Is Others’ Low Self-Esteem Draining Yours?

Note: this originally appeared as part of a subscription podcast series my company offered. I’m resurrecting it here as a reference point for people reading “Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue and Beware of Soul Killers.
Enjoy!

Sometimes we have to work with people who seem perfectly normal yet, when we get away from them, we feel a little weaker, a little sadder, a little more melancholy and, for lack of a better term, a little less.

What was there about our interaction with them that left us in such a state? Perhaps they had low self-esteem and took some of yours to make up for their lack. The end result is that your self-esteem got drained and you didn’t even open the tap.

Here’s how to recognize low self-esteem in others and a few things to do about it.

Self-esteem is a measure of how much we value ourselves, a purely internal measure of how we compare ourselves to others.
Psychologically healthy people have good self-esteem, meaning they believe they’re on a par with others in the personal and work achievement departments. Even when they meet an Olympic gold medal winning MD-PhD who’s piloted the space shuttle and discovered a cure for cancer, their self-esteem stays in tact because that gold medal winning person is the exception, not the rule, and people with good self-esteem recognize this.

Few people with low self-esteem carry sandwich boards announcing themselves and they do give off signs of low self-esteem. For example:

  • They make amusing but cutting remarks about your achievements and the achievements of others.
  • They are hesitant – sometimes extremely so – to do anything new or try anything unfamiliar.
  • Whenever they talk about themselves it’s often with a question involved, usually seeking confirmation that what they did was good, okay or acceptable.
  • They need to be in control of conversations and situations, often by making themselves the focus of conversations or situations.
  • They do not like to be challenged about their ideas, beliefs or experiences. This is especially true if you have or are seeking a personal relationship with them.

People with low self-esteem can be intelligent, witty, charming and disarming in the extreme, until something happens that causes them to evaluate themselves in comparison to someone else, and if that someone else is a rival, watch out!

Dealing with Self-Esteem Stealers
Rarely does challenging someone about their self-esteem do any good. What does work is pointing out to them that their remarks can be hurtful and that their remarks are not appreciated. Be prepared to be challenged so also be prepared to be strong and hold your ground. People with low self-esteem can’t let you keep yours, it would only serve as a reminder that they are less and you are more.

That’s all for now. Stay warm and well.

Beware of Soul Killers

Note: this originally appeared as part of a subscription podcast series my company offered. I’m resurrecting it here as a reference point for people reading “Power Unlimited” is in Daikaijuzine’s Anguirus Issue.
Enjoy!

Part of life is having painful experiences, things that cause some emotional, physical, psychological or spiritual pain. We know more about alleviating physical pain than any of the others and that in itself causes concern.

Most people, as they grow into adulthood and go through life, learn to place painful experiences in their place. They gain perspective and know, for example, that today’s breakup is tomorrow’s chance for love.

And every once in a while people run into Soul Killers, those people who cause distress repeatedly. Some do so intentionally, others without realizing they’re doing so.

Some tricks for dealing with soul killing pain
We all run into people who simply bring us down. They have a knack for draining us of our energy, our vitality, our joys and pleasures. Some people do this on purpose, others have the ability as an unwanted gift. The ones who do it on purpose are subtle – they have to be! The others may not be subtle and they tend to be friends.

Both do it pretty much the same way; They tell us our experiences are invalid, not real, no good, inadequate and so on. They may be serious or joking and studies indicate such statements exact a psycho-emotional cost that results in a sense of futility, of worthlessness, in some cases physical exhaustion because the victim feels they are pushing against a weight that can’t be moved (and really due to micro and sometimes macro tensions in the muscles resulting from the psychological struggle). Telling someone their personal experience is not relevant or inadequate is the same as telling them they are not relevant or inadequate.

There are four basic ways people can drain us. Here are some examples

  • Sensation – That didn’t hurt.
  • Emotion – Don’t be upset.
  • Character – You’re not so special.
  • Thought – You don’t believe that.

We have the right to let people know when we’re in pain or uncomfortable. Our sensations are real to us even if no one else can feel them.

