We all know that person. The one who is always talking about themselves, an expert on every subject under the sun, the one who’s experiences, no matter what, is better than yours. They dominate the conversation with explanations and answers to everything that anyone else has said. They hijack the conversation until it is all about them.
What they say may be tedious, inflated, and even inaccurate, but that never bothers them because they are unaware of it. Your eyes glaze over, you tune out, and you make up strategies for how to avoid this person the next time you see them. That’s the classic example of someone who has an inflated sense of self.
What Is an Inflated Sense of Self?
At first glance, we may think this type of person has a good, healthy self-esteem. This is a picture they work hard to create. Still, if you look more closely, their behavior reflects something entirely different.
People who have good, healthy self-esteem are sure of themselves, and they carry that security inside themselves. It is not dependent on their environment, their accomplishments, what they look like, or even their successes. All these things have some influence, but they don’t determine self-esteem overall.
When you see someone who is always seeking praise and the judgment of others, they are showing that they lack these qualities themselves. Likely, they don’t like something about themselves. So, they tell everyone how great they are and how great their life is, in hopes that no one will notice that the situation is the opposite. This makes them feel secure in the short term.
Who’s Fooling Who?
The problem is that while it may be easy to fool others and make them think that we are someone we’re not, it is not that easy to fool ourselves. Deep down, people with an inflated sense of self are suffering from a fear of failure, rejection, and not being admired by everyone. Their outward show is like camouflage.
Someone with an inflated sense of self is incapable of recognizing that they have a self-esteem problem. This makes change difficult since the first step in changing is acknowledging that there is a problem. And it’s human nature to avoid or reject the negative opinions of others or not to recognize our flaws. It’s also human nature to feel bad when criticized, even if deep down they agree with it.
How to Develop Healthy Self Esteem
If you are wondering if you have an inflated sense of self, you probably don’t. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to bolster your self-image. We may not like it, but not everyone will like us or think we are attractive enough. There will always be someone who will reject us or criticize us.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but the sooner we start accepting and embracing this reality, the sooner we will understand that self-love starts inside ourselves, rather than with the judgments and opinions of others. These are things we can’t control, so we should work not to let them control us.
The sooner we realize that we are human and that we have the right to make mistakes and to fail, the sooner we will begin to improve our self-esteem. It’s also essential to ask for help when you need it because no one is 100% perfect at everything. We all have to practice and learn; each of us will probably be better at something, and not so good at something else.
You are a unique, valuable GR8 person as you are. Work on your issues, cultivate respect and love for yourself, and you’ll soon find that others will feel the same way towards you.