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It seems like most of the women I've encountered or dated in my adult life have mega-issues in this department. Self-confidence is so sexy and powerful to me and many of the women I've met recently are so lacking in this department.

Just curious, that's all. Your thoughts?

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I think guys are like that too, they just do a better job of hiding it.


I, for one, have never had a self-esteem issue.
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Apparently their self-esteem is too low to respond.....
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LOL! :)
good point, PH... I've never really thought about it that way. Still would like to hear from the wimins!
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Well, since we're speaking in strict generalities, I think a lot of the reason women have self-esteem issues is that we get sent messages, some from men, some from each other, some from society at large, that what we look like matters more than anything, and since all of us can find flaws with ourselves, it makes us feel badly.

That's the grownup version. In terms of kids, it's been noted that 5th grade girls are really confident, their hands are raised all the time. But when they come back to school in 6th grade, they don't raise their hands b/c now what the boys think is very important, and they don't want to be shot down. And one antidote to all this is, ironically, not how the mom handles it but how the dad handles it. If he says, in that in-between summer or leading up to that time, "My daughter is so smart" she has a much better chance of retaining that confidence than if he says "my daughter is so pretty" or other comments that aren't so positive.

I used to think there was something wrong with single-sex schools but, though I'm not sure I would send my girls to one, I can understand the value of them a lot more now.
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ooohhhh...
Good topic...Single Sex schools.
Who's for em?
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But, IMHO, guys get sent many of those same types of messages. Yet we don't tend to internalize them as much.
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The ladies are 'viewed' more in public and judged more by their peers and total strangers. I think that may have something to do with it? Oh, and them stupido Victoria Secret commercials they play every 2.5 seconds probably doesn't help their self-image either.... sincerely, :stalker:
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:1: this is so frustrating and almost heartbreaking to me on a personal level. my daughter has always been a leader in her class, she gets As, very athletic, in 4th grade this year. The boys have recently began to punish her verbally because she has outdone them in the gym and on the track time and time again. To be a girl and to be on the same or higher athletic level as a boy becomes a curse and she is getting that message loud and clear from her peers. Her confidence in both school and soccer has plummeted, gone thru the floor, she has not a good word to say about herself;in her words -- she is stupid, ugly, and fearful of facing off with a boy on the soccer field. She refuses to go out for spring soccer. --believe it -- kids take what other kids say straight to their hearts. altho she is smart, she has not qualified for the "goal" program in our school and she tells me that the "goal" children tell her that they aren't smarter than she, they are just steps AHEAD of her. So, now she feel stupid. A child with straight As tells me she is too stupid to be in Goal. I believe this can be a self-fullfilling prophecy geeze, don't even mention the "physical" part of this scenario. she is bombarded with perfection in a physical sense, everywhere she looks. hair, skin, body, clothes, it's all perfect and it's all very real to her. this is just beginning; and i can see a snowball forming in the 4th grade already. in these moments at school, i feel like everthing i have ever told her is moot. the kids' opinion (specifically boys) rule her psyche. her dad and i now are trying to undo what is being done in school. you ask where the self esteem issues come from -- it starts here--regretfully, i think she is a "textbook" case.

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6880 posts
I think there might be a difference in what girls WANT besides the negativity of TV ads and image shaping. I was lucky enough to go through 12 years with mostly the same people. The girls who were smart in the first grade were still smart in high school. I felt they generally out performed most of us guys. My favorite dancing partner in the 5th and 6th grade retired from the navy as a captain. I think the only reason she didn't get her flag is because she took a break from the navy to raise her children then went back in. I was at the top of the class from the first grade through the 6th, then came junior high where we were supposed to do H-O-M-E-W-O-R-K. I never did any and squeezed by anyway. I was too busy with my other interest which was my job at the local radio/TV shop learning electronics. In the 8th grade they gave us something called an IQ test and I was in trouble!!!! "With an IQ like that he should be getting all As instead of mostly Cs and Ds." I did get all As in one class, physics. I was too shy to raise my hand in class and always tried to hide behind a taller person in the classroom. I joined the army to get the electronics training I wanted and was well on the way to graduating at the top of my class with a 97.8% grade average. Then two electrical engineers who were drafted after college joined the class for the last month and took the top two spots. The army decided this teenager who was too shy to raise his hand in high school should become a teenage instructor at the school. That was the end of being shy. In retirement I work for the local school system and we have some outstanding girls in sports and academics. I think the girls may be outdoing the boys, they just don't seem to brag about it as much. My RNP at the VA is female and so is my family doctor along with all the other technicians I meet at her office. The engineer who heads up our town water/sewer department is a woman. The head of the east coast division of the electronics company I worked for 15 years ago was a woman. I think it's a misconception that women don't do well and is mainly used as a great point for politicians to gain some advantage.

