People Break Down The Ways They Boosted Their Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is our overall sense of worth, value, and how much we appreciate ourselves. Our self-esteem impacts our self-confidence, feeling of security, sense of identity and belonging, and our feeling of competence.
A low self-esteem can keep us from reaching our full potential. A whole lot of things can cause feelings of inadequacy, like poor childhood experiences with parents, failing grades, financial or relationship issues, or ongoing mental or physical health issues.
However, there are certainly ways to raise your self-esteem even when you're struggling.
Redditor Notsofastboe asked:
"How did you achieve higher self-esteem?"
Hopefully, we can take a few pointers from those who were able to achieve high self-esteem.
Everyone has their own thing going on.
"A few things."
"Being asked at a CBT class if anyone had gone to a restaurant or fast food outlet. Some of us put our hands up. We were then asked to describe who else was there. Of course we couldn't."
"Giving up smoking. At work a fellow smoker wished me the best of luck. Next day offered me a smoke."
"Going to my local shop for years and always buying the same thing. Then one day I asked for "the usual' and the lady on the till, who had served for years, had no idea what I meant."
"Which all took away the feeling that people are talking about me or judging me. Everybody has their own thing going on. So stop worrying and enjoy your life."
"I like the realization of 'The usual, please' means a lot less to them than it does to you. Good to have learned from those experiences! I know I did."
"Like my father always told me: everything YOU think people think of you, is stuff YOU made up yourself."
"Absolutely true. Part of CBT is about 'mind reading.' The exercise being looking at a bit of film with no sound and guessing what was going on. We all got it completely wrong of course."
"You just don't know."
Get out of that toxic relationship.
- "Getting out of that toxic relationship I was in for eight months"
- "Finding new hobbies and growing my hair out"
- "Realizing that I can be myself without worrying about anyone disapproving of me, celebrating being single"
- "Listening to my own music, appreciating my own art, realizing that even if I hate some things about myself, I have so much to look forward to"
"Also 4 is the best way, Is such a great feeling to be happy with your own work."
It's a process.
"It's like an iterative design process."
"You start by one day deciding on a project, in this case caring about yourself."
"So you start on a rough draft. This can be little things like making sure to brush your teeth, eat well, or get some exercise. Small things, not huge changes. These are taking care of yourself in little ways, setting the groundwork."
"Eventually you start to feel a bit more confident, and you add more to the design. You might realize you don't like exercise routines, so you find a hobby you do like. You slowly take better care of yourself and find more things you like about yourself. You find a passion, something you like and are confident in, and embrace it."
"Eventually, you learn that loving yourself matters more than what others think. You may drop some of the attempted ideas along the way, but the goal never changed. You made yourself better and learned to love yourself."
Tricking your mind into believing it's true.
"I think the whole fake it till you make it thing is what worked for me. I still struggle a lot with self esteem but after trying to act more confidently and putting myself outside of my comfort zone I kind of saw that heaps of people are doing the same thing."
"I've opened up about my insecurities to people and have been surprised about the amount of people who have related and shared similar stories, many people who I had assumed had everything figured out."
"A large amount of people in society find it hard and weird navigating this weird world we live in, even the most confident people that you run into have probably got their own sh*t they feel awkward and self conscious about."
Don't believe what toxic masculinity will tell you.
"I use to think I was ugly all my life, seriously low confidence. It wasn't until I saw a girl on Omegle around my age who told me I looked cute did I achieve an extreme higher self-esteem in myself."
"A little tip for people, don't listen to toxic masculinity, the truth is most men are so insecure about themselves that one little positive comment about basically any attributes to them could hold a special memory and boost their self-esteem."
Seek approval from yourself, not others.
"One thing I took time to focus on was rather than trying to please others, I tried pleasing myself first."
"When cooking a meal for my family, I'd cook once beforehand to see if I liked it. Adjusted it to my tastes and then I cooked for everyone (eventually, it was a hard step) and I knew that because I liked it, it must be decent. Lo and behold they all loved it!"
"Once you stop seeking affirmation from other people, and look to yourself, you realise you're worth a LOT more than you give yourself credit for."
