Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Self-Image vs. Self-Esteem

There is one great thing about interacting with folks who contend with certain challenges, they are great for BLOG content and evaluation of our personal growth.

The difference between self-esteem and self-image may sometimes seem subtle, but it is actually quite huge. Self-image is a facade, a mask if you will, and is dependent on the ego for protection in order to preserve how we see ourselves when feeling attacked. A person who has a high self image is extremely volnerable as almost every interaction in the World is under constant evaluation as a potential attack. This person has a certain view of themselves and any stimulus that is contrary to that view threatens to knock them off the pedestal that they have placed themselves on.

When an interaction is seen as an attack, the ego is immediately employed in order to preserve the self-image. It can sometimes take the tone of "victim", or even an offensive roll with vicious and overreactive lashing out verbally or even physically. The person who is constantly in a mode of self-preservation of this false self-image is in a neverending state of fight or flight.

A person with a healthy level of self-esteem, does not see everything as a potential attack and therefore a self-defense mechanism, like the ego, is not needed. This is the rational individual who will evaluate the information for what it is worth. While the information may be contrary to their personal opinion or belief, it is not seen as a threat. This person is comfortable with who they are and does not rely on the approval of others in order to be "OK" with themselves. They have nothing to prove and acceptance by others is not a requirement in the process of their own well-being. Inadvertently because of their certain unspoken self-confidence, they are typically accepted by most without trying. Why, because they are genuine in their behavior and mannerisms.

The self-image person lives in their own personal hell with each interaction in the outside World being a threat to their false self-image. It must be really hard to always be in a state of fight or flight on an emotional level. I can only imagine that at this level of an ever-vigilant emotional state of self-defense, one must often feel exhausted mentally and emotionally. The adrenal, hypothalamus, and pituitary glands being over taxed can only take so much before they just shut down from overload.

I could be way off base, but this is how I see it.


Blogger Anocsanamun said...

wow I think ur right about this

9:06 AM  
Blogger Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

Are you talking about me? Are you talking about me? ... you bastard

1:24 PM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...


1:26 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

LOL funny macmillan!

So you see myself as mangled huh? :-D
Thanks for stopping have a very nice blog.


9:58 PM  

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