Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 May 2021
Unconditional positive regard by parents paves the way to unconditional self-regard, a felt sense that one is worthy and acceptable even when making mistakes, experiencing failure, or behaving in less than desirable ways. People with high self-esteem perceive themselves favorably. They generally like themselves and believe they are competent and capable of handling life’s challenges. Conversely, those with low self-esteem regard themselves as incapable, unlikable, or even unworthy. Low self-esteem is related to depression and a number of psychosomatic ailments such as loss of appetite, insomnia, nervousness, and headaches. On the whole, people with low self-esteem do not feel valued by themselves or by others and doubt their ability to add value. Self-acceptance and self-esteem are thus critical for mattering. Self-esteem has important implications for a host of life domains. Those high in self-esteem experience more positive emotions and are significantly happier than those with low self-esteem. In fact, high self-esteem is considered one of the most dominant predictors of happiness.