THEORYThe Cult of "Self-Esteem" (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by WhisperTRP Founder

A while back, some revolutionary thinker in the field of psychology noticed that some people think that they are pretty cool, and others don't. This astonishing revelation was heralded by trumpet fanfare and a new fad sweeping the psychological community (which should tell you something about the average intellectual calibre of that profession).

Today, while the professionals have largely moved on to other, even stupider, things, this concept has lingered on in the popular concept of what psychology is, largely because it is easy to grasp, easy to explain things with, and impossible to predict anything with and thereby be proven wrong. This allows otherwise useless people to feed themselves by writing articles for Cosmo, and people who know nothing about anything to sound smarter than they are during casual conversation.

And where you encounter the words "self-esteem", you almost invariably encounter the word "women".

In fact, aliens reading random samples of earth's modern printed material could be forgiven for mistakenly thinking that "women's self-esteem" was our most precious resource, which we use to catalyze working nuclear fusion reactors, or distill to cure cancer, or something.

In fact, a lot of humans, who live on earth and should know better, seem to believe this as well. It always makes me smile when I am accused by some outraged feminist or tradcon, of "trying to lower women's self-esteem", often with the codicil "so they will be easy prey for men". (At which point she glances backwards to find a soft spot, faints dramatically , smelling salts are fetched, and a good time is had by all.)

Technically, of course, they are absolutely right. What they, and pretty much anyone else, have never thought about, however, is a simple question: What makes everyone so sure that having the highest possible self-esteem is good for you?

No one ever explained that to you, did they? They just took it as their starting point. Obviously a high self-esteem is good, and a higher self-esteem is better, so here's how you go about convincing yourself that you are best thing evaaar.

Well, yes, this is obvious, and like about 50% of obvious things, it's also dead wrong.

If you look at successful and happy people, you'll find they all have high self-esteem. That's why people are tempted to conclude that high self-esteem makes you successful and happy. This, of course, is backwards. Being happy and successful gives you high self-esteem, and it doesn't work the other way at all.

When you start to think about it this way, it becomes clear. This girl obviously thinks she's beautiful, because she has access to a mirror, and her eyes work. But if this ... whatever that is... believes the same thing, will she be happy?

She will persistently wonder why nothing ever seems to work out like she expects.

In practice, self-esteem is not like wealth (more is better), but like insulin: Too little will hurt you, but so will too much.

We live in a society and era where the male ego is systematically starved (and then called "fragile" when it exhibits signs of that starvation), while the female ego is fed, and fed, and then force-fed some more with a tube down its throat as if we were trying to produce foie gras. This means that, while both too much or too little self-worth is bad for both men and women, the most common self-esteem problem that women face is "having too much of it".

This leads women to chronic disappointment, envy of others, and most importantly, to making really bad moves in their efforts to get and keep the best relationship they can.

In my next article here, we'll discuss how to detect low and high self-esteem problems.

[–]girlwithabikeEndorsed Contributor 23 points24 points  (0 children)

About two months back u/durtyknees was working on a post that touched on the differences between self-esteem and self-respect.

Our culture is concerned with matters of self-esteem. Self-respect, on the other hand, may hold the key to achieving the peace of mind we seek. The two concepts seem very similar but the differences between them are crucial. To esteem anything is to evaluate it positively and hold it in high regard, but evaluation gets us into trouble because while we sometimes win, we also sometimes lose. To respect something, on the other hand, is to accept it.

Self respect is kindness to yourself, teaches others how to treat you, and having initiative to achieve goals for yourself rather than validation or trends.

Self esteem, in her view, is a stimulant for the hamster (Hamster Adderall!). Self esteem is promoted by the media because insecurity sells stuff. It tells us "You need this because you are worth it and deserve the best" (with the unspoken corollary that if you don't have the best then you must not be worth it).

Self esteem that is too high or too low is a form of self sabotage. Too high and you get a princess complex. If it's too low then you will convince yourself you aren't worthy of his commitment and are more likely to do all the little things that you know will make him not want to commit.

A healthy level of self esteem is theoretically possible but insecurity is a side effect of being concerned about your self esteem, so it's not a helpful thing to have.

I don't know where she disappeared off to but I'm sure she would have agreed with the premise of this post. And since I had her notes on the topic, I thought I'd share. Particularly:

In practice, self-esteem is not like wealth (more is better), but like insulin: Too little will hurt you, but so will too much.

She thought (and convinced me) that a woman should have self respect but not self esteem.

