Self-esteem refers to a person's beliefs about his/her worth and value. It also has to do with the feelings people experience that follows from their sense of worthiness or unworthiness. Self-esteem is important because it heavily influences people's choices and decisions. In other words, self-esteem serves a motivational function by making it more or less likely that people will take care of themselves and explore their full potential. Self-esteem is also defined as a global barometer of self-evaluation involving cognitive appraisals about general self-worth and affective experiences of the self that are linked to these global appraisals. Therefore, people with high self-esteem are also people who are motivated to take care of themselves and to persistently strive towards the fulfillment of personal goals and aspirations. People with lower self-esteem don't tend to regard themselves as worthy of happy outcomes or capable of achieving them and so tend to let important things slide and to be less persistent and resilient in terms of overcoming adversity. They may have the same kinds of goals as people with higher self-esteem, but they are generally less motivated to pursue them to their conclusion
DEVELOPMENT OF SELF ESTEEM
The formation of self-esteem implies a long process. It is correlated with the formation of self-image and self-conscience. Its evolution in time involves also downfall periods especially during transition periods from one stage to another, from one status to another, e.g., in adolescence (due to the psychosomatic changes), or grand age, as a consequence of the change in status, retirement and the change in tasks and responsibilities. While self-esteem appears to decline during adolescence, it increases during young adulthood. The affective model of self-esteem development assumes that: (a) selfesteem forms early in life in response to relational and temperamental factors; and (b) once formed, endows high self-esteem people with the ability to promote, protect and restore feelings of self-worth. Many studies have underlined the essential role of the family environment in the formation of personality especially in the early childhood. Parental involvement and willingness to give adolescents autonomy and freedom are positively correlated to high selfesteem in adolescents. The period of adolescence is important for the process of self-esteem formation.
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The formation of self-esteem can be stimulated, encouraged both by parents and teachers. The level of self-esteem is mirrored in the adolescent’s attitude and behavior, both at home and at school. The adolescents with a high level of self-esteem have the following characteristics: they are capable of influencing positively the opinion and behavior of others; they tackle new situations positively and confidently; they have a high level of tolerance towards frustration; they accept early responsibilities, they asses correctly situations; they communicate positive feelings about themselves; they succeed in having a good self-control and the belief that the things they are undergoing are the result of their own behavior and actions. Therefore, adolescence is the critical period for the development of self-esteem and self-identity, and low selfesteem may endanger adolescent’s emotional regulation.
Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an interaction among those members. Therefore, social behavior arises as a result of an interaction between the two; the organism and its environment.It is now time to define social interaction. As previously discussed, behavior comes in many forms--blinking, eating, reading, dancing, shooting, rioting, and warring. What then distinguishes social behavior? Behavior that is peculiarly social is oriented towards other selves. Such behavior apprehends another as a perceiving, thinking, Moral, intentional, and behaving person; considers the intentional or rational meaning of the other's field of expression; involves expectations about the other's acts and actions; and manifests an intention to invoke in another self certain experiences and intentions. What differentiates social from nonsocial behavior, then, is whether another self is taken into account in one's acts, actions, or practices. For example, dodging and weaving through a crowd is not social behavior, usually. Others are considered as mere physical objects, as human barriers with certain reflexes. Neither is keeping in step in a parade social behavior. Other marchers are physical objects with which to coordinate one's movements. Neither is a surgical operation social behavior. The patient is only a biophysical object with certain associated potentialities and dispositions. However, let the actor become involved with another's self, as a person pushing through a crowd recognizing a friend, a marcher believing another is trying to get him out of step, or a surgeon operating on his son, and the whole meaning of the situation changes. With this understanding of social, let me now define social acts, actions, and practices. A social act is any intention, aim, plan, purpose, and so on which encompasses another self. These may be affecting another's emotions, intentions, or beliefs; or anticipating another's acts, actions, or practices. Examples of social acts would be courtship, helping another run for a political office, and teaching, buying a gift, or trying to embarrass an enemy.
SELF ESTEEM AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AMONG UNDERGRADUATES
Fear of being judged in a social situation may lead to you starting to avoid them. This could also be a sign of social anxiety, which often becomes entangled with low self-esteem. After all, when social situations give you intense feelings of dread and nervousness, this can diminish your self-esteem. Social anxiety and low self-esteem reinforce each other. Avoiding social situations due to anxiety can make you feel alienated as if something is terribly wrong with you. And the worse you feel about yourself, the harder it will be to motivate yourself to socialize. Avoidance, unfortunately, is not a healthy long-term strategy for dealing with either social anxiety or low self-esteem. If you have planned to go out and worry about socializing or self-criticism start to creep in, it can be useful to repeat the following phrase to yourself in your head: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” The anxiety may be an issue for you, but it only interrupts your life when you act in accordance with it. Disobeying your anxiety or self-criticism, as it were, takes immense strength. However, being able to do this is one of the most effective ways to build self-esteem.