Self-esteem refers to the level of self-worth people grant themselves. Self-esteem determines how people interpret their own value, whether in terms of personality or physical appearance. People with low self-esteem are said to not value themselves very highly, and this often leads to depression or paves the way for a very destructive path. The opposite is often the case in people with high self-esteem.
Self-esteem is an essential part of human life. Without it people would have very little concern for their survival. People with high self-esteem value themselves highly. This manifests in many ways. Individuals may see themselves as highly intelligent or attractive and feel like their life is meaningful and potentially beneficial to society. They see the work that they undertake as valuable, and they feel like peers appreciate their relationships. People with high self-esteem are less likely to become depressed. Thus, they are less likely to fall into destructive patterns or take their own life willingly. The opposite can be said for people with low or dwindling self-esteem.
Self-esteem is not a permanently locked mental trait. People with high self-esteem may lose it once they fall on hard times and people with low self-esteem may build it up once they start getting fulfillment out of life. One of the biggest factors causing self-esteem to fluctuate is the way in which trusted and respected family, friends and peers treat each other. If someone a person respects says something negative about that person, he or she is likely to believe it and may suffer a drop in self-esteem.