Likewise, we have a right to our emotions. Modern society has only recently appreciated that people’s emotional intelligence is often more important to their survival than their cognitive intelligence.

Everybody is special, we’re just all special in our own ways. People need to know they are honored and respected regardless of their abilities and achievements, and the only way to get others to celebrate yours is to celebrate them yourself.

And finally, our thoughts are valid and real, meaningful and useful because they are based on our experiences and no two people share the exact same life stories. We’re allowed to believe what we want, and definitely what works for us, even if others think it’s malarkey.

Be your own advocate
Pay attention the next time you start feeling down, depressed, weak, exhausted, or drained. Did someone – or did you, yourself – attempt to kill your soul? Recognize soul killing techniques and no one will be able to kill your soul again.

That’s all for now. Stay warm and well.

The 3x Rule

Note: This material originally appeared on a marketing site and dealt with branding. People who know what they’re doing recognize all branding is an application of neuroscience, hence neuromarketing (which may have been a part of neuroscience at one point and now is a buzzword and poorly degraded from its original).
I’m resurrecting it for a friend who’s curious about
The 3x Rule.
The 3x Rule has broad applications – everything from education to marketing to branding to military training and for the purposes of writing, creating memorable characters. You can use The 3x Rule to have your children, partners, peers, et cetera, remember to do something when they need to do it.
I use the
The 3x Rule rule in my writing to lock characters and scenes into reader memory.
Enjoy!


The 3x Rule has six elements:

  1. Memory
  2. Touch
  3. Mirrors
  4. Words
  5. Sentences
  6. Voice

Let’s explore each element separately then put them together.


Greetings! I’m your friendly, neighborhood Threshold Guardian. This is a protected post. Protected posts in the My Work, Marketing, and StoryCrafting categories require a subscription (starting at 1$US/month) to access. Protected posts outside those categories require a General (free) membership.
Members and Subscribers can LogIn. Non members can join. Non-protected posts (there are several) are available to everyone.
Want to learn more about why I use a subscription model? Read More ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes Enjoy!

What I learned about myself by looking at a picture

Pictures are mirrors. Today I didn’t like what I saw.

There are two pictures here. Scroll down to see the second.

I hope, should there be a lesson for you in this, it is neither as painful nor as necessary as mine.

Take a moment to answer the question in the first picture.

Give yourself time. Go wild with it. Explore it.

 
Exhausted yourself?

Scroll down and let me know your response to the answer.

And thanks.
Continue reading “What I learned about myself by looking at a picture”

I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)

[[This post originally appeared on my Stating the Obvious blog back in 2011. I’m resurrecting it because I’m currently taking a series of classes from people who are…interesting. Why interesting? Well, as an example, if you can’t remember the terms for what you’re teaching, perhaps you shouldn’t be teaching it. Or how about, if every student’s answer is correct – even when they contradict each other – perhaps the first part of the class should be “We’re going to be sharing opinions. There’s no right or wrong.” Or how about…

And this has more to do with me and my expectations than those teaching.

And I have definitely learned from them.

And here, for your enjoyment,

I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise) Enjoy!

This post is about lowering the bar. In a world where everyone is a guru, maven, jedi, rock star, queen, genius, leader and last but not least, expert, how do we recognize real ability from self-defined hype and bling? There have been two LinkedIn discussions that I know of, one in social media, the other in analytics, one from Apr 2011, the other from earlier in 2011 and both themed “What is expertise?” I wrote The Unfulfilled Promise of Online Analytics series (I’ll resurrect those, too, if you’d like) a while ago and one of its subthemes is “What is expertise?”

The level of “expertise” required to hang out a shingle has gone beyond touching the ground, it’s gone subterranean in many disciplines. And it’s pointless to create governance groups that offer accreditation because once such groups gain popularity they are usurped by vendors and HIPPOs to serve purposes different than governance and accreditation.

Let me offer some suggestions for marketers and consumers of expertise. Note: especially those marketing their teaching/editing/proofing skills.

Truth in Self-Marketing Rule #1: Never Believe Your Own Hype
Continue reading “I Can Crack My Knuckles Therefore I Must Be a Chiropractor! (Musings on Expertise)”