I’m going to eat this banana and then hopefully as my blood sugar comes up and I go into hour two of trying to shoot like a six minute video…
Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum. So today I have a reader question and all purpose reminder if you have a question for me you can send it to AskAtholAnything@gmail.com. That will be in the description below. So let’s jump to it.
“How do you tell the difference between low self esteem and something much deeper?”
Well the first answer to that, and I guess this is going to be kind of trite, is low self esteem is always something deeper. People don’t just develop low self esteem out of thin air. There’s always some sort of explanation back in their personal timeline about why they have low self esteem. Essentially a bunch of negative stuff happened to them, they’ve internalized a lack of low value, low worth, about themselves and they’ve decided they aren’t worth much and thus they have low self esteem.
In some ways it’s oddly helpful to have low self esteem because it’s a pretty good predictor of how life will be in the future. It’s gonna suck. Kind of like if you’d gone to a restaurant three times and it was bad all three times. If you’re planning to go for a fourth time you have a pretty good prediction that it’s going to be bad again. The trouble with low self esteem though is that it’s also a self fulfilling prophecy. You’re telling the universe, telling the world, telling people by your language, your body language, the vibes that you’re sending out, you have low worth. You have low value. Because that’s the message you send, people pick up on the message and they decide that you have low value so they treat you poorly.
That being said, low self esteem is not necessarily some kind of crippling disability. There are plenty of people who have low self esteem who have normal, productive lives. They probably aren’t as happy as they could be. They’re probably not as successful as they could be. They’re not enjoying their relationships as much as they could but they basically get through their day fine. In the Facebook Instagram world in which we live, probably 80% of the population have low self esteem because no life could be ever as good as it is on Facebook or Instagram… or my fabulous life on YouTube, right?
You know it’s more than just low self esteem though, when you start seeing major dysfunction. Where they can’t hold a job, they can’t deal with conflict. Their personal relationships start falling apart all them time. They can’t parent their kids. They can’t balance their checkbook. They can’t do a whole bunch of normal, every day adult stuff, because of whatever is wrong with them above and beyond just low self esteem. Almost always in their past they have some sort of major traumatic event, or series of events, or years of upbringing, making them the way they are and they can’t tolerate doing some things that normal adults can do. That’s when you see it’s more than just low self esteem.
Above and beyond that, when I get really worried, is when I can see some really negative effects now, and yet there is no explanation for what has happened in the past. Their problems are veiling behind misdirection. They just don’t like talking about their family. They don’t really want to talk about their upbringing. I think there was something that happened with an uncle but I don’t really know about it. That’s when you know stuff is pretty deep and pretty real. When you can see major negative effects in their life now and yet the explanation for all that is hidden, obscured, or you’re only getting part of the story.
I’ve come across this dozens and dozens of times in coaching now. I’ve been talking to some husband, he’s explaining what his wife does, how she’s hypersensitive, how she doesn’t like rejected, goes crazy if you criticize and has black and white thinking. All kinds of things where she’s really reactive and yet there’s nothing in the history that suggests that she should be this way…
… so is she just some sort of random, nasty, vicious person?
Or is there something really dark that happened back there?
Unfortunately I’ve now probably uncovered some sort of sexual abuse dozens of times now in coaching. I’ve said to a husband, you know you really have to go back and dig. You have to ask questions. And when they do and they really hold the wife’s feet to the fire to get answers, some of this stuff comes out, and that’s been the real problem all the time.
So summarizing, basic low self esteem is not a major dysfunction. More than just low self esteem it’s when people have trouble doing their daily stuff for some reason, and you can often see major causes in their history. And it’s really worrying though, when you see major dysfunctions and no explanation for why they are like they are. That means there’s something back there…yay car…that is driving the bus on why they are as they are.
So that’s about it. I’m finishing my banana. I hope you liked the video. Please like, share, comment and subscribe, all that good internet stuff. And I will talk to you tomorrow.