"Other people have also commented some good points, but the long and short is you just need to please yourself. Pleasing others comes as a by-product of being good to yourself and kind in general."
Just being yourself.
"By not giving a sh*t and being me."
Though it may seem like a difficult thing to achieve, higher self-esteem comes with time and dedication to yourself.
You're worth that time and energy.
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People Break Down How An Act Of Kindness Totally Backfired And Blew Up In Their Face
It's always wonderful to see people who do random acts of kindness for others, without expecting anything in return, and generally making the world a little bit better place.
But sometimes misunderstandings happen, especially among strangers or acquaintances, and sometimes our actions backfire, even if they came from the kindest of places.
Already cringing, Redditor UnorthadoxGenealogy asked:
"What's something you did out of the kindness of your heart only for it to backfire and blowup in your face?"
Past Job in IT
"I work IT. Naturally, people call you when their computer breaks."
"Of course, once you fix an issue, everything else that happens to that computer is somehow your fault."
"Replaced a laptop battery? Well, that must be why their hard drive failed six months down the line. Screw that. I don't work on other people's stuff anymore."
A Close Call
"I was driving into a petrol station and saw a cyclist lying unconscious on the side of the road, obviously having been side-swiped by a car. I parked, ran in, and told the operator about it, asked them to call an ambulance and police, etc."
"By this time a bunch of people had gathered around the cyclist, and while we were waiting, this woman started accusing me of being the one who hit him. Because, 'Why would you care so much about helping him unless you were the guilty one?!'"
"The police and ambulance came, and I saw this woman immediately run over to them and start gesticulating in my direction. The police came over and asked me some questions 'as a witness,' but I began to get a bit worried."
"Fortunately, by this time, the cyclist had recovered consciousness and was able to describe a vehicle that was obviously not mine as being the one that hit him. The police apologized for bothering me and said they had no further questions."
"The woman looked visibly annoyed and frustrated that she hadn't been able to get me in trouble..."
"I absolutely hate it when you lend people money and then they act annoyed and twist in a way that makes you feel bad."
"Doesn't really matter whether it is a big or small amount. If I realize someone isn't paying back small sums on his own and act annoyed or pissed, when you remind them (or when they even forget), then I usually do not lend them any money anymore."
"It shouldn't be my job to remind people of that. The thing is also that you can't win with those people. If you don't ask they will probably never give it back or at least drag it out for ages. If you persistently ask, more often than not, you get some undeserved snarky remark about how stingy you are or that you shouldn't take it so seriously, etc."
"Stuff like that ticks me off, but if you get agitated then you are the crazy one because you get worked up over 'a few bucks.'"
"A guy that used to work for us had no car. His wife needed to go pick up groceries. I had the flu and wanted to just sleep in my bed, but she gave me a sob story about not having any food at all (this was before grocery delivery was really a thing), so I told her I could take her for a few things."
"She knew how sick I was and promised she would just get a few essentials while I slept in the car. TWO HOURS LATER, she walked out with two carts of groceries and loaded them up. I groggily took her home and drive home and crawled into bed."
"That evening, her husband came to my house and confronted me about being 'really grumpy' about taking his wife to the store and being mean to her."
"I straight up told him I had the flu, I wasn't grumpy, I was half-awake, but don't worry because I would never run either of them anywhere ever again. Ungrateful a**holes."
"I had an old, lonely lady who used to come to see me at work. She was sweet and we would talk quite a bit, and she told me I was the only person who 'understood her' or 'took the time' with her."
"I don’t remember how this happened but I gave her my personal phone number for her to give me a call whenever she felt depressed or lonely."
"I ended up getting phone calls every hour throughout the night and day, which I couldn’t always answer because I had a job? A kid? I was sleeping?"
"Anyway, she then began leaving me very nasty voicemails that I had 'abandoned' her and 'was just like everyone else.'"
"It was wild."
New Level of Friendship: Unlocked
"I used to pop into a bar by my apartment after work and met a guy named Tom. At first, it was just small talk but eventually, we started having more serious conversations, and I thought, 'Cool, a new friend.' I gave him my number and suddenly my phone was blowing up every day."
