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We Are Living in a Generation Where People Confuse Fame With Self-Esteem

We Are Living in a Generation Where People Confuse Fame With Self-Esteem

Self-renowned fame is becoming more and more common in today’s culture due to the influx of social media, and the “fame” that it inspires. Many employers require that you have a certain level of “following” in order to qualify for various positions, because of the traffic that you will bring to the company. It pays to be admired; but seeking this level of prestige can be detrimental to your self-esteem.

How, do you ask? How could you possibly have low self-esteem if you are adored by your peers? Well the fact of the matter is that there are two types of self-esteem. The genuine, empowering self-love that is inspired from within yourself; and the superficial self-esteem that is generated by external sources such as fame, riches and popularity. We calculate our self-worth by the level of prestige that we are able to achieve.

There are a few distinct characteristics that determine true self-esteem, versus fake self-esteem.

How we portray ourselves in public.

True self-esteem: People who are true to themselves don’t feel the need to show off or show face. They’re not afraid to admit their faults and if nothing else, they know how to embrace them. They understand that they are perfectly imperfect, and that’s okay. Others can feel free to judge through their own imperfect eyes.

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Fake self-esteem: Imperfection is a sign of weakness, and is completely unacceptable. They will go to great lengths to portray the image of flawlessness, and will often flaunt their fame and wealth. They will put others down for not having what they have, and will make sure that others recognize that they possess the best of the best.

Making time for the things that matter.

True self-esteem: Regardless of how busy you are, you will always find the time for the people and things that matter to you most. My father used to always say to me, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” And it’s true. The busiest people will always manage to schedule time for the important things.

Fake self-esteem: They can’t be bothered. They are too busy “chasing paper” and hanging with the elite. They will disregard the people who were always there for them, because they no longer fit into their prestigious lifestyle. Their old friends and family are expected to understand that they are simply too busy for them because they have more important matters to attend to.

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Understanding others.

True self-esteem: They take the time to understand others; their motives, intentions, and underlying aspects that inspire their actions. They don’t assume to know anyone’s situation, and are always sure to ask before making a judgment.

Fake self-esteem: They assume that they know anyone’s situation without actually taking the time to ask or understand them. Anyone who is less fortunate than them just hasn’t tried hard enough, and deserve whatever difficulties have come their way.

How we handle issues.

True self-esteem: When faced with problems, they challenge them head-on, admitting fault when need be in order to find a solution.

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Fake self-esteem: They will avoid and downplay problems, employing coping mechanisms such as denial to brush aside issues and never really deal with them. Out of sight, out of mind. Who said that? I can’t hear you.

Staying true to ourselves.

True self-esteem: They have come to terms with and have accepted themselves, imperfections and all. They don’t allow adversity to alter their sense of self, and stick to their guns when put to the test. They have a strong belief system that they always adhere to, cause at the end of the day they know they have to face themselves.

Fake self-esteem: These people will very easily abandon their morals, because their moral compass is extremely fragile to begin with. They will sacrifice their values in order to achieve the fame or riches that they desire.

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Today’s vision of success has become morbidly skewed.

So who set the standard for what it means to be successful? In our society, success is not tangible unless we have something to show for it. A nice car, big house, or designer apparel or accessories. And now there is a new factor thrown into the mix. A following. If you don’t have a large following, then you must not be successful, because no one is paying attention to what you are doing.

It is sadly common for people to degrade themselves in order to achieve the fame and success that they so desire. Women are posting incredibly risqué photos on the internet just to attract attention and rack up their likes and following count. While I’m not hating. If you got it, and you’re comfortable flaunting it, do your thing. But some people are pushing themselves way outside of their comfort zone and abandoning their morals to achieve these stats; losing themselves in the process.

It’s time to start being real.

In order to get back in touch with our true selves and shake this “fake self-esteem”, we need to distance ourselves for this need for social media fame.

  • When we stop putting ourselves out there for recognition, the need for feedback depletes itself.
  • Learn to live in the moment. Don’t calculate your day around your social media posts, basing your actions on what kind of reaction you think that you are going to get from your followers.
  • Stop living through a screen. Take a look at the world around you. Speak to the people around you. Have a real, genuine conversation that will lead to a real, genuine experience.

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

What is a narcissistic personality?

Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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Traits of a narcissist:

  • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
  • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
  • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
  • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
  • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

How are narcissists different from others?

Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

Why do people become narcissists?

1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

How to deal with a narcissist?

1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

8. Learn when to walk away.

When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

Reference

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