Healthy self-esteem is a healthy thing to have. It means that you are comfortable with yourself, that you've made a commitment to yourself to be content, non-judgment of yourself, and to not try to please the world.
Some of the traits of these self-confident people, with healthy self-esteem include:
- They're Humble – They don't put themselves above others. When someone compliments them, they take it, but they don't get a bloated ego over it.
- They're Truthful – Honesty breeds self-confidence. Liars spend most of their time worrying about whether or not they'll be caught in a lie (unless they're narcissist, which will be discussed later).
- They Can Compartmentalize Their Emotions – They can do this in a good way, by keeping their emotions in check and understanding them. They don't let emotions affect their relationships.
- They Believe in Others – People with healthy self-esteem tend to believe that people are inherently good. They also trust that other people can make their own decisions and accomplish the things they set out to do. They're appreciative of other people's skills.
- They Do What They Say – People with healthy self-esteem are accountable. They show up on time, and they keep their promises or try their best to anyway.
- They Focus on the Now – They do not dwell on the past but prefer to focus on the present. They are not controlled by things that have come and gone.
Now that you know what people with healthy self-esteem are like, it's time to get an understanding of high self- esteem, how it differs from a healthy one, and why it may or may not be associated with narcissism.
High Self-Esteem Definition
People with high self-esteem are often compared to those with healthy self-esteem, but there are some differences. There may be more than one type of high self-esteem, which is why it's believed that this may not always be a good thing.
Healthy self-esteem is a strong feeling, something that allows for self-connectedness. High self-esteem can be fragile, which would not be a good thing. A fragile ego, which could lead to narcissism (or be a sign of it), isn't a positive thing. This person may seem confident, but they could be a ticking time bomb inside.
To other people, a person with high self-esteem may appear to be narcissistic. They seem full of themselves when their confidence is on the negative side. A positive symbol of high self-esteem comes when a person is overly helpful to other, wanting to help them boost their own self-esteem.
A problem lies in that action as well. Another person boosting someone's self-esteem does not make for a lasting boost. You need self-love and self-concept to truly find the confidence that comes with high, or even healthy, self-esteem.
It’s also important to understand self-concept. What is self-concept? It's your awareness of yourself as a being, as an individual. And self-love is when you love yourself just the way you are.
High Self-Esteem and Narcissism
There's confusion for some people when it comes to narcissism and self-esteem, although there shouldn't be. They are two completely different thing – not to say that someone with narcissism can't have a high self-esteem.
The differences, at a basic level, are that narcissists are envious – they want what other people have – while high self-esteem brings about a peace of mind – the person is content and happy with themselves. When high self-esteem is unchecked, however, it can lead to narcissism.
It's understandable how people that don't know the psychology of narcissism or the positive side of high self-esteem can confuse the two.
Where Is Your Self-Esteem Level?
Now that you have a more in-depth look at the levels of self-esteem, you may be wondering how yours measure up. You can take an online self-esteem test to help you determine where you are on the scale of things.
Once you've determined where your self-esteem is at you can work on increasing it, or work at keeping it steady.
While someone with healthy self-esteem won't have much fluctuation in their self-love, those with low and high self-esteem can often see a lot of change – which can sometimes be affected by the opinions and actions of others.
Get Your Self-Esteem in Check
If you have high self-esteem, but you still have feelings that aren't healthy, you should work on the traits listed for healthy self-esteem.
People with low self-esteem can also benefit from inheriting some of those traits – though, depending on your background, therapy may be needed when it comes to dealing with low self-esteem.