In a study that was recently conducted, researchers from Canada found out that people who had low self-esteem in fact felt worse after saying positive statements about themselves. According to the researchers who conducted it, statements such as ‘I am lovable’, which are common with people with low self-esteem, only helped people who had a high self esteem. The study which the scientists conducted appeared on the Psychological Science journal.
According to a UK psychologist, people’s feelings about themselves were based on the real evidence seen in their lives. The proposition of a people helping themselves to feel better was 1st introduced 150 years ago by Victorian Samuel Smiles. The book which he wrote, Self Help, sold 250,000 copies and it had guidance tips such as that one of heaven helping those who helped themselves. The book’s title is currently a multi- billion pound industry whose operations are global.
In another study that was conducted, researchers from the University of New Brunswick and the University of Waterloo requested both people with low self-esteem and those with high self-esteem to say that they are lovable people. The moods of the participants and how they felt about themselves were then measured. In the results, the people who had low self-esteem felt worse after saying the words compares to those who didn’t. People with high self-esteem felt better after they repeated the words but it was just slightly. In the study, the researchers also asked both groups of people to list the positive and the negative things that they had about themselves. The people with the low self-esteem were found to have a better mood when they were having negative thoughts about them than when they were having positive thoughts.
While writing in the journal, the researchers suggested that the positive statements which are unreasonable and the overly positive self-statements could provoke thoughts which were contradicting in the low self-esteem individuals. The negative thoughts could then be overwhelmed and if a person is instructed to focus on the affirmative thoughts exclusively, the negative ones might discourage a person. The researchers, whore were led by Jonanne Wood, said that the repetition of the positive self-statements could benefit people who had a high self-esteem but the same could backfire for those who had low self-esteem who happens to be the category of people who needed them most. The researchers however said that the statements could help in cases where they were part of a therapy’s broader program.
According to Simon Gelsthorpe, a Bradford District Care Trust’s psychologist and also the spokesperson for the British Psychological Society, self-esteem is based on a variety of real life factors. The psychologists said that counseling someone to build confidence was the solution rather than telling one’s self that things are better than they really are. Some of the factors that affect self-esteem include: close family relationships, employment, friends network and appearance. In the case where you do not have close family relations, you have few friends, you are not happy with your appearance and you are employed, having a high self-esteem is hard but in the situation was reversed, it would be easier to say positive statements to yourself.