Self-Esteem over Shame, Have We Gone Too Far? – Update

Have you ever been ashamed of something you did?

Are you still ashamed of something you once did in days gone by?

Even before the birth of Christianity, shame was a core concept in Western philosophy.

  • Feared disgrace in the eyes of those they admired, or of decent people in general
  • Attached great value to manners, honor, and dignity

To experience shame, you must be able to communicate it. It is difficult to feel ashamed of your own conduct if you are unable to be shocked by that of others.

Shame was, and remains, a social process—that is, a set of reciprocal understandings. It works like this:

  • I am ashamed because you are shocked
  • You fear shame because you know I can be shocked.

However, shame has taken a back seat as we promote the concept that and no one is better than anyone else and that Self-Esteem is essential at any cost.

In his Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Nathaniel Branden admonishes us………..

Don’t confuse self-esteem with the “feel-good version which attempts to substitute for it.

  • Self-esteem is built over a long period of time-based on accomplishments and cannot be just wished into existence
  • It is reality-based; undeserved praise, whether it comes from oneself or others, will not provide it

The idea of self-esteem deserves better than the pathetic idea that it requires freedom from failure or that it derived from the achievements of other people in one’s ethnic group

Branden lists six practices or “pillars” on which true self-esteem can be built:

  • Living consciously
  • Self-acceptance
  • Self-responsibility
  • Self-assertiveness
  • Living purposefully
  • Personal integrity

Wake-Up America — There Needs to be a BALANCE

I’m updating this to add a piece from Prager University I found today. I think it adds to the discussion about self-esteem does.


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