Inflated Self-Esteem: What Are You Trying To Hide?

Inflated Self-Esteem: What Are You Trying To Hide?

A few days ago I was waiting at the checkout in the supermarket. The customer who was right in front of me started telling all kinds of things about himself to the cashier ; without reason, without being asked and without knowing her:  his success, his good qualities, how perfect he was… “I graduated cum laude, my daughter is working on her doctorate, I am now a manager at a big company…”

The poor cashier looked at him and nodded. What else could she do? But the man kept talking and talking about himself, exaggerating, as if hoping for some kind of recognition or approval from her.

This really caught my attention and I thought, “Why would he have this need for recognition from someone he doesn’t know at all?” I have no doubt this guy had all those things in his life and he’s awesome, but why was he in such a need to point it out for everyone to know?

While we may think this guy has good, healthy self-esteem because this seems to be what he wants us to see, nothing could be further from the truth: his behavior reflects just the opposite.

People with good, optimal self-esteem feel sure of themselves and that sense of self-confidence is innate to them. It does not depend on their environment, nor on their achievements, nor on their success, nor on their physical appearance. It is true that these things have some influence, but in no way do they determine one’s self-esteem.

Therefore, a  person who constantly seeks praise and good reviews from others shows that they themselves do not possess these qualities. Most likely there is something they don’t like about themselves and to compensate for that they tell everyone how wonderful they are and everything around them. In this way, with this false recognition, they feel safe in the short term … The prospect of a rejection would be terrible!

The problem is, while it’s easy to fool others into believing we are someone we’re not, it’s not so easy to fool ourselves.

An inflated sense of self begins in childhood. Children who have not received sufficient praise, admiration or love from their environment will see themselves as of little value. As a result, these children will develop low self-esteem.

Once these children are adults, they can choose between two different options: either they desire love and praise from those around them, by submissively complying with their requests : dependent, without knowing how to say “no” to something and with too little assertiveness for fear of rejection; or they may exaggerate their identity and self-confidence: vain and narcissistic, in order to protect themselves against the possibility of someone hurting them or telling them that they have messed up or failed at something.

Deep down, these are people with a great fear of rejection and failure, but also with a fear of not being recognized and praised by everyone. Their attitude is a kind of camouflage.

Because these people are unable to acknowledge their mistakes, they will not be able to acknowledge that they have a problem with their self-esteem. This makes helping them a complicated task: the first step to change is recognizing that there is a problem.

The problem then persists for years, because  with this disguise they never open up to the negative advice of others or allow someone to point out a mistake to them (or they don’t recognize them as their own).  And if someone did this, their attitude would be so hostile and aggressive that it would prevent anyone else from saying anything; this maintains their self-esteem in a fleeting way, but deep down they die of the pain.

It goes without saying that these people ‘s social relationships are highly toxic as others will tend to keep their distance, further sinking these people’s low self-esteem.

Unfortunately, reality is what it is and whether we like it or not, there will always be someone who rejects us, doesn’t like us or doesn’t think we’re attractive. The sooner we begin to embrace and accept this reality, the sooner we will learn that self-love begins with ourselves and not with the judgments of others, which we have no control over.

It is important to start with the realization that you are only human and that you have the right to fail and make mistakes. Ask for help if you need it, because no one is 100% skilled at everything. Recognize that no one is born and knows everything right away and that we all need practice to learn.

You are not the best; there will always be someone better than you. If you want to be better, you have to work in a healthy way and fight for your goals, without comparing yourself and without putting others to shame. You are a unique, peerless and valuable person simply by existing and by being who you are. You don’t need others to remind you of that every day. You already know who you are. Start loving yourself and be freer and less dependent.

You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You are not the center of the universe. People are preoccupied with their own problems. Work on  who you are, along with love and respect for yourself. If you love yourself and you show confidence and humility, others will admire and love you.

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