Being an Obedient Member of Society Raises Self-Esteem, Study Says

Self-esteem may or may not be a “cultural construct,” as they say in academia — but how good a person feels about him- or herself is largely based on how adeptly he or she complies with the social norms of whatever … Continue reading

Hate Yourself? You’re Not Alone

We came to hate ourselves for disparate reasons along disparate routes. Trauma. Abuse. Neglect. Inept role modeling. Bad luck. Our own acts. Those of others. The causes are endless. But the results are amazingly the same. Each amputee or millionaire … Continue reading

If You Can’t Love Yourself, Can You Love Others?

Henrik Ibsen’s 1896 play John Gabriel Borkman was a massive hit when it first appeared on Scandinavian stages. Basically it’s the sad story of Ella Rentheim, a poor woman whose lover, the ambitious John Gabriel Borkman, leaves her in order to … Continue reading

The Obvious Question: Did Philip Seymour Hoffman Have Low Self-Esteem?

San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle wonders whether Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead yesterday, was exquisitely skilled at portraying awkward, sad, tormented characters because the actor himself had low self-esteem: “He most often played people who were … Continue reading