The Highs and Lows of Self Esteem

Photo of survey result - How people rated their self esteem on a sale from 1 to 10.

Photo of survey result - How people rated their self esteem on a sale from 1 to 10.

by McKenna Pearcy, Writer

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Self esteem isn’t linear. We all experience highs  and lows. From the genes we’re born with to the lives we live, we’re all faced with this thing we tend to not talk about, called “self esteem”.


According to an anonymous  survey conducted by the Cougar Chronicle on what affects people’s self esteem,  it was found that there are several determining factors that affect the way an individual rates their self esteem. This survey included: whether people have a disability, a physical defect or insecurity with their physical body, a self-assessed problem with their learning, whether they’ve been bullied, their perceived social skills, and the color of their skin.

Results from the survey show that most individuals feel like they have disadvantages that  affect their self esteem.


In total, 67 percent  have some sort of factor that affects their self esteem.  About 70 percent of people have been bullied in the past, and the remaining participants report being currently bullied.  People most commonly rated their social skills between a 3 and a 6. Not surprisingly, 97 percent of participants admit that mean things people say to them hurt their self esteem. 13 percent  of individuals say their skin color affects their self esteem.


When looking at individual percentages most of those who have a lower self esteem are females in their teens, and rate themselves as only a 3 to 5 on their esteem levels. Most males have a higher rating of themselves, up in the 7 to 9 category.


The reality is that everything from genes to the environment  affect individuals even if they don’t see it. These statistics need to change. Females shouldn’t feel this way about themselves. There are steps individuals can take to change their self-view.


According to Psychology Today, “When it comes to your self-worth, only one opinion truly matters — your own.” Phycology Today also suggests steps individuals can take to improve self esteem, like avoiding comparing yourself to other people, exercising, forgiving others, and remembering that you are not your circumstances.


Alicia Reardonjunior at Central Kitsap High School,  confirms the damage done by comparing ourselves to other people. She consistently feels worse about herself when she compares her grades to other people’s.


The good news is that self esteem can be improved. Kevin Rethaber, 45 year old man,  says that his self esteem improves when he spends time with friends and family.


Ideas from other survey participants include focusing on positives, learning to be assertive, and  avoiding negative self talk. These are just some of the ways to improve self esteem.


Our self esteem varies throughout our lives.  The good news is that we don’t have to be passive participants. There are things we can do each day to improve our self esteem.

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