"I was working full-time and had my own life; I couldn't drop everything at a moment's notice every time he called or texted and it was all the fucking time."
"The breaking point was him calling me on a Tuesday around midnight asking why I wasn't at the bar hanging out. Uh, because I have to work tomorrow?"
"Suddenly he was saying things like, 'I knew you were just like everyone else,' and 'nobody wants to be friend.' I just couldn't do it anymore. Like, I'm sorry you have trouble making friends but being hyper-clingy and texting me 50 times a day demanding we hang out isn't the answer."
Tough Luck Stories
"I used to be a sucker for a hard luck story."
"Oh, you need $1000 to buy a car so you can go see your kid? Sure, I got you, just pay me back."
"You need help buying Christmas presents for your kids? Sure, I'll help!"
"You want me to let you crash at my place for a couple of days while you figure some s**t out? I got you!"
"Every single one left me with no money, fewer friends, and a growing distrust of people."
Let It Snow
"Not my story, my dad's..."
"A woman went off the road & into a snow bank right out front of my Dad's auto shop, and he happened to be in a tow truck (he'd just serviced) with a customer. They went up to the lady to see if they could help, and she was on the phone with the police (laughing out loud) for a tow."
"The police came, and asked if they could pull her out as they were already there and another truck could be hours. They agreed, but they made it clear to the woman and the cop they would not be liable for anything. Just get the car outta the ditch and back on the road."
"Sure enough, after almost an hour of shoveling and laying in snow/slush to get this thing out, the first thing she says is, 'Oh, you caused damage, look, that's bent, etc., etc.' The cop told them to get the h**l outta there and he'd sort the lady out."
"Save someone a penny, and it'll cost you a dollar..."
That Mean Girl Energy
"I sat down with a girl who liked me in a private setting and explained that I was already in a relationship but would like to remain friends. She used that opportunity to tell my girlfriend (now wife) that I was cheating on her."
"This, of course, wasn’t true but she proceeded to make up a lot of s**t to start fights between my girlfriend and me. It almost ended our relationship until we had a long conversation and realized that everything we had been told by her was a lie."
"You’re probably wondering why I didn’t figure she was lying to my girlfriend sooner. That’s because she pretended to be my friend through the whole thing and would seemingly take my side. My girlfriend and I talked for hours, and when we did, we realized who was lying to us."
What a Catch
"I had an ex that lost her job and apartment. I told her (she was my girlfriend at the time) to come live with me if she wanted, so she’d have a roof over her head and access to necessities. I paid for everything under the premise that she would try and find other employment opportunities."
"I even bought her a car and paid for the insurance so she wouldn’t have to rely on public transportation, considering it’s not always easy to find a job in your immediate area."
"She was banging some dude in my own bed while I was working night shifts. Kicked her to the curb, sold the car, and used part of the money to buy a new bed."
Gotta Get That Insurance Info
"I saw an accident while driving through my neighborhood. Stopped to help the lady because her car was stopped in the middle of the road. The car that hit her drove off."
"When the cops arrive, the lady told the cop that I hit her. I figured she just made a mistake but then she told the cop some made-up story."
"The cops asked for my license/registration, and it took a while to convince them that it wasn't me because I had no damage whatsoever and the amount of damage meant that the other car was also badly damaged."
That High School Audacity
"Very simple but I had a friend in high school that was very upset that she had done poorly on an exam. Like full-on crying that she might not get an A (like she did well, but not up to her standards)."
"I got her her favorite candy bar from a vending machine and hugged her and told her that it would be alright, that she was smart, and that no matter what, she did her best."
"She, very coldly, told me to f**k off and that she didn't want a f**king candy bar. So I f**ked off and had a candy bar."
"When I was in high school, I offered to help a classmate who was struggling with French homework. I took time every week to help her with it."
"On the one occasion when I couldn't, she told other people that I couldn't be trusted."
"I have the perfect response for this post. While trying to break people up from fighting, I got my head smashed in myself. One of the two went full rampage on me, and I remember receiving three hits."
