improve your self-esteem:
1. Take you calendar and register what in your daily life makes you feel bad. If it´s hard to get a grip of what it is take one activity at a time and register your feelings afterwards.
2. When you have found out what or who makes you feel bad, try to analyze what you do, often you do as someone else wants or youdo favors for someone else in order to be liked. This is not harmful if you get energy back from that person or activity in the long run but if there is no balance, the result is that your own feelings get run over and the consequence is negative feelings and low self-esteem.
Remember what I have said earlier; if you treat your psyche in a bad way, your psyche will give you negative feelings back.
3. If you have never asked yourself what opinions you have about different things you might not know what you like. If you recognize yourself in this, take some time and write down what you like about different things for example, food, sports, movies, music, personalities, books, clothes, travel destinations etc.

4. If you notice that you let your needs get run over by your partner because you are afraid of abandonment, read more in my articles about relationships.
5. If you realize that you can´t help being mean to yourself since you overeat, abuse alcohol or drugs or other addictions, you need to address both the harmful behavior and your self-esteem. Remember again; when your psyche feels pushed against a corner since you behave in a mean way towards it, it invents destructive behaviors in order to escape from the awful feelings the “running over” behavior leads to.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Why do I still have low self-esteem although I am trying to improve it?

Why do I still have low self-esteem althoguh I am trying to improve it?

May you have already noticed that you have low self-esteem and may be you have tried to improve it yourself but you feel that you are not getting anywhere.
One mistake we often do without realizing it is what i have mentioned earlier, we try to “think” positive about ourselves but we “do” the opposite.
Check if you do some of the following mistakes:
1. I avoid activities because I fear that other people will think something negative about me.
2. I seldom talk about myself because I fear that others will find me boring, stupid or insecure.
3. I don´t take initiatives to approach others out of fear they will reject me.
4. I always aggree to other peoples´opinions because I want them to like me.
5. I always let others decide what se should do because I want them to like me.
6. I sometimes take the relationships i have for granted since I have them and I adapt to people whom I think are better som I have no energy left for people who I know like me.
7. I do favors for others and I don´t ask for things in return since I want others to like me. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson).

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

C

Why do I still have low self-esteem althoguh I am trying to improve it?

May you have already noticed that you have low self-esteem and may be you have tried to improve it yourself but you feel that you are not getting anywhere.
One mistake we often do without realizing it is what i have mentioned earlier, we try to “think” positive about ourselves but we “do” the opposite.
Check if you do some of the following mistakes:
1. I avoid activities because I fear that other people will think something negative about me.
2. I seldom talk about myself because I fear that others will find me boring, stupid or insecure.
3. I don´t take initiatives to approach others out of fear they will reject me.
4. I always aggree to other peoples´opinions because I want them to like me.
5. I always let others decide what se should do because I want them to like me.
6. I sometimes take the relationships i have for granted since I have them and I adapt to people whom I think are better som I have no energy left for people who I know like me.
7. I do favors for others and I don´t ask for things in return since I want others to like me. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Wilson).

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

C

How do we define self-esteem?

How do we define self-esteem?

You can say that you have good self-esteem if you

1. Accept yourself even of you don´t always succeed the way you have planned.
2. Like yourself along the way while you try to develop personally
3. Like yourself and think you are worthwhile even when you get left by someone or a relationship ends. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies).

Remember that all of us have our ups and downs in life and sometimes we experience unpleasant feelings like fear, grief, sadness etc. You can have good self-esteem even thoguh you experience these feelings since they are normal and a part of life. As I have said before the psyche likes balance, so a balance between nice and less nice feelings is normal. (Of course it´s hadr to get the exact balance but it´s good to think this way to get a clue about where you are striving). It´s not bad to experience negative feelings but you have a problem if you get stuck in the negative feelings and if you experience them a lot more percentally than pleasant feelings.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

How do we define self-esteem?

You can say that you have good self-esteem if you

1. Accept yourself even of you don´t always succeed the way you have planned.
2. Like yourself along the way while you try to develop personally
3. Like yourself and think you are worthwhile even when you get left by someone or a relationship ends. (Read more in Boosting self-esteem for dummies).

Remember that all of us have our ups and downs in life and sometimes we experience unpleasant feelings like fear, grief, sadness etc. You can have good self-esteem even thoguh you experience these feelings since they are normal and a part of life. As I have said before the psyche likes balance, so a balance between nice and less nice feelings is normal. (Of course it´s hadr to get the exact balance but it´s good to think this way to get a clue about where you are striving). It´s not bad to experience negative feelings but you have a problem if you get stuck in the negative feelings and if you experience them a lot more percentally than pleasant feelings.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell
www.kbtemanell.se

Depression, Low self-esteem and the brain (3)

Depression, low self-esteem and the brain

5. If you already are trying to get better and it doesn´t work, analyze if you do good behaviors for yourself at the same time as you try to think that you want to take care of yourself. If you “only” think but behave in a mean way towards yourself, you won´t get anywhere.

6. Analyze in what way you talk about yourself in front of others. If you have low self-esteem it´s not unusual that you minimize yourself in front of others, if you do, try to stop yourself, it´s better to say nothing.

7. Analyze how you react when you get a compliment. If you usually reject the compliment try, next time just to say “thank you” and then be quiet.

8. If you have low self-esteem and may be depressed it´s common to feel an urge to explain yourself and your actions in front of others. If someone for example ask you if you can do them a favor and you can´t because you have promised someone to do something else, it´s common that you feel an impulse to explain every detail of why you can´t do the favor. If you recognize yourself in this, try to resist defending yourself. Try to say that you can´t do the favor this day but you want to help another day and then you can suggest a day that is good for you.

8. If you are depressed and have low self-esteem, remember that it is possible get better. When you have low self-esteem you think low of yourself and you act in way that is disrespectful towards yourself, and then it is logical that you feel sadness and hopelessness.

9. A central point in depression is the feeling of helplessness, that is it is no point to do anything because nothing will help anyway. Try to think that if you get a grip of what negative you actually do towards yourself every day it is quite logical to feel bad. In other words you can feel better if you start behaving better towards yourself. You just have to start analyzing what specifically you are doing towards yourself that is mean.

Cognitive Behavior Psychologist Monica Emanell

www.kbtemanell.se