Who Determines Your Self-Esteem?

I read an interesting quote by Warsan Shire: “Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself- what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing.  Recreate & repeat.”  Since I battle low self-esteem, I thought about the times I felt my most confident in the hopes of recreating them.  It was eye opening.


I realized the times I felt my most confident weren’t when I had some  personal success or even was wearing a pretty new outfit.  Those feelings were always dependent on another person.  When someone obviously enjoyed being with me or a man telling me how pretty I was.


This bothered me.  I don’t like being depending on anyone, especially something so personal.  I asked God why was this happening?  I don’t particularly care what others think of me, so how can I let others determine how I feel about myself?  It makes no sense!  Immediately I knew the answer.


When you grow up with at least one narcissistic parent, you learn early that their opinion of you is what matters.  That parent determines your self-esteem, & sadly, it’s always low as a result.  Even if you get to the point of no longer allowing that person to determine your self-esteem, you don’t always know how to stop this dysfunctional habit.   You continue allowing others to determine your self-worth without even realizing it, like I have done.


Are you doing the same thing?  (If you are unsure, ask God to show you.)  If you are, then know you aren’t alone.  I honestly had no idea I was doing this until I read the above mentioned quote.


I think being aware of what is happening is an important first step, because once you know what the problem is, you can do something to fix it.  After this revelation, I repented.  I told God how sorry I was for allowing anyone but Him to determine my self-esteem & asked for His help to change.  I also asked God to help me get my self-esteem from Him, no one else.


Also, years ago I wrote a list of positive affirmations from the Bible that I included on my website.  I plan on reading this list more often now.  The affirmations can be found here: Positive Affirmations


In all honesty, I don’t know what to expect from here, but I do believe these steps to be a good starting place for me & I hope for you as well, Dear Reader.  I’m praying for you!  ❤


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

9 responses to “Who Determines Your Self-Esteem?

  1. Cindy Cindy

    What I find really odd is that my narc parents always put me down and enjoyed giving me low self esteem,yet they expected me to go to college,get a good job,and earn a decent to even good sized paycheck.I didn’t and haven’t ever felt I am worth it.They would also tell me I was spoiled,up to age 23 or so.So I thought if I’m an awful person,and I have too much already,why do I deserve to earn more? I still can’t reconcile this


    • Welcome to narcissistic parent logic. @@ It’s always conflicting, damned if you do & damned if you don’t. When I first met my ex husband at work, my mother drove me to & from work. One evening after our shift, he walked me out. My mother screamed at me because he walked me out, he was “showing off.”. I told him so he hung back & let me go out first the next time. She screamed at me because he was “hiding” from her, she said. Then he went out first & I hung back… again, I got screamed at because he was too cocky for walking out first. Does that kind of scenario sound familiar??


  2. Cindy Cindy

    That also reminds me of Susan Smith,the one who drowned her 2 boys.Don’t get me wrong…I don’t like her and don’t agree with what she did.And I would never do such a thing.But I do get the low self esteem and depression she was feeling.She had been molested growing up by her step father,who was still seeking her,out,and her ex hub ran around on her while she was pregnant (and then some after that).So when her boyfriend from a snobbish family writes her a note,saying he didn’t agree with her life choices,such as getting married and having kids before college,because “they do do things that way in his family”,she flipped out.Now most of us would have told snob boyfriend where he could go and what he could do with his attitude.But to someone like Susan,who already had low self esteem and wanted his approval,it meant *everything* to her,the world to her,and her decision was to get rid of the kids.This is such a sad thing


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