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Self Esteem

July 17, 2014

One of the great false assumptions of many self-help ideas is the idea that it is all in your control, how you feel about things. It is simply not true. It is chance and accident that decide on much of your circumstances, and it is that which predominately determines how you feel about things.

Let me give an example: Just by virtue of not happening to hold in high esteem certain things that other people do, you put yourself in a position of people not getting on with you, and not esteeming you. But this itself has physiological effects on your mood and your levels of self-esteem when amongst other people.

You cannot control or choose what you happen to esteem in life. Far from it, for the most part, if you don’t forcibly go along with the dominant social trends of esteem you are cast aside. Much of “culture” is a form of blackmail of this kind of people scared to be cast aside.

From acting cool, going out drinking and smoking, to driving a car, working a 9 to 5 job, to looking for a partner to settle down in a house with and have children. These are the things you are expected to esteem, and its a simple form of cash blackmail to scare you in to line.

The cash may as well say on it: safely earned in a 9 to 5 job to drive a car around, smoke, drink and have children. For, the cash is no more than a token gesture symbolising these very things.

Now I don’t currently “belong” in this “culture”. And have in fact never much been interested by it. But you cannot avoid it, unless you avoid people altogether. In my own self, away from other people and this culture, I have plenty of self-esteem and am a happy individual. But put me in this culture, as I inevitably have to collide with it most days, most of the time. And, of course, I feel depressed, my self-esteem goes down, etc, etc..

I cannot relate, I am not a member of the gang, I don’t have the tokens. If I could get away from it all I would, but where am I supposed to go? So I just have to grin and bear it from day to day. Where in all this am I getting to choose how I feel about things? Choice only comes via the tokens, but I don’t have any, or any desire to acquire them, given the cultural blackmail involved in the whole thing. In a culture that would have me esteem things I simply refuse to esteem.

I can’t choose how to feel about all this, I am fated/destined to alternate anger, discontent and depression about it. I would rather be honest with myself and start to come to terms with this reality I am confronted with, rather than kid myself with self-help fantasies of controlling my feelings generically in all circumstances.

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