Self-Esteem versus Other-Esteem

Self-esteem is something we learn about ourselves while we are young.  Caregivers (mothers, fathers, babysitters, teachers, classmates) mirror back to the child what they see in him or her; good or bad.  An example of this may be a mother smiling back at her child  when the child is smiling  and conversely the mother might ignore or frown at the smile of her child….each of these examples show how the child learns to perceive himself and his self worth based upon what he sees in the mirror.  There are various ways in which we learn to appreciate ourselves and love ourselves, but when a child does not receive the positive mirroring he or she deserves and is given negative mirroring in it’s place, the child does not learn to perceive himself as worthy, capable and lovable and in the place of self-esteem, the child grows up with other-esteem.  Other-esteem, just like it sounds, is based upon what the individual has, how they look, what car they drive, what job they have, how much money the have, and how popular they may be.

Self-Esteem cannot be taken from you, it is yours to have and know of your value.  Other-Esteem can be taken away in an instant and leaves the individual feeling alone, broken, helpless, worthless and unlovable.


Rosalind Cardia, LMFT  can be reached at

OFFICE:  408-608-8007



FACEBOOK:  Rosalind Cardia, Marriage & Family Therapist






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