Excerpts from my book (in progress)
When used by non-technical people, “You have low self-esteem” means “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t dream of living in a way of which I disapprove.” Understood in this way, each seemingly caring comment about your self-esteem is in fact an insult and a disapproval. It’s also a projection, since it’s a way of pretending “My low esteem for you is actually you loathing yourself.” It’s a diagnosis intended, ironically, to lower someone’s self-esteem.
— J. E. Brown
From the chapter on How to Be Rude:
Disguise your disapproval as concern. Inform people that their jobs and lifestyles, friends and foibles, joys and sorrows, smiles and worries, choices and circumstances, irks and quirks, prides and pains — are all either signs of, or attempts to compensate for, Low Self-Esteem — a shortcoming which you, thankfully, do not share.
Comebacks to use on rude people:
• “No; if I had low self-esteem, I’d spend more time with people who insult me like you do.”
• Choosing to do what and be where you like, is self-esteem. People who criticize you for that may end up friendless.
— J. E. Brown
2nd edition 08 May 2016
1st edition 22 Dec 2009
Further Reading at Other Sites
- This should disprove the high-school myth that “Happiness comes from within”: “Students who were disliked by their roommates reported more depression, anger and physical illness and lower self-esteem than those who got along with their roommates, the study says.... Findings appear in ... the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.” (article)
- As for the myth that “bullies have low self-esteem”: Some do, but most do not! For details of the research, see Mary Jo McGrath, School Bullying (link).
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More at This Site
- Is there a booklet of manners in your house?
We offer this one:
How Rude! -- a booklet about rude and abusive people, and how to recognize them