"The next thing I remember is me feeling blood drip down my face to see my eyebrow fully split open, the side of my face swollen, my jaw hurting, and my tooth broken off."
"I did not even know any of the two fighting people. Just wanted to help and have an evening full of fun instead of this s**t."
Paid in Good Ravioli
"An elderly woman in my exercise class (I am no spring chicken myself) who was always grumbly and stiff was complaining about her shoulder. She also mentioned wanting to get her kitchen repainted but couldn't afford it and certainly couldn’t do it herself."
"I love to paint and am not afraid of a ladder so I volunteered, thinking this was a good deed I was doing for an old widow in a small house."
"Well, when I went to her 'small house' to discuss the job, it turns out it was at least 3000 square feet with a gigantic kitchen. She also wanted the ceiling done. I had to demur, it was overwhelming. She asked if I could paint her powder room. I said yes to that."
"When taking a break from painting, she and I sat at her kitchen table and she talked about going on vacation to Ireland with her family. Wow. So she certainly could have afforded to pay someone to paint or have one of her 40-year-old kids do it."
"But no. This perfect stranger volunteered out of the goodness of her heart and got paid in ravioli. At least the tomato sauce was incredible."
Doing good deeds generally feels wonderful, unless something about that good deed goes horribly wrong.
And if any of these Redditors second-guessed doing a good deed in the future, we couldn't exactly blame them.
People Share The Hardest Things To Understand About American Culture
Though it's often used as the butt of jokes, there's still a lot to appreciate in the United States, whether you live there or are visiting.
But there are also a lot of things that leave onlookers infinitely perplexed about what it's actually like to live in the United States and why they do things like that.
Redditor DadIsMadAtMe asked:
"What’s the hardest thing for you to comprehend about the American culture?"
"School mascots. Where I live, we just have teams and just play matches against people."
"In America, it’s all like, 'GO, EASTTOWN EAGLES!!! OOGACHACKA!' and there would be some person in a cheapo eagle suit spinning a basketball on his fingers or something. You would have a full dramatic cheerleader dance-off before your match, we just shake hands and stare hard at each other."
No Child Left Behind
"Canadian here on spring break in Florida."
"I can't get over the baseline... I don't know how to say it, the baseline education level? There are smart people, but there are also completely uneducated people. Like, the divide is massive."
Little-To-No Paid Time Off
"Having two weeks vacation or no PTO (Personal Time Off) for most."
"In my current country, you have to take two weeks of mandatory leave in a row. Including public holidays, I get about seven weeks of vacation per year."
Financial Debt Culture
"How casual debt is, how easy it is to take loans and credit cards out in other people's names without their knowledge, and how casual it is to rack up huge amounts of debt."
Where's the Poutine?
"Americans love french fries, cheese, and gravy, but poutine never took off south of the border. Always found that odd."
"The zero-tolerance rule... Who came up with that s**t? The victim is the one who is f**ked. Either he gets bullied or he gets a penalty for defending himself."
"A lot of people follow and worship politicians like they’re gods with flags and all that s**t. In the UK, it’s universally acknowledged that we hate all politicians pretty much equally."
"Having to tip almost everywhere. It definitely makes sense at some places, but feel like we have to tip at the most random of places these days."
"I speak as a Latin American, just setting that down on the table."
"I don’t get why people think that using something from my culture or showing interest in Latin culture is 'cultural appropriation.' I’ve even spoken to a lot of people in my culture about this thing and we all think it’s alright."
"Your healthcare system, it's so complicated and expensive. And people going bankrupt because they get sick, what bulls**ttery is this?"
The Stereotypical American Eagle
"American here, fun fact! That stereotypical screech you commonly hear associated with the bald eagle is actually a red-tailed hawk. Bald eagles do not make that sound. They make more of a weird (way less cool) chirping sound."
"I was too old when I learned this for the first time."
Plus Tax... What?
"Why don't they include tax in the total price of something? Just include it and make life easier. I don't want to have to do maths every time I go there and buy something."
Not In That Exact Order
"You are allowed to drive a car at 16, own guns, and sign up for the military at 18. But alcohol, behold the devil's liquid!, is only for 21+. The math ain't mathin'."
