Self esteem is a critical quality that we focus on in anger management. It colours how we see ourselves and how we see other people. Regretfully many of our clients have low self esteem. They see themselves with lots of negative traits. They don’t want to see themselves as having positive traits. When asked to write down ten bad things about themselves they can do that effortlessly. Then ask them to write down ten good things about themselves they find it difficult to beyond two or three.
People with high self esteem find the opposite is true. They can easily identify positive traits. They are not perfectionists so mistakes are downplayed as a normal part of life. Take some examples from the following: energetic, adventurous, cheerful, responsible, adaptable, resourceful. Compare those with guileful, distrusting, condescending, furtive, hostile, wary and notice the difference.
Looking back on childhood reveals much the same. The person with high self esteem is able to remember the good times with ease: times of enjoyment, happy relatives, fun occasions Conversely those with low self esteem remember incident after incident of pain and fear.
Shifting from low to the high self esteem takes effort. How easy or difficult is it to associate with those with high self esteem? How could the positive words written above be incorporated into someone’s life? It might be a challenge. But there must at least one occasion where one was resourceful, responsible, adventurous etc. Digging some positive answers is in fact the way out of low self esteem into higher self esteem. Is it worth the effort?