Self-esteem can be a weird business. We’ve all met those people who are completely full of themselves for no earthly reason anyone can figure out. However, the more interesting people to me are the ones who seem to be absolutely amazing, but don’t like themselves. You’re thinking, “Wow! This is the coolest person I’ve met in the last six months” and after you get to know him better, you find out he doesn’t even like himself. Of course, since you are reading “5 Ways to Cement-In That Low Self-Esteem FOREVER,” you are probably thinking, “Wow! I wish I could have that kind of low self-esteem.” Well, the good news is that you can! I am going to teach you everything you need to know so you can have low self-esteem FOREVER!
1. Don’t build skills, develop your talents, or become good at anything
The easiest way to have low self-esteem is to be bad at everything. Don’t produce, just consume. Don’t contribute, just take. Don’t have your own adventures, just watch other people having them on TV. Don’t have your own cool life, just go on social media and tear down other people living cool lives. If you start doing cool stuff, learning new skills, creating new things, and helping other people yourself, you might actually start to like yourself and that defeats our whole purpose. Stay stagnant and it will take you far!
2. Focus on your weaknesses
You could be rich, famous, successful, intelligent, talented and STILL hate yourself. How? It’s easy! Just obsess over your weaknesses! You’re rich, but you’ve made some bad financial deals. You’re successful and famous, but come on, it’s not like you’re an astronaut or a fireman. Those guys are doing much more important work than you! You’re intelligent, but you’re certainly no Einstein. Also, what about your flaws? I mean you’re certainly not as young and attractive as you used to be. You can be the hottest woman in the room at 35 and still think, “I was so much better looking when I was 20.” Just keep your focus where it belongs – on why you’re such a loser!
3. Screen out positive comments from others
When someone compliments you, assume he’s just doing it to be nice. When someone praises you, assume it’s because he doesn’t know you very well. Work on this long enough and you can convince yourself that “No one likes you” even when you have a group of friends bending over backward to spend time with you and cheer you up. The key to this is to view your negative self-esteem as a lens through which you view the world darkly. If you are determined enough, no amount of positive feedback can crack your negative view of yourself.
4. Ignore the two secrets of self-esteem
I’m going to tell you a little secret about self-esteem that most people have never realized. It’s largely arbitrary. Now note that I did not say ENTIRELY arbitrary, but is it mostly arbitrary? Absolutely. You can be a piece of crap and think you’re hot sh*t or be hot sh*t and think you’re a piece of crap. This is why people with extremely similar strengths and weaknesses can have wildly varying levels of self-esteem.
Now here’s secret number two: Many people with low self-esteem are subconsciously reluctant to change because they get secondary benefits out of having low self-esteem. High self-esteem people tend to live a much more challenging life than low self-esteem people, almost by default. They have the confidence to take risks, try new things and keep going after they fail. Because of this, low self-esteem can seem easier and more comfortable than having high self-esteem. Not liking yourself enough to even attempt the hard things does have its benefits.
Combine these two and what you find is that once you have low self-esteem, the easiest thing to do is continue having low self-esteem and because how you feel about yourself is largely arbitrary, you get to decide. The good news is that most people choose the easy path at life, so once the “I don’t like me” choo-choo starts rolling, it’s damn near impossible to get it off the track unless you really want to change.
5. Make your rules unfair
Although they are unwritten, we all have our (mostly subconscious) rules in our heads that we live by. For example, one person might not care at all if someone is ten minutes late while another might take it as a gross insult to him. This is an arbitrary distinction that applies to other people, but we have just as many that apply to ourselves. The key to keeping your self-esteem low is to make your rules grossly unfair. What do I mean? Well…
“Yeah, I’m thin, but I can only like myself if I am as thin as the women on the magazine covers.”
“Sure, people seem to like me, but everyone should like me all the time and I should never hear any negative comments if I’m a good person.”
“I told myself I’d be happy if I made half a million dollars this year, but I only made $250,000. What a failure I am.”
The great thing about this is that if you do it right, you can be winning at life and still feel like a huge loser.
Burn these five rules into your brain and you can cement-in that low self-esteem FOREVER!
This originally appeared at PJ Media.