We like to say that girls are always beset with the idea they need large breasts but how about boys? It seems they all worry that their penis is too small, of course that isn't a point in TV advertising like big breasts. Although great pecs and abs are certainly oohed and aahed over on TV by the women in the audience who want to see a shirtless man. Why don't the guys in the audience have an equal opportunity to see shirtless girls? LOL.
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In this supposed 'PC/everyone's equal' era, I still see ALOT of discrimination towards women in the business world. It's hard to ignore.
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This is a good question Sonny. I wish I had some solid answers for you, but I left Psyc101 behind 16 years ago at FSU. However, I don't know how much of that jargin we all should believe, for I think it can all be a bunch of theoretical c**p. I think there are so many factors that effect the self esteem/self confidence of women. I'll list them: upbringing experience or lack of it interactions with people throughout life the role models you had or didn't have parents/teachers peers maturity personality I for one have always suffered from a poor self esteem. I swear I was born that way. I have always been insecure with who I am, the decisions I make, the way I look, etc. I can remember this from the time I could talk and early interactions with people. I think it came from the day I was born and my struggles as a baby to stay alive for many months. I really do. My upbringing was ok. My parents divorced and that left me very sad for years. I was one of the only kids with divorced parents. I struggled in school. This lack of good experiences there caused me to always feel "below" all the rest. I had some interactions with people throughout my life who never "set me up" to succeed. Why that is, I'm not sure? A teacher never remembering my first name correctly. A parent who never paid as much attention to me as they did my younger brother. A parent who was absent from my life for many years. Peers who would constantly pick on me from day to day. Looking back I was very immature and handled things poorly. I dwelled on the negative and kept my head low for many years. It seemed to be easier to feel sorry for myself. All these things affected the person I was/the person I am today. I find that as I've grown I've become more self-confident. Some of it comes from experience and some of it from maturity. I know that I care far less about what other people think now than I did when I was in HS. Perhaps it's because I just don't have the time to care. That's why I always make it a point to be understanding, considerate and caring of other's thoughts...opinions and try to be positive. In doing so, I don't place a negative affect other peoples lives. I try my best to be this way with my children. How effective I am? I'm not sure. I seem to be already struggling with one of my children who displays poor self confidence. It's such a wild thing really. All I've ever done is try to "set her up" in her 8 years in life. I know there are many factors to it. It amazes me to this day how it can affect/effect your everything you do in your life. NOLEPSYCH101 is over for the day. Too much thinking for me.
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noley,
except for the fact that your parents were divorced, you could have been my twin sister.
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Culture, upbringing, hormones are my top three.

Yes, men go through a lot of the same issues, but we have hormones you couldn't ever imagine. (I know you guys have some pretty bad ones, too)

Since our hormones are often tied with pregnancy/menstrual cycles, we're always dealing with hormone surges.

Culture: many cultures outside of the US still raise their daughters as subservient to men. When they hit America it is very difficult to integrate equality with men. (Although I think lack of self esteem is far more ingrained than cultural upbringing, it doesn't help any at all)

Upbringing: Was the son the star of the home (see culture above)? Was she ever molested/sexually abused/emotionally abused? These things leave permanent scars for both men and women--where they have difficulty seeing themselves as more than a toy, an object to be used.

I think with such a "physical perfection" society we live in, as someone said earlier, women are very conscious of their flaws. So, if weight is demonized, a women who even thinks she is overweight feels she has no place in society, no right to be sexual, no right for love--even though she wants these things desperately. Same thing if her boobs are too big, too small. Same thing if she has an unnatractive facial feature.

Confidence comes by accepting ourselves through our own eyes, not the eyes of those around us. Coming to terms and enjoying who we are. Being proud of our every accomplishment. Seeing ourselves as God would see us.
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While I agree completely with every thought on here, I must say I'm not lacking in the self-confidence department, and I doubt too many of the women on here are. I think parents are the biggest positive influence. You can't buffer what happens out there, but you can definitely help prop them up. (and part of self confidence is failing, and how you handle it)

Rolling Rock...I have no doubt your daughter watches you run, and is learning from that. She may struggle with if she should be better, and then what happens when nature takes over and the guys are better, but she'll learn how to enjoy sports and how winning is not always being first from you. You may not see those results now, but you will.

And just for the record...I've always thought the opposite as Sonny Lax. It seems like many men put on this brave front, but have some self esteem issues themselves. I don't think it's gender specific at all.
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