Saturday, January 12, 2008

Self Esteem

I have a friend in recovery who sends out a daily email..he calls it the 'gift of the day' is recovery-related wisdom.

Occasionally the message 'speaks' to me...this one did:

Self-Esteem is a Powerful Force - How we react to criticism depends on our self-image. An alumnus from our treatment center called hysterically one day because her husband had been verbally abusive, berating her as a failed wife and mother. After the woman calmed down a bit, I said to her, 'That scar on the right of your face is absolutely ugly!' 'I don't understand you, doctor,' she said. 'What is there not to understand?' I said. 'I don't have any scar on my face,' the woman said. 'Then what did you think when I made that remark?' I asked. 'I hadn't the slightest idea what you were talking about,' the woman answered. I pointed out to the woman that when I made an unkind remark which she knew to be untrue, her reaction was that there must be something wrong with me. The reason she reacted so intensely when her husband made a derogatory comment was because she believed his comments to be true. Had she thought of herself as a good wife and mother, her reaction would have been, 'I don't know what in the world you are talking about.' It would hardly have been the hysterical reaction she had. If we think well of ourselves, even insulting comments, while not pleasant, can be shrugged off.--- Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

Dr. Abraham J. Twerski is a well known Rabbi and psychiatrist specializing in recovery from addictions.

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