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Unread 03-26-2017, 05:46 PM   #21
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

For those who say you get your self-worth from your religion, I had a totally different experience. I was raised in a faith that told me that all humans were born bad. I can tell you that did NOTHING to build my self-worth. It helped tear if down. If religion gives you the support you need, good for you, but please recognize that is not everyone's experience.

To answer the OP's question, my sense of self-worth was hard won and comes from inside me. Life experiences tore me down to the point I thought I was worthless and deserved the abuse I received. It literally shattered me. I developed DID. One of my alters is/was a terrified little girl who was afraid of everything. It took a lot of hard work and therapy for me to integrate and come to believe that I have worth. So, the short answer is that my self-worth comes from within.

not sure why, but I feel the need to say this... during the darkest period while I was seeking help through therapy my T wanted me to say "I deserve to be treated with love and respect." out loud. I absolutely could NOT make the words come out. My throat seized up and I couldn't make a sound. At the same time I was terrified he was going to be angry with me because I didn't do what he told me to do. (did I mention I was in bad shape?) What I was able to do was repeat the line in my head. There were times I'd be in bed wrapped in the blankets, shaking out of fear what was about to happen and I'd be repeating over and over and over again in my head. Eventually I started to sort of believe it. Today I accept it as a true statement.
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Unread 03-26-2017, 06:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

Despite what we may rightly value in ourselves, we are all in need of the forebearance, tolerance and forgiveness of those who have to put up with us. We can all - each of us - be a bit much at times. I have known a few individuals who need to imagine that they are utterly above reproach . . . that it is unthinkable for anyone to find them to be at fault. Those persons, I believe, are actually very insecure and have a false sense of self-worth. They live in fear. Honest self-reflection is abhorrent to them. They are extra tough to put up with.

Secure self-worth means that a person can regularly take responsibility for failing to meet even their own standards, but have faith in their ability to keep trying . . . to make ammends . . . to correct mistakes. I think it rests on a wise appreciation of how frail human nature can be, along with recognizing the heroic effort that living decently requires of all of us in our daily affairs. We are endlessly trying to get things right and often not succeeding. So we forgive ourselves for our failures, as we forgive the failures of those around us. Our consciences may pain us, and they should, if we are honest. If we come from a faith tradition, we trust in the mercy of God . . . while not presuming upon it. If I know myself, then I know I have much reason to be grateful for the forgiveness of others . . . and for divine mercy.
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Unread 03-26-2017, 08:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entity06 View Post
I think that, as with most things, self-esteem and self-worth don't happen in a vacuum...
I have been told there is no vacuum anywhere in the natural world...and so, yes, self-esteem and self-worth are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Entity06 View Post
...a combined result of our personal image and assessment of ourselves (based less on quantifiable "data" and more in spiritual, philosophical, moral beliefs regarding our human condition) and our assessment of external factors such as the way we fare in society, the way society perceives us, the way people treat us, etc...

...and realize that, yes, as a living creature on this Earth, you have an intrinsic worth and are worthy of being loved, accepted, treated kindly, by yourself and others.
Definitely, and therein lies the rub when so many of us are surrounded by others who do not treat all human beings as having that intrinsic worth you have mentioned...and then some of us wittingly or otherwise help keep things all messed up for everyone by spewing nastiness and even hatred in return...but I digress...

Good stuff there, Entity06!
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Unread 03-27-2017, 08:15 AM   #24
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

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Originally Posted by ElsaMars View Post
Wow...this is wonderfully written and I can't disagree with a word you've said. Thoughtful and thorough posting.
Thanks, I was worried because it's a long rant and it goes against a lot of things people like to profess nowadays.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about self-esteem and self-worth and about how society decides to treat this matter.

I think that, just as mental health issues(especially high functioning ones that are easily dismissed) are still understated, overlooked and treated in an insensitive way as opposed to something like a physical illness you can "see", this whole self-esteem thing is simplified.

I mean, you know that probably most obvious comparison of how we treat mental health/emotional related suffering vs overt physical suffering? If someone has a broken leg you don't tell them to just think happy thoughts or to pick themselves up and just walk on the leg, it will heal. No, you help that person walk, you agree they need physical therapy and a good doctor to help the leg heal itself(because ultimately it's still the body healing itself). If you have a bad infection, they're not going to tell you to will it away, you'll get the antibiotic the body needs to fight it.

But with mental/emotional suffering, it's still possible for people to convince themselves that no one but the one suffering has any role in recovery, in feeling better. By that logic, why do therapists even exist since their main contribution is, at its foundation, simply being there for the person in a non judgemental manner, trying to help the person feel less alone and misunderstood and helping in identifying the cause and assist/advise on whatever can be done to overcome it. It's still the one suffering who is ultimately doing the work but we all sometimes need to be given the tools.

That's how I see all the self esteem talk popular nowadays, especially among people who have been fortunate not to grow up unknowingly deprived of their emotional needs, who didn't go through any more serious trauma, depression, anxiety, etc.

It's, in my opinion, insensitive and detrimental to keep preaching this idea that absolutely no one can influence or should influence your life in any way, especially mentally. It's also insensitive and detrimental to basically indirectly or directly say no one needs help, that even if you're in the darkest pits and you've been essentially put down and hit in the gut multiple times by society, family, friends, without you even "asking" for it, you're 100% responsible of getting out of that dark pit the world did help push you into, with zero help; that even with zero support, severely unmet needs for affection, for validation, connection, you're still supposed to find the resources within yourself exclusively, and if you don't then it means you failed.