[–]zeitgirl_ 36 points37 points  (8 children)

Respectfully, your post here seems to be pure conjecture vs acknowledging the science of self-esteem. To be honest, I don't even get the impression that you actually know what self-esteem is - it's a whole lot more than a pretty girl knowing that she's pretty. You seem to be somehow confused with external validation, which is fragile at best. Self-esteem is your inner regard for yourself and has absolutely nothing to do with other people.

Self-esteem is not only the single biggest predictor of successful behavioral change, but it correlates to success in almost all facets of life - health, school, career, relationships, even happiness. What makes us sure that having the highest possible self-esteem is good for us, is the scientific evidence that you personally have either ignored or not even bothered to have read.

(which should tell you something about the average intellectual calibre of that profession).

Please define "intellectual calibre".

[–]bloobird08 15 points16 points  (3 children)

I agree. I couldn’t pinpoint why this post didn’t resonate with me but I think this is it. Like, a beautiful girl could grow up in an abusive home, or have social anxiety or some mental illness, and despite her beauty, she won’t have high self esteem because she has internal struggles. This is why you see these hot young women essentially dating losers who cheat, are below their league, or have no money- they believe deep down that they can’t do better, so they settle for these men. Beauty alone doesn’t = high self esteem

[–]ArcticFoxBunny 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I have modeled and people say I’m pretty; my parents are broken people and told me no man would ever actually love me, and if he says so it’s just a lie. I always lose people I care about because I’m afraid they will laugh and hate me if I say I need them, and meanwhile I’m told all along many assumed I was out of their league. So they never made a move, but I assumed it was because I’m unlovable. It is really unhappy.

[–]brockliz 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Agree. There is a decent simple video online which explains the “6 pillars of self esteem” which i think hits the nail on the head better than what OP discussed, as it does not focus one facet (women’s beauty) but rather multiple parts involved in the self esteem equation & what self esteem actually is. Recognizing where you stand and working on improving (self acceptance) is only one part of self esteem.

[–]reddituglygirl101 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

does that mean i'm ugly?

[–]pearlsandstilettosModerator | Pearl[M] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Argue with ideas not insults. The first half of your comment is a reasonable disagreement, the second part is petty. Let me know if you decide to remove the second part and I will reapprove.

[–]zeitgirl_ 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I have edited.

[–]pearlsandstilettosModerator | Pearl 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]mmerijn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am a little bit late on this but your comment seemed a little off to me, let me explain what I think you may be misunderstanding:

Self-esteem is not only the single biggest predictor of successful behavioral change

That is incorrect, our measures of self-esteem are the biggest predictor of these factors. This sounds like merely something semantic but allow me to explain my point with an example of something similar: Willpower.

If you are to try and find this thing we call willpower (or any other category for psychology), and take a quick look at the brain then you might be asking yourself "Where is this thing called willpower?", the answer to that question being: Exactly — it is nowhere to be found.

This is because psychology is not a measurable science that works with objective functions of the mind. Psychology instead work with models we use to help predict behavior, these models however are just useful categories and often mean nothing.

(The following statements come from personal experience so take them with a grain of salt)

The reason why that is important is because the things that cause these improvements with self-esteem is their willingness to take action to improve themselves which in people who measure low self-esteem is lower because that which we measure as low self-esteem is often accompanied by a belief that anything we do will result in failure, which in the cases that it is false reducing that belief will help them improve, however when it is true, and that is quite often the case, then making them feel more confident in their ability to succeed only harms them, at least until the source of their problems is figured out and a solution found.

Because these psychologists, and they are not as common as you might believe, believe in self-esteem the same way a cultist believes in his leader 'the cult of self-esteem' is quite an apt way to name them.

[–]CcyCV 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Wow. I totally agree, and it’s useful to explain una general way how our intergender relations ended so messed up. A while back I read a phrase “to have a high self esteem, do esteemable things”. This goes for everyone, but somehow I hadn’t put two plus two together like you did here

[–]darla10 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Real self esteem comes from overcoming struggles + cultivating emotional tolerance. You're talking about some bougie version of high self regard, or narcissism. Amy Schumer should have higher self esteem than some photoshopped wannabe model. Amy has accomplished a lot in her life. Even if you hate her comedy, you can't deny she's done more with her life than most people ever will.

[–]Happy_Holly87 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Personally, when I married my husband I was an overweight, masculine nightmare. I had an abundance of self esteem. I feel I have less now that I’ve lost weight and take care of my appearance more. Not sure how that works, maybe it’s an age thing.

