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The Dark Side Essay

792 words - 4 pages

Times are changing is an evident statement. Our young Americans are also changing. They seem to be more confident, tolerant, and more open-minded than ever before, but they also seem to feel very entitled. Our youth are both demanding and self-centered for the most part, expecting things to just happen because they want them to, and feel they are entitled to such. We have been told that high self-esteem is the key to children’s happiness and success, and we’ve been praising and protecting them ever since. We have been teaching our children to feel good about themselves even when they have done nothing special to feel good about. The overall belief that if we increase self-esteem among society it will increase the goodness in society is a nice thought but it lacks the evidence proving so. Low self-esteem has been the blame for many issues of today’s times. However, others believe that low self-esteem carries little or no factor in negative outcomes, but that inflated self-esteem is the actual culprit of such negative results. It is likely that this debate will continue for quite some time. The self-esteem movement has gone too far; it is crippling our children.
The self-esteem movement came about in the 1970’s. Psychologist Nathaniel Branden published a highly acclaimed paper called “The Psychology of Self-Esteem.” He argued that self-esteem was a “profound and powerful human need essential to healthy adaptiveness, that is, to optimal functioning and self-fulfillment. To the extent that the need is frustrated, we suffer and are thwarted in our development.” (Branden XV). Branden claims that all psychological problems are somehow connected to the lack of self-esteem. He claims that people can only be happy and successful if they have high levels of self-esteem. Branden is considered to be the intellectual father of self-esteem and wrote countless books on the subject. According to Branden, in an interview done by Joe Polish on Genius Network Interviews, “One of the most common causes of business failure is the executive fear of making decisions.” (Branden 2013). It seems that Dr. Branden blames all problems and failures on low self-esteem, in one way or another. This movement is a method of nurturing and teaching that promotes pointing out the positive things a child does to boost his self-esteem...

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