Money Money Money Money
"Legal bribery, what the h**l."
"Also, why do you have to do your taxes? If the Government, in the end, knows if what you paid was what you actually owed, why not just tell you."
People looking in on the United States definitely had some questions about the people who live there and the systems they have to observe. But the big secret is that many Americans are asking the same exact questions.
People Confess Which Things They Swore They'd Never Do As A Kid But Ended Up Doing Anyway
When you were younger, your protected perspective on life and the world was probably significantly different compared to now.
Before life experience informed your decisions, younger you most likely had higher aspirations to achieve a specific goal or swore off doing something you found objectionable.
But here you are, as an adult, doing the exact opposite of what you had intended.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their developmental growth, Redditor 1234kyou_ asked:
"What did you swear in your childhood you would never do, but ended up doing anyways?"
Some hobbies that delighted us as kids never really go away as these Redditors have experienced.
The "Bird Creep"
"Birdwatching. I used to think it was the lamest way someone could spend their time when I was a kid. How could anyone just sit around and look at birds? What are you, some kind of bird creep? ... 20 years later and I'm obsessed with birds. Love hearing their songs and seeing all the beautiful colors."
"Give up drawing."
"I actually broke my own heart when I recently found a school project we did back when I was a kid. We had to write a letter for our future selves and mine starts with: 'Hey, did you become an artist already? I really hope you did not become a boring adult with a boring job who gave up on his dreams and passions.'"
"Well, sorry little me, but I kinda did."
Tending To One's Garden
"Gardening. We had a large garden. We raised and preserved what we grew. It was me and my sister's job to care for this garden. This was back when whipping your child was acceptable punishment. I was whipped sooo many times, because I hated that I had to grew and preserved vegetables I did not like. I hated it! Swore I'd never have a garden. Never do THAT to my kids. Then I had kids. A switch flipped in my head. I had to have a garden! I never made my kids take care of it. Gardening was my 'me' time. But being little kids, they wanted to be with mom and 'help' with the garden. I 'gave' them an area and they were allowed to grow whatever they wanted. If it was a fruit or vegetables , they had to eat it. As a result, they both love gardening and neither are picky eaters."
When it comes to keeping it in the family, it's not always the goal.
"I have become my father."
"I have become my mom.... even the voice is similar."
"I've taken on a lot more of my dad's cynicism than I would like, but mostly I have my mom's wonder and carefreeness."
"But my dad is rich and mom is poor."
"He does not share the wealth he just shares 'you should've done X like this'. But his advice is the level of 'tear down the sign punch them in the face and say you're looking at your new employee'. I've also never heard a single dad joke from him."
"When I was touring houses to buy before the pandemic, my mother's spirit must have possessed me because I opened my mouth and her voice said 'i don't know, i don't think I could live in a house without both a coat closet and a linen closet.'"
Adulting is hard.
The Financial Hole
"Get into debt I can't pay off."
"I said I wouldn’t curse unless a nuke was dropped on my house. That was a f'king lie."
Can't Wait, Don't Hate
"Have sex before marriage. Thank f'k I never made good on that one since I'm 41 and have never been married."
I'm a pretty fussy eater. Always have been.
I grew up in a Japanese family where regularly eating natto was a thing.
Natto is a Japanese dish made from Bacillus subtilis-fermented soybeans. It's known to have magical health benefits but the smell is overwhelmingly powerful, and the nutty taste leaves little to be desired.
Many people not used to eating exotic foods can't stand the flavor and slimy, sticky texture–let alone the pungent aroma.
I swore as a child that would be the one food I would never eat again after having a bad experience.
And yet, here I am as an adult, eating it for breakfast 2-3 times a week after truly understanding the health benefits.
Natto–which is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals– helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure, and can prevent heart disease. Some studies have suggested it can prevent certain cancers.
Once I trained myself to get used to flavor and smell, I actually crave it now.
It's definitely an acquired taste, but it's crazy to know that we are all capable of liking or appreciating something previously thought of as repulsive once we set our mind to it.