[–]brockliz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s because beauty alone does not define self esteem. Self esteem is confidence in ones own abilities and worth. Aging may play a factor if you feel it diminishes your worth. You may also value certain features about yourself that (ie: your humor, intellectual side, etc) which now you are no longer nurturing (many of us seem to lose track of the parts we liked about ourselves) and if this is the case, it may be effecting how you view yourself. Regardless you cannot control your age but whatever you can control you should attempt to “take back control” to regain the confidence you once had.

[–]ArcticFoxBunny 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Perhaps you raised your standards for yourself, which isn’t a bad thing. The truly wise know how little they know.

[–]stacysmom40 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Amy Schumer is a horrible example. She has too much self esteem maybe, but she’s crying into her Benjamins about any negatives in her life.

While I agree with you that male self esteem is trampled on in our current culture, the fact is that Amy Schumer has 1000% a chance of being happy vs her “looks match” male.

Why shouldn’t she capitalize on that?

I’m not really sure how this relates to RP. It’s honestly more black pill.

[–]fatalcharm 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I would argue that Amy Schumer doesn't have much self esteem at all. I have always thought of self esteem as self value/self worth, and Amy Schumer doesn't seem to value herself. She doesn't take care of herself, has had multiple one night stands, drinks like a sailor, acts vulgar in public etc. these aren't the actions of someone who values themselves or has healthy self esteem.

[–]ArcticFoxBunny 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I am a Christian. What that means for human beings is:

-we have inherent dignity being made in the image of God. You can’t earn human dignity and no one and nothing can take it away.

-we are at the same time fallen, weak, prone to selfish mistakes (sin.)

The self esteem movement is trying to express innate human dignity, but misses the mark by thinking it follows that I should believe I can do no wrong. They haven’t figured out yet that inherent dignity and being broken and human are not mutually exclusive.

[–]bloobird08 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I feel like this post is kind of confusing? Lol. Are you saying the beautiful girl in photo is supposed has high or low? See, I think many beautiful women know they are beautiful but they’re still insecure and envious of other women in some way or form. Many women are insecure about their looks because they crave to be “perfect”. There is a reason plastic surgery is a billion dollar industry and most clients are women- and many already young and beautiful.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]bloobird08 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    The average man is a fat dude who makes 50k, so, not exactly a catch. It’s no wonder that society values beautiful woman more than the average man. To put it in vulgar terms- good pussy has high value. Some beautiful women just have low self esteem so they don’t play the game to their advantage and end up dating losers. Also the pinnacle of beauty isn’t a VS model for many men. Modeling is run by gay men and women. Many straight men prefer shorter women as they tend to shorter torsos which result in more feminine and fertile HWR and masculine men want to take care of women, and a shorter chick comes off as more submissive by default- as long as she is in shape.

    [–]red_philosopher 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Self-esteem is holding oneself in esteem, IE: you have a good opinion of yourself. It's nothing more than that. If you have a good opinion of yourself, it is likely that you treat yourself better, are more confident, etc. They are correlated but not causative.

    [–]shockinghillaryquote 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    RedPillWomen delivers great content again. A+++

    [–]randomcaqitaLization 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I am in love. Just found this subreddit, and u/Whisper, and he used insulin to explain something. Nowhere else in the world have I more felt at home. This is reverse engineering science itself, beautiful.

    [–]Pixie03103 Stars -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    I read something once that spoke about the difference between self-esteem and self-worth. It changed the way I thought about everything.

    Basically, self-esteem as a concept is flawed and fragile because it depends on external factors too heavily - attractive or not, successful or not, etc. Self-esteem will constantly fluctuate throughout life based on our failures and triumphs. It is basically not a real thing, and not a genuine measure of self, success, etc.

    Self-worth, on the other hand, is the basic concept that all human beings are equally worth something - simply on the merit of being a living, breathing, human being. Self-worth applies to every single one, male, female, young, old, beautiful, ugly, etc. It says we all deserve to be treated with dignity, not abused or taken advantage of, simply because we are human and we have intrinsic worth as living things - none more or less than the next. It makes a lot more sense than some floofy pink cloud of "self-esteem" which tells us to elevate ourselves above others based on things that are changeable and fragile.

    Ever since, I avoid the concept of self-esteem altogether in favour of the idea of self-worth. None of us deserves abuse - either from ourselves or others - but we also don't deserve to bloat our own egos up into something ridiculous. Simply be your best self and drop the BS.