Science started with the uncensored motive to understand, and they called it magic.
So shall we explore another childhood notion?
Coloring! Coloring. We want to be able to see out in our world what is in our head. This is why children often “use the wrong color.” It’s not the wrong color. They want to see that character with a green face, or the tree if it were blue.
I never did! I was pretty keen to make trees green and sky blue. And some children do indeed want to see if they can reproduce order.
Does that say I was too literal or what? No such thing. What that says about you is simple. You like peace. You have likely always looked for comfortable places to be, found ways to make yourself and other people comfortable, and likely are often the sympathetic ear for people with hurt feelings. That’s what your coloring style said about you.
So if we take the coloring activity into adult life, we would understand that everyone makes things their own color. Colors the world the way they want to, and diversifying our own sense of color, or what something means or could mean, well… If it’s ok for the sky to be green and the earth blue, what would that mean about adult responsibility?
Perhaps no one person is meant to be responsible for everything? And that different people can be responsible for different things based on how they see things as an individual? Someone who favors the reverse color scheme might make a fine historian. The passion for things past, things behind us, is in a sense the world reversed, no? So why dictate peoples color pallets? What would that serve?
It would serve those with the same colors? Serve those who want to draw the whole world, and be the only one winning the coloring contest. Is that in the best interests of the adult world, really?
So see how this relates to self-esteem? Self-esteem is the experience of self, not thoughts of self. When you interact with people, what are you usually reacting to?
Maybe the first impression they gave you upon meeting them? I think most of us live with an unspoken question, and we quietly demand the answer. “Who do you think you Are!?” Is this unfair to say? First impressions always reflect the persons rehearsed behavior. You can get their self-image quickly. You may never see their real self or have any sense of their self-esteem. What if instead of trying to figure out who that person thinks they are, we try to get a feel for how they feel about being who they think they are. How is being who they think they are affecting them? Wouldn’t that be more useful?
We’d make more friends. I find in my dealings with people, when there is a disagreement between who someone thinks they are and their self-esteem, it takes just a simple thing spoken, a moment of genuine recognition, and they readily, even eagerly drop the self-image. People hate being who they think they are, and although they are afraid of the experience of being who they are, it’s also the thing they want to the deepest core of their being.
I think they want to know the other person can relate. Shy people may open up to other shy people and find they aren’t shy at all with each other but still might shy away from others at a busy party. Exactly, but I can also speak to shy people, and it isn’t by relating to their shy self-image. I sit quietly with shy people, and I watch what they are doing because they actually talk a lot. It’s just body language. I make a point of letting them see my body language as well, smiles, frowns, and I find that shy people tend to be some of the most empathetic people there are. The simple fact that I don’t try to hide worry around them makes them open up.
I use my own experience not to try to pump up my own image but just because it’s the only real knowledge I have to work with, and I wonder if you can relate to it also. I worry sometimes that my intention in doing that in class isn’t clear.
So any questions or comments about self-esteem as I have described it?
I worry my questions will give the wrong idea, but I’m starting to see that offending someone isn’t the end of the world. If they come back, it’s a good sign. The only thing we have to avoid is not offending people, but being blind to our own attitudes. Sometimes we struggle to say a useful or helpful thing, and sometimes we are really just being cranky or contemptuous and it isn’t worth saying to someone.
I don’t ask to poke fun. I ask when I want to understand clearly. Yes, the intention is everything. If you don’t lose sight of that then you are doing the right thing. Even if the first question doesn’t work, the next one might.
So has my description of self-esteem and the need of it versus self-image and the problems involved in it made sense?
Yes, esteem is more truthful than image. I found it a very useful distinction. I feel it’s an important distinction.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.