When I meet people around my age, topics of conversation are often that “My self-esteem is low” or “My self-esteem is getting low.” Actually, according to a survey conducted with 616 people in their 20s by Alba Heaven, a job website, about 40.6% of people answered, “My current self-esteem is very low.” Then, what is self-esteem? Self-esteem means respect for one’s own feelings. Lots of people are now interested in self-esteem and lots of books show these situations, too.
Recently I enjoyed watching the JTBC program “Hyori's Bed and Breakfast,” and in one episode, a college girl said, “I have low self-esteem.” Lee Hyo-ri said, “You may think you have to dress up to become confident. And if you are not beautiful, people won’t think you are beautiful. However, it is not people that don’t feel you are beautiful, but you.” When I heard this, I felt sympathy and it was very touching. Most of the people who said, “I have low self-esteem” commonly didn’t value or love themselves enough. So why can’t people love themselves? Though it should be us who have to love ourselves best, we torture and try ourselves. We are not accepting of ourselves just the way we are, and keep pushing ourselves and comparing ourselves with others, such as by thinking, “Why I couldn’t do that?”, “What’s wrong with me?” or “Others are better than me.” Maybe the reason is because we are living in a harsh world and competitive society. However, complaints and regrets about ourselves are not negative things and they don’t mean you are a negative person; these voices are to search for our bad sides and to fix them to be better persons than now. Therefore, it’s quite natural that people feel it is hard to love themselves nowadays when the society requires a perfect person. Nevertheless, if we do not love ourselves and keep hurting ourselves, eventually it becomes a vicious cycle.
I read the book Sei nicht so hart zu dir selbst by Andreas Knuf, and the author said you are hurting yourself every day. Also, he said to accept who you are and be friendly to yourself. He suggested four methods to love the way you are. First, face yourself, then you will relieve uneasiness. Second, allow unpleasant feelings in your mind. Third, talk to yourself objectively as others do. Fourth, understand that the pain doesn’t belong only to you. It was a shock when I realized it was me who made myself hurt the most. I habitually sought the problem from myself and thought the problem was me. Of course, there are still lots of things beyond our control, but it can be a good motivation to be a better person. So how about you accept yourself just the way you are and be friendly to yourself? Love yourself!