May 17, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am #603451
Could an adult who never had self esteem learn how to so they could stand up for themselves and not be taken advantage of. And if so how does someone go about it.May 17, 2012 1:28 am at 1:28 am #875316
Lots and lots of Dr Twerski booksMay 17, 2012 2:24 am at 2:24 am #875317
Read books and/or find a good therapist.
If you would like book suggestions there are some here:May 17, 2012 2:53 am at 2:53 am #875318
Syag Lchochma: Which books from Dr. Twerski help self esteem issues?May 17, 2012 3:20 am at 3:20 am #875319
Most of his 60 plus books are on self esteem. He himself says that he just wrote the same book over in different ways. If you want I would be happy to list the ones I got the most from, but Ive read almost all of them.May 17, 2012 3:51 am at 3:51 am #875320
Syag Lchochma: I would like to see what he says about how to raise self esteem. If you can tell me the book(s) you got the most from, I would appreciate it.May 17, 2012 5:05 am at 5:05 am #875321
develop a strong relationship with your parentsMay 17, 2012 6:01 am at 6:01 am #875322
Books are nice. But ive never found them to help for more then a couple of days. If your serious about this, i would recommend seeing a therapist as he can tailor to your needs exactly as opposed to a book which talks about people in general.May 17, 2012 6:48 am at 6:48 am #875323
I am opposed to therapy as I do not believe that we need to look for solutions for tachaluey hanephesh outside the bounds of the Torah (sorry if this sounds puritanical)May 17, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am #875324
far east: if a book is really good, then the trick is to read it multiple times. I believe it will work, and it’s a lot cheaper than therapist.May 17, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am #875325
Strong inter-personal relationships, in general, can foster better self esteem. However, it may not be possible to do so with specific people, such as ones parents. They might be deceased or rebuff any attempts at closeness.
One of the reasons therapy can be so helpful to someone with low self esteem is that the therapist provides unconditional acceptance of the person. A truly professional therapist will convey the message of “feedback not failure” (NLP premise). So, a person can then see themselves as being on a path striving to be better, rather than being a success or a failure at any given point in time.
I read that true self esteem doesn’t come from our possessions or accomplishments, for those are fleeting. It comes from the growing recognition that we have the capacity within ourselves to manage ourselves and our lives. This recognition of this capacity can grow with our setting small manageable goals for ourselves and then seeing them through.May 17, 2012 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #875326
Self-esteem is another way of saying self-obsessed. Stop making yourself the center of the universe.May 17, 2012 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #875327
Having regard for oneself is very different than being obsessed with oneself.
Yussel- you are citing extremes.May 17, 2012 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #875328
Be true to yourself. Do a self evaluation. Are what you think, say and do consistent? If not you need change.May 17, 2012 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #875329
computer777 – When I read his books I worked on internalizing them, thinking about how his words apply to me and how I can change. It really made a big difference. The books I personally found most useful in that way were:
When do the good things start – for a good intro to personality types
Life’s too short
Self improvement? I’m Jewish
Angels don’t leave footprints
He also deals with bringing more meaning into your life (spiritually) which I found helped tremendously in giving me an understanding of what our role is (and isn’t) as people, and how to turn to Hashem for strength and approval. I see this step as important in supporting you while you grow/change. My favorite books in that category are:
The enemy within
Dearer than life
His Haggada is also amazing.May 17, 2012 5:52 pm at 5:52 pm #875330
Hire someone to stand up for you and call you Rebbe. It might be cheaper than a therapist. I don’t think your insurance will pay for it, though.
PCOZ, the Torah was not given to teach you how to be happy, even if a life dedicated to Torah does give happiness. While someone who learned a lot of Torah, especially Lishma, has keen senses and can help people with personal issues, it is not what he learned as much as what he became.
Don’t lump all non-chemical aspects into one category. There is a Neshama, Ruach, and Nefesh. The Nefesh itself has Ruchnius aspects and Gashmius aspects. Feelings are in the realm of those who study feelings and Hashkafa are the business of those who study Hashkafa. One may influence the other, but they aren’t one and the same.
Nutrition affects feelings, too. You wouldn’t refuse a knowledgable nutritionist’s warning of a blood-pressure raising food by saying that for feelings you consult a therapist.May 17, 2012 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #875331
Therapists train to help people deal with emotional issues; rabbonim with religious issues.
Would you go to a therapist to paskin your kashrus shailah? So why go to a rav for an emotional issue?