Truth is that, just as the body needs some help to heal itself depending on what's ailing it, the mind and the soul do too. We all need love, loneliness and lack of touch are scientifically proven to be super unhealthy, we all need some support but in a selfish society, the message often put out is one that ultimately serves as a scapegoat for everyone, a way to make everyone feel better about not lifting a finger, about being intolerant, about hurting someone.

This is very true especially when society has to "deal" with people who have mental health/emotional problems that may make them "high maintenance", who may need extra reassurance and patience sometimes, who might need loved ones to make a bit of an effort to help them feel more comfortable. No one chooses to be anxious or depressive, no one chooses to fear abandonment and loss, no one chooses to be traumatized by something, no one chooses to be bipolar or chronically depressed. It's like telling someone with mobility issues or chronic migraines or another chronic illness, to just quit whining and stop asking for society to accommodate to their needs as well.

By saying self esteem and self worth are things that come only from inside, we're also taking responsibility away from society. For ex, we recognize that ethnic minorities subjected to racism aren't solely or even primarily responsible for the way society treats them and that the harmful, negative affects that come from racism and that result, among other things, in self esteem and self worth issues are a problem that society too has to resolve, that society, people as a whole need to change their attitudes, their behavior and challenge old, racist mentalities. You're not going to say to an African-American who is subjected to racism, that people are only racist towards him because he allows it.

Of course self esteem and self worth have to also be built from the inside, that you need to work on taking the good, affirming, supportive actions of people around you and use them as tools to work with yourself. Of course you have to also be aware that, as long as you're decent with people, you're intrinsically just as worthy as everyone to have respect, to be accepted and appreciated and loved for who you are, just as you are. But at the same time, if the only thing you have are those thoughts and you keep being rejected and hurt for no good reason...

We all need others to accept and love us and be there for us sometimes and we need society as a whole to be inclusive, because we are social beings, we're wired for that. As a society we recognize this when it comes to physical abuse/harm and clear, institutionalized discrimination(such as that against women, minorities, LGBTQ people), but we seem to do it less when it comes to how we treat eachother in other ways.

And it's very hurtful when you have someone with anxiety for ex, or depression, who already live in fear they'll be perceived as a burden, who already feel they are hard to love and put up with because the truth is they do need a bit more patience and understanding in some instances, to be told that basically no one should put up with anything, that it's their fault and they first need to become perfectly adjusted people with no problems, if they want to be loved and accepted. It doesn't work that way and no matter how much you tell yourself you're just as worthy as everyone else, you can and will be made to feel like this is something only you think, that everyone else doesn't see it that way.

It's alright that there's needs, including emotional and self esteem ones, that we can't fulfill without some help from other people. How can you meet your needs for touch, for ex, for intimacy(emotional and physical) without another person?

Oh and I for one think religion in general kinda' tends to be detrimental to self esteem and self worth if you're not a heterosexual, white man. Why? Simply because all religion is is a collection of beliefs, mentalities and understanding of the world a bunch of people had thousands of years ago. It's very narrow and not particularly tolerant or even peaceful and it reflects those times. Would anyone, for ex, want to go back in time and live in the eras those religions were born in? I think not, they were times when conflicts, even small ones, were often solved by violent means, when violence was a big tool in general, when most people were oppressed for different reasons(gender, class, ethnicity, etc), when people had little understanding of scientific principles that explain anything from what life is to why it rains. They weren't pleasant, peaceful, tolerant times and neither is religion originated there, because religion(not spirituality) is a philosophy.
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Unread 03-30-2017, 01:31 PM   #25
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

My self worth comes from talking to myself making friends with the quirky, shy, struggling me and really getting to know and like her as if she were a friend. Cheering for her when she tries something and it works :-) comforting her when there's bad news or painful feelings. I stand up for her when she puts herself down, argue with the putter-downers; they're usually inexact and sloppy and it's easy, once you start looking at what they're saying, to make fun of them and run them off. "You're stupid" and comments like are so lame! What does that even mean? If you are going to insult me, insulting self part :-) at least give me examples with details! I can't be stupid, I graduated college! I can't be stupid, I'm arguing with you (the insulting self part) and you aren't bright enough to answer back so I'm certainly less stupid than you are!

I'm unique, and that's worth feeling good about; there isn't another with my sense of humor, honor, grit (okay, stubborness :-) and willingness to keep trying/get knocked down and get back up. We're polite and humble too!
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Unread 04-09-2017, 07:25 PM   #26
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

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Originally Posted by CantExplain View Post
Where does self-worth come from?
In my opinion, self-worth comes from how you were raised when you were little. While your brain and self-image is forming, your parents' or caretakers' methods of parenting affect how you develop both physically and emotionally. I suppose there are people who overcome this in their life and become completely emotionally healthy, but, I've never met one of them.
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Unread 04-09-2017, 08:30 PM   #27
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

I very much agree with you, Jane.
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Unread 04-20-2017, 11:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: Where does self-worth come from?

I identify with what Lizard lady says,I don't have DID or alters but my inner child is frightened of everything due to extreme neglect in childhood.Sometimes I am like a frightened abandoned child,I have never thought about what I went through as a child without feeling lost and afraid so I tried not to think about it ever.I just realised most of the abuse I tolerated as an adult was due to the fear of abandonment from experiencing abandonment as a child.I get more severe PTSD symptoms when my self esteem is low and I get triggered more then too.The frightened little girl inside me feels not good enough and that she is not worthy of attention or love or respect,after all when she most needed looking after her caregivers were mostly absent.I find it hard to say out loud the words,I deserve love and respect,cos I don't really feel that I do deserve it,my self esteem is that low.
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