What affects self-esteem can depend on the age, gender, or culture of the person who is asked. It can be something as simple as a compliment, the way you act in public, the things you say to yourself and how you respond to criticism or rejection. It can be caused by your childhood experiences, your experiences in the workplace, or your interactions with other people. For some people, the question of what affects self-esteem can bring up painful memories from their childhood that they are not able to get over.
Children, especially those with strong self-image, tend to focus on their good looks or the good qualities of their bodies or personalities. These qualities are considered to be attractive and acceptable, regardless of one’s flaws. In contrast, children of divorce or single parents, who do not have the same self-image, may focus more on the negative aspects of these qualities or the criticism they received as a child resulting in low self-esteem.
How we respond to criticism is also important when learning how to deal with the problem of low self-esteem. If we are bombarded with many negative ways to make us fail, we will eventually stop trying. This means that if you are told repeatedly that you are not good enough, you will stop trying. You must first decide to change your self-talk to something more positive in order to change your self-esteem.
In a new research study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers examined how the way we respond to criticism affected our overall self-esteem. The study focused on six different domains of personality: appearance, social intelligence, leadership, achievement, assertiveness, and competence. Each domain was then given to a group of college students. As is normally done in such studies, the group members were then exposed to a range of remarks.
The results showed that when participants were criticized for their over-confidence, their low self-esteem was affected. This happens because high self-esteem makes us feel competent and successful. When we feel that we cannot compete with others, we will then get older and have more trouble dealing with criticism. What affects self-esteem the most is actually having too high a self-image. If we feel competent and successful, we will be less likely to get involved in activities that would challenge our perceived success.
In addition to having a high self-image, the study found that what affects self-esteem the most was the presence of multiple sources of positive social support. Children who had positive early childhood experiences were more likely to develop a high self-image even into adulthood. The existence of friends, family and teachers who can provide security and emotional support are very important.
One of the new research findings from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that this “maturity principle” is related to the “bilingual competence.” The “bilingual competence” refers to the extent to which someone can handle two languages. People who can effectively speak two languages are considered to be more mature than those who cannot communicate in these two languages. Adults who were bilingual when they were younger had higher self-esteem than adults who were not fluent in two languages. These same adults were also more satisfied with their social relationships.
Another aspect of this study found that what affects self-esteem the most is the degree to which people are self-confident about their abilities. Those who were not self-confident about their ability to do well on an exam were rated as significantly lower than those who were very self-confident. What affects self-esteem the most is when people feel they are good enough. When you have a good enough self-esteem, it helps you to overcome difficulties and have success.