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In 2001, three high profile studies of self-esteem found that “people with high self-esteem pose a greater threat” than people with low self-esteem.To feel bad about ourselves isn’t the cause of societal problems, but rather feeling good and confident about ourselves is more of a cause, and it’s especially difficult given that self-esteem has entered so much of our social consciousness and self-perception.In Japan, one form of psychotherapy, Morita, holds a belief that “neurotic suffering comes, quite literally, from extreme self-awareness.” David Reynolds wrote to Slater that “the most miserable people I know have been self-focused…cure is…by taking constructive action in one’s life which helps one to live a full and meaningful existence and not be ruled by one’s emotional state.” Morita therapy has its pros and limitations, but it prioritizes action over reflection, and therapy sessions often involve gardening, planting, and waiting for flowers to bloom.
There are many therapies that actually seek to reduce self-esteem.
Rehabilitation programs that focus on self-esteem, and statements like “today I will accept myself for who I am” are commonplace.
That we should strive to remind ourselves that high self-esteem is an important part of who we are.
Isn’t it appealing to feel more confident and good about yourself? For psychologists like Slater, “because we want to protect our patients and our pocketbooks, we don’t always say this.
The drug companies that underwrite us never say this.”And not all the blame is on the business, but on our culture and society as well.