A person’s self-esteem and relationship with others constitute a complex cycle and web of connections. One’s self-esteem is the value and pride one feels about him or herself (Teens Health, 2009). It is reflected in one’s actions, attitudes, and relationships with other people. Those with high self-esteem are confident and can make friends and relate with other more easily (Teens Health, 2009). Therefore, a healthy self-esteem can lead to having strong relationships and feeling good about others people. On the other hand, self-esteem is not an unchangeable, genetic code.
It is something that is nurtured and grows with people as they experience the external world. As such, the development of one’s self-esteem is greatly affected by one’s interaction with other people. Individuals have the potential to contribute to the overall confidence, energy, and happiness of those they meet (Gaddis, 2008). The only remaining question is whether their words and actions will become boon or bane to others: will they be ego boosters or ego busters.
Ego boosters are people whose optimism and goodwill towards others generate warmth, acceptance, and an improved sense of self-esteem.
According to Gaddis (2008), ego boosters inflate, encourage, and help others build courage and confidence. I have been lucky enough to meet people who have made life more enjoyable and helped me build and improve my self-esteem. One of the biggest influences and greatest ego boosters in my life are my parents. My parents are very supportive, encouraging, and loving. One thing they do that has been very good for my self-esteem was that they respect me as my own person and never forced me to commit to anything I do not want.
They are always open, upfront, and honest with me that I have never felt like a little helpless child. They have instilled a sense of self-responsibility in me from a young age and gave me the freedom to make my own decisions and learn from my mistakes. However, this is not to say that they are lax or that they spoil me. It is just that their manner of discipline involves talking to me rather than at me. If people felt happy, renewed, and enriched because of an ego booster’s presence in their lives, they will feel the complete opposite when they touch base with an ego buster.
Ego busters are people who contribute to a reduction in one’s perception of his or her self-worth. They drain others’ emotional resources and energy to the point that they prompted Gaddis (2008) to liken them to “a vitality vampire, sucking the positive lifeblood” out of others (n. p. ). I too have had my unfortunate share of ego busters. One ego-busting classmate that stands out is a girl who seemed to embody Gaddis’ metaphor. She was intelligent and pretty but was also self-centered and often spoke negatively to and of others.
Though she was one of the smart and responsible students in class, no one ever wanted to be grouped with her. She was notorious for publicly humiliating partners or group mates who were not as brilliant as her. Everyone just wanted to avoid her because for all the positive traits and talents she has, the only thing she can use them for is to hurt others and make them feel bad about themselves. From the examples above, the mountains of differences separating ego boosters from ego busters are clearly seen. The booster builds up confidence while the buster breaks it down.
Having strong and healthy self-esteem and confidence are essential for one to be able to withstand life’s challenges as well socialize well with others. However, although other people and one’s environment have influence, the most powerful hand in shaping one’s self-esteem and confidence is that of one’s own self. One can be his or her own ego booster or buster depending on how he or she views him or herself. Knowing one’s self, happiness, and goals can help one feel capable and in control of his or her own life (Teens Health, 2009).
Stewart (2004) writes 25 tips to improve one’s self-esteem by one’s own strength. Some of the tips included are loving the self, accepting oneself, doing things for one’s happiness, surrounding oneself with positive energy, facing one’s fear, and learning from others (Stewart, 2004). Another way for one to take control of his or her self-esteem is by evaluating one’s relationships (Rando, 2009). People and one’s relationships with them are always changing as such it is important to continuously assess how all his or her relationships are affecting one now.
If one feels that old relationships are becoming more like a burden or are harmful outright, then it is time to start new ones, severe old ties, or at least loosen their hold on them (Rando, 2009). Self-esteem and self-confidence are driving forces that produce and are produced by having beneficial and emotionally healthy relationships with other people. Connecting with ego boosters allows for a positive addition to one’s confidence development while the opposite goes for ego busters.
The person himself or herself can act as either ego booster or buster for his or her self. Therefore, it is important that one considers the qualities he or she found in others to be positive and enriching and practice them in his or her own life. In this way, one can be an ego booster for himself or herself and others.
Gaddis, S. (2008, February 11). Ego-boosters versus ego busters. EzineArticles. com. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://ezinearticles. com/? Ego-Boosters-Versus-Ego-Busters&id=979857. Rando, C. (2009).How to overcome a confidence crisis: Surviving a confidence crash. About. com. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://homeparents. about. com/od/homebusprofiles/a/bus_confidence. htm. Stewart, A. M. (2004). The Confidence Booster: 25 Tips Toward Boosting Your Confidence And Self –Esteem. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www. tools-for-abundance. com/support-files/confidencebooster. pdf. Teens Health. (2009). Body image and self-esteem. Nemours Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://kidshealth. org/teen/your_mind/body_image/body_image. html