If a rav also trains to help those with mental health issues, as Rabbi Twerski has, then all the better. If not, I’d choose a professional knowledgeable in the area of my struggle.
Also, having someone else stand up against those who harass you will only serve to dis-empower you.May 17, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #875332
It is trendy to be self-confident, that does not mean that the Torah thinks there is something wrong with someone who is not self confident. Rb Matithyahu Salmon says if a child is embarrased to get up on stage we tell them don’t be embarrassed! He says, why not, shalosh midos ba’umah zu, rachmanim bayshanim gomlei chasadim!
The most any therapist will ever tell you at the end of the day is that you have to clarify your relationship with your parents. If you spend the money you would have spent on a therpist patching up your relationship with your parents you will be 6 streets ahead and be mekayem a mitzva in the process.
Most parents are not that crazy that if their child is trying to get along with them then they will slam the door in their face. Even if a person’t parents are deceased it is still possible to be machebd them by finding out what their minhogim were and trying to keep them, learning leiluy nishmas etc.
I am not spurning therapy all together but I think it is better kept for clinical cases (e.g. chemical imbalance etc).May 18, 2012 3:22 am at 3:22 am #875333
Being mechabed, lo aleinu, ones deceased parents will not resolve deep rooted self esteem issues.
If a child is, c’v, raised in an orphanage (and has no knowledge or contact with his parents) he is not pre-destined to live a life with low self esteem.May 18, 2012 4:04 am at 4:04 am #875334
There is a difference between having to reconstruct a human being and going into therapy becuase ‘I have low self esteem’May 18, 2012 4:28 am at 4:28 am #875335
PCOZ, chemical balance is not for psychological therapy. For that one needs medication.
Self confidence is the normal, natural emotional state of not having negative feelings about yourself. The Chovos Halevavos says that the kind of Hachna’a that comes from actually being week and subdued is not a special Mida. That is like the animal in a yoke, that happens to be aware of the fact that there is a yoke over him. An Oved Hashem has a Lev Nishbar, knowing that he does not come close to completion, and has, alongside that, a great Simcha and positive disposition, realizing his great purpose and aware of his abilities.
Self confidence is about realizing your abilities, not your achievements. Realizing achievements may help you to realize your abilities. Lack of self confidence is not a Maala in any sense.May 18, 2012 4:36 am at 4:36 am #875336
Also, I don’t believe in chemical imbalance. There is not a shred of evidence that any psychological disorder under the sun is caused by a chemical imbalance.
The evidence they usually cite is that people who are suffering from different psychological disorders will have more or less of different chemicals. This proves nothing.
They neglect to ask whether it is the chemical which is causing the disorder, or the disorder which is causing the chemical. The brain does everything through chemicals. When it wants you to be hungry, it releases chemicals. When it wants you to be angry, it releases chemicals. When it wants you to sleep, it releases chemicals. When it wants you to be sad, it releases chemicals.
So of course depressed people show different chemicals. Because that is how the brain tells the body to be depressed–by releasing chemicals. Why does the brain tell the body to be depressed? Because something is in your past or present which should make you depressed.
Just like when someone cuts you off, your brain releases chemicals which make you angry and make your heart pound. Does the guy cut you off because of the chemicals, or do the chemicals come because the guy cuts you off?May 18, 2012 4:53 am at 4:53 am #875337
There is no way that the modern attitude to ‘self confidence’ has anything to do with anything that people considered a maalah or a chisaron in Europe in the 1800’s. There is not one of the classical baalei mussar who talks about the modern symptoms of what we call not being self confident. Just becuase you are in a society where people have set a certain norm and you do not fit into that norm does not mean that there is something wrong with you or that you can’t live happily your entire life doing what you are good at in the way that you do it.May 18, 2012 5:02 am at 5:02 am #875338
popa: The point isn’t what caused whether or not biochemical fluctuations cause psychological disorders. I happen to agree with you that they don’t. Regardless of causation, though – the point is that since they are linked, rectifying the chemical imbalance is a way to artificially stimulate psychological health. Of course, if the underlying emotional causes aren’t also dealt with, this is no more than suppression. But sometimes that artificial stimulation is necessary in order to bring one to be able to deal with the underlying issues. The key is using the two methods properly in conjunction.May 18, 2012 5:08 am at 5:08 am #875339
pcoz: Self-esteem vs. self-confidence. Know the difference.May 18, 2012 5:31 am at 5:31 am #875340
It’s possible to be depressed without a reason why. Not every emotion is situationally based (whether past or present). A person with bipolar/manic depression doesn’t necessarily have a background or life that provides more highs and lows. Furthermore, the mania and depression would likely not dissipate with meds if it were largely based on situation, not biochemical imbalance.May 18, 2012 5:34 am at 5:34 am #875341
Did you get any information that was helpful?
