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Coach---> <---Noley
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Nice responses here. I've always had and probably always will have esteem issues. Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, whatever. There's always something.

It's hard raising a daughter in this day. All these skinny things parading around in next to nothing on tv and on billboards. Peer pressure too. I'm doing the best that I can, and I know there have been times I didn't even do it the best I could. I'm just a mom trying to make it work, trying to do the right thing and I fall short of the mark too often.

I do think that for a lot of kids, they do get their value from outside their family. I try to explain what real friends are to her, but she doesn't get it yet. It's about popularity, not a friendship that will stand the test of time...

It was hard growing up when I did; I cannot imagine it being any easier today...
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I don't think there is a difference between men and women with self esteem. The problem is men with low self esteem can still be big brutes and just sheer size and being a SOB gets them through life well enough to earn a living, cohort with buddies and generally get the nod from much of society that they're okay. But women on the other hand are not able to brutalize their way day to day and cover up their low self esteem. Don't get me wrong, some do, but by and large, laying low and come out on the short end of life is more often the case.

My perceptions right now are somewhat tinted from trying to understand battered women. I've been involved as a volunteer with my United Way and the agency that helps these ladies. And it just blows my mind why they just don't leave! But self esteem is so huge in these situations. A low self esteem thug of a husband needs to control his wife with uncomprehendible force and the low self esteem wife can't comprehend how life can be different.

The only solution I can see is education. Not just by those trained to help in already difficult situations, but by you and me, volunteering and being active in our communites to demonstrate how proper esteemed people function and succeed.
It's a tough issue. Good thread Sonny.
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And it just blows my mind why they just don't leave! But self esteem is so huge in these situations.


I think a lot of women don't leave because they've seen the guy be nice, and think that they can/will be the one to fix this man. They think that with them, it will be different. It's because all the other women in his life failed, but they will succeed where the others didn't. Sadly, that is rarely the case.


A low self esteem thug of a husband needs to control his wife with uncomprehendible force and the low self esteem wife can't comprehend how life can be different.


Funny, I find this in religious settings all the time. A man controls his wife through unBiblical spritual threats/domination. And weak pastors do it from their pulpit.

It is almost more offensive to me when a man uses God's name to dominate the women in his life in order to bend to the man's (certainly not God's) will. This is a really sore spot as we have one of these a$$clowns in our family. Uses God as a weapon, and wields it mightily and often.
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Jrjo, I think it's great you're doing such volunteering.

I think another big component of it is financial, which ties right along with your idea about education. A woman who thinks she's undeserving of anything usually isn't educated enough to get a decent job, so she can't make ends meet with just her own salary, especially when she has kids. She stays for the same reason a lot of unbattered people stay--$.

Great thread.
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Just to add to the debate:

My wife and I constatly told my daughter she was a VERY bright young lady and not to listen to ANYONE who said differently. A couple of times in grammar school she said "I'm so dumb, I'm just stupid" We had to remind her no one in our house said that and she sould not be listening to others anyway. We always urged our daughter to do anything she wanted to. I'm happy to say she is doing extremely well in college (close to a 4.0 her 1st semester).

That said, I've known a lady who is extremely fit, poised and professional in a very demanding job. Yet, because of an abusive relationship 20+ years ago still feels inadequate. To overcome this, she had to keep her weight down even going the eating disorder route. This is a person who, six months after her child was born, competed in body building competitions with less than 6% body fat. I used to tell her she has accomplished way more than lots of people but I suppose it was not enough to overcome past experiences.

I'm always amazed at how supposedly mature, confident, and very smart women can buy into some stupid bill of goods. Despite mass media's efforts they do not need to be a Size 5, they do not need bigger yavos. A bright smile, good conversation, and a positive attitude towards themselves will get me any day.

Andy

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I'll hang around with you any day Andy!

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Well guys are not immune to that either. Many think having a huge penis and great pecs is the secret of life. Particularly during the school years but some even after. Of course girls get hit for both having tiny boobs and large ones. I remember a couple girls in my class who had larger than normal boobs and they were called awful nicknames.
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And as a white male... I see tons of "reverse discrimination." Happens every single day in corporate America. It's like I'm an endangered species or something.
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As a single male, I totally agree Andy!

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ooohhhh... Good topic...Single Sex schools. Who's for em?
I went to an all-girls highschool, and I was pretty self-confident, even though my awkward stage lasted all 4 years. I was confident about the important stuff: my intelligence, competence, independence, etc... I had a rude awakening when I went away to college, however, when I realized that the rest of the world didn't work the same way as my highschool. And, mind you, I went to Cal Berkeley & double-majored in Women's Studies/Psychology. There is a history here of deeply-ingrained sexist attitudes towards women. Coupled with that is a learned behavior among women to compete for attention & validation (could be a by-product of the 2nd wave of the Feminist movement, which I wholeheartedly wish didn't happen the way it did--in some ways, it really set us back). As much as we strive for solidarity, we are, in a lot of ways, divided because we must maintain a balance between being taken seriously as women, and being taken seriously as individuals. So we compare ourselves to others, sometimes critical, sometimes hopeful for what others have--this is not, by any means, exclusive to female behavior, but it is somewhat more salient considering "the history". This is even worse in office environments, where women are the minorities in power positions. Yes, men and their respective insecurities are also targets in the media, but centuries of male dominance tends to outweigh the occasional nab at receding hairlines and erectile dysfuction.
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I've also been thinking that males are not encouraged societally to reveal their weaknesses. So, a low self-esteem is seen as a weakness and asserts itself in other ways.


Also: due in part to some of the feminist movement (I am not as well versed as Pbello--but I do know enough to know that some very good things came from the feminist movement) women don't always have a place in the world.

For example, as a stay-at-home mom, you lose contact with the working women/moms. You are out of touch and sometimes feel that you have no place in the world.

As a childless working woman, you feel you are missing out, looked down upon because you have no kids.

As a working mom, you feel you are neglecting your family and sometimes feel vilified by those moms who stay at home.

And if you throw church into the mix, depending on beliefs/denomination, you feel vilified for not having enough kids, for not home-schooling, for not staying at home, for a whole list of things.

So, where do you belong?

(These are generalizations, not all women feel like this, but it is to show the confusion women can feel)
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hmmm, good question. i was wondering about this too. probably a lot has to do with environment and how one is expected to respond, whether it's beauty, intelligence... women are very sensitive and want to please, in my opinion, and if they don't feel like they're pleasing the people in their lives i think many times they look at themselves and say if only i was better at this or that...and then ask for confirmation that indeed they're ok....then it's important for you to make her feel good about herself. let's say she says, man, my tummy is fat. and you're like not this again. well, look at her tell her what YOU like.


men are sensitive too, but they prove themselves differently. i think more competitve.
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I totally agree with Kattzoo. I think it's a human thing, not a gender thing.
After all, in the same way society dictates what women should look, act, and be like, it sets forth standards for men that are equally difficult to achieve. Men are supposed to be big and strong and tough and have a full head of hair and make a lot of money. I know lots of guys who wish they were taller or buffer or had more hair and are actually quite insecure about those things.
I think the difference is that women are more vocal about their insecurities. For men who are trying to live up to the standard of being tough, talking about their insecurities defeats the purpose.
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Also like kattzoo, I have no self esteem issues, and that can be weird too because women are expected to have them. So maybe it's partially a fitting in thing - if you are too comfortable with yourself it's strange, because you can't commiserate and relate. Even though men all say they want a confident girl, I've actually been told that I'm intimidating because I'm so confident. :? :fubby: <----- this is intimidating?
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