The Myth of Low Self-Esteem

Captain’s Log   5,668

Back to a rewrite on the script.  We lost a cast member and now we need to re-work what we just re-worked on Saturday.  And we have re-cast several roles in the show.  I think it was fear.  The excuse offered was work stress.  Work stress is always a good one to use when you are simply over your head with yourself.  Someone suggested that this cast member doesn’t feel good enough about herself to join the group of more experienced actors.  I say BAH!  We have two total newbies in the cast this time and they aren’t pulling shit like this.  They are willing to play and learn.

Someone suggested that this particular cast member has low self-esteem.  I had trouble directing her in the past, and she didn’t have any trouble with her esteem then.  In fact, she was telling me off in front of other actors!  She was telling me she didn’t need my direction.  Does that sound like low self-esteem to you?

I have a problem with people who fling that phrase around.  Low self-esteem.  What they don’t realize is this.  When you walk around crowing about how awful life treats you and how much of a failure you are BLAH BLAH BLAH……what you are really doing is calling a tremendous amount of attention to yourself.  When you isolate and sit off to the side and feel sorry for yourself, the entire world notices you.  It is a sneaky way to get the attention you so desperately crave.

What I have found is that most people who hide behind the veil of low self esteem are actually quite full of themselves.  They are constantly thinking about themselves in comparison to others.  Inwardly focused, they make everything about themselves.  They see everything that happens as having an impact on them.   For example, if the power goes out, they don’t consider the people in nursing homes who need assistance.  They will whine that their ice cream might melt.  The bigger picture is simply not revealed to them.  Or maybe it is revealed and they refuse to see it.

So no, I don’t buy the stress at work OR the low self-esteem excuses anymore.   I have known people with a very poor self-image, and when that’s legitimate, I can deal with it.  But when people use it as a way to get attention, I find myself driven mad with frustration.  People with a true poor self-image do NOT want you to notice them.  They work hard at being on the team because they are so grateful to be there.  They don’t call out inadequacies to arouse pity in others.

Am I harsh?  Maybe.  As I get older, I find myself with less and less patience for this nonsense.  It is okay to address inadequacies but it is not okay to dwell on them.  I have a list a mile long.  I will address a wee percentage of them in the following list.

Captain Poolie’s List of Personal Inadequacies


learning another language

going on rides that turn me upside down

drinking wine

dealing with severely right-wing people


watching team sports

filing my papers at work


trying unusual foods

group processes and “feeling circles”  (enormous gag on that one)

running marathons

So yes, if one allows imperfections and unskilled moments to rule, one will always feel marginalized.  I say “Put on your big boy or big girl pants and get over your bad self!  Do something kind for someone else.  Be responsible!”

And that is all for today.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

10 responses to “The Myth of Low Self-Esteem

  1. Thank you for poking at my WordPress through your tiredness. You are much loved here.

  2. I imagine that she knew you would not let her get by with more self rightious indignation so she used the victim card. The entire cast and crew are much better off without her “assistance”.

  3. Or….she may dislike you and not want to work with you again.

  4. I was just thinking if that person left, she did you an enormous favor.

  5. I think she was just realizing that you are the person who insisted on directing her, and “she don’t need no direction.” I’m glad you got that off your plate; you sure don’t need her.

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