Finding love is something that nearly everyone hopes for at some point in their life.
For some, love practically finds them. They hardly need any time searching for the true love.
Others might have to work a little harder and be a little more patient. They never give up the hope that their one true love is out there, somewhere.
Then there are those for whom the search simply isn't worth it and have found themselves resigned to the fact that they may never find someone.
Whether or not that's how they want their life to be.
"Have you given up on love, if so why?"
Fear Of Getting Hurt
"To me the price I have to pay if I want to be in a relationship is I have to be vulnerable."
"And at some level I just don’t want to get hurt that bad again."
"I accept this, and have family, friends, work, hobbies, and things to look forward to."
"So while I wouldn’t say I have given up on love, I’m not looking for it and would be very wary of any new situation."- hdhdhdhdzjursx
"Gotta be honest, pretty much have."
"The last person I loved romantically found just about every way to put me down and reject me, all the while pulling me back in repeatedly."
"It was not worth it."
"I'm going solo but still kind of hoping for Miracle."
"I like me."- ATXDefenseAttorney
Don't Have The Energy
"Yes, because I'm tired."
"Tired of going out to find someone to love, tired of getting to know a new person and being comfortable enough to fall in love, tired of learning new things about this new person and whether we are compatible, tired of meeting each other's families and getting to know a whole new bunch of people..."
"Being single may be lonely, but I won't be exhausted."- Avelevanstar
"Not sure if I've given up, but I am getting real tired."
"Having to get to know new people, putting my heart out there without knowing if I'll succeed this time, so tiring."
"I'm learning more about myself in therapy, and I've seen ladies' heads turn when I speak, I've been told I have a nice voice, but chasing a lady is so much work for so little payoff."
"Never had a girlfriend before too, and I'm hitting 40 soon."
"Each new lady is a learning experience but it's also incredibly draining."
"Sometimes I just wanna curl up on my bed and ignore the whole world."- Blim004
It's Given Up On Them
"I haven't given up on love, but I doubt I will ever love again."
"After 53 years and so many attempts that ended in tears, I don't think I will ever have that chance again for a variety of reasons."
"I spend times just trying to come to terms that I will die alone someday."- kalwayne3573
For Their own Self-Care
"Need to repair myself so the next guy doesn’t have to do it for me."- Beginning-Match592
Lack Of Reciprocation
"Given up on love as I am the only one loving, the others just need me."
"When they're done, they push me away."- gameygamer15
Traumatized By Past Mistakes
"Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love?"
"So that's why, though I hope time will heal me or sth."- guess_I_feed
"I was in a 10-year abusive relationship."
"Unfortunately I didn’t realize until very late and then I ended it."
"It’s too much of a risk to meet someone again as these type of people are very manipulative and you don’t realize the cruelty they are capable of until you are trauma bonded."
"It’s not easier being single but it’s a lot less heartache."
"I thank my lucky stars every day that I got out."- corickle
"My last four love interests either cheated or 'found a girlfriend'."
"It's left me believing I'm just not a person who can be romantically loved."- Owlmystery
Happy Being Alone
"I’m not capable of giving someone my all and I enjoy my time alone more than anything."
"Two failed marriages later, we chillin."- HDTempo
Life Is Good The Way It Is
"I had a big love."
"It didn't work out."
"Now I live a truly beautiful life alone and I wouldn't trade it for the world."
"I just spent the weekend with my friend, her toddler, new puppy and failing marriage and when I got home I nearly cried with the feeling of gratitude for my peaceful life."- spice-pop
"On romantic love, yes."
"I have so many social aversions and require so much space that I'm neither capable or interested to nurture such a relationship."
"I'm happier and more functional on my own."- USAIsAUcountry
Literally Don't Know What They're Missing
"Never been loved before, can't miss what I haven't experienced."- Allnutsz
"I wasn't socialized from the ages 12-22 and have severe social anxiety."
"It's hard to meet people when you're terrified of them."- owe-me
The true romantics should never give up the hope that their soulmate is out there, somewhere.
That being said, being without a partner is nothing to be ashamed of.
As the only person in control of your own happiness, is you and you alone.