I think role playing situations where you have confrontations might be helpful. Try to think of people who have good self esteem and imagine how they would respond (stand, walk, talk, etc) in these situations. Try to act “as if” in the privacy of your own home.May 18, 2012 5:39 am at 5:39 am #875342
Don’t worry you are’nt being “puritanical”
A kuntrus containing a small amount of Rav Shlomo Wolbe’s letters was published in ny his Shloshim, in this Kuntrus Rav Wolbe zt”l has a lengthy letter in which he explains in detail that phsycology is the cause of Kefira in Bechira. Rav Wolbe zt”l goes so far as to state that battiling phsycology is actually the “milchomo” of our generation.
Interestingly Dr. Sam Harris a prominent neurologist recently published a Book attacking the notion of Free Will an he makes the point that most of his conclusions are simply taking much of the underpinnings of phsycological thought to thier logical conclusions.May 18, 2012 9:57 am at 9:57 am #875343
From my personal experience,I believe that it`s emotionally dangerous to seek advice from a Rov that has not been trained to understand emotional issues.
I have on 2 separate occasions from 2 different Rabbonim received a directive that I felt was emotionally impossible to put into practice.On one occasion I contacted a psychotherapist and she agreed with me. B”H It was only because I felt good in myself did I manage to stand up to them and refuse to follow their directive.
I believe that what Chazal say in Kidushin 6a “Kol mi sheainoi yodaiu betiv …. applies in all areas that one has no expertise.
Accordingly, anyone who is not an expert in emotional issues should not get involved in dealing with such matters!May 18, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am #875344
Syag Lchochma: Thank you for much for the info.
Yussel: Those who are self-obsessed have poor self-esteem. Those with healthy self-esteem do not have to be busy with themselves.
Haleivi: <m>Hire someone to stand up for you and call you Rebbe. It might be cheaper than a therapist.
What gets generated with this method is definitively not self esteem.
popa_bar_abba: Exactly! You said that very well.May 18, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm #875345
You may want to have your post deleted before people start laughing.May 18, 2012 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm #875346
Furthermore, the mania and depression would likely not dissipate with meds if it were largely based on situation, not biochemical imbalance.
I don’t know whether bipolar can be purely nature without environmental factors, but this statement doesn’t prove anything. The environmental situation can cause the chemicals to be released in the brain (as popa stated) and the medication would remove those chemicals in the brain whereby enabling the person to function normal anyway.May 18, 2012 2:23 pm at 2:23 pm #875347
Popa, you are probably right about most of the time. However, the human needs a brain to work. All thoughts and emotions are created and played out with the brain. There is a concept of malfunction just as there is with any other body part. I imagine you agree to this as well.
When I mentioned someone who learned a lot, especially Lishma, I wasn’t just talking about a Rov. Learning Torah trains the mind to be much more perceptive than a course in personalities.
Just like not every Rov will do, so too, not every therapist will do. There are like five categories that some will initially try to fit any client, whether they got into an in depth relationship or not. There’s depression, OCD, AD(h)D, Aspergers, anxiety. Not being one of them almost automatically means you are the other type.
Most issues and complexes can be dealt with using true ‘common sense’. The art of penetrating into one’s soul to find what is really bothering him is not reserved for degree holders. Nor is it a trait guaranteed to them.
Unlike history and medicine, the human psyche is readily available to all. It is an internal knowledge. Having a connection to a real Talmid Chacham gives a person wisdom. But obviously, he is not the one for therapeutic methods.May 18, 2012 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #875348
PCOZ, you might have to look for it under a different name. Try Yiush, Atzlus, Atzvus, Simcha, Zrizus, Charitzus, Madreigas Ha’adam, and Maalas Yisroel.May 20, 2012 5:45 am at 5:45 am #875349
Never had self esteem and really still don’t.
Tried reading some Twerski books but I just couldn’t get into them. (Yes, I know he’s a brilliant psychologist and author – I’m not saying anything against him or his books – chas v’shalom)
So anyway – somehow you get along in life even without self esteem. Though, of course it is much better to try to work on it. Maybe therapy can help. Hatzlacha.
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