Another reason to be less demanding

“I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”

I came across the idea that our self-esteem is equal to our opinion of others.

Sounds esoteric, but I reflected on it and there may be something to it.


A mentally well person accepts that she is an ordinary human being and that most people who surround her are ordinary human beings.


a) if she is highly critical of most ordinary human beings, on an average day she is critical of herself

b) if she is accepting of others’ faults,on an average day she accepts her own faults

Doesn’t this add up?

I sort of talked about this when I hypothesised that people criticise others for the things they hate about themselves. Reading over it, it seems naive and slightly needy, but I still think there was a grain of truth in it.

“Yet another reason to not be a demanding pig”, I gently remind myself.

17 thoughts on “Another reason to be less demanding”

  1. I heard a useful ‘mantra’ on a Clarissa Pinkola Estes CD: Do not condemn, do not criticise, do not complain. It’s something to aim for, and useful to think of when one’s having a jolly good moan about other people, or determined that one’s own self is not measuring up. Such a waste of energy – carping instead of taking steps for betterment. I do need to remember this – several times a day 🙂

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    1. It can be very hard indeed! I don’t complain very often, that’s one skill I learnt, because I’ve always been told: why don’t you do something about it rather than complain? On the bright side, it made me proactive and focused on what is within my power. On the less bright side, thinking like this creates the feeling that you’re much more responsible than you really are. Sometimes you can’t control or change the situation. That too can be damaging. Thanks for you comment 🙂

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  2. How does the overweening person who has an inflated sense of self fit into this. He looks down on others and has a high sense of his own worth. Of course, this may also be a charade, but … ?

    What is the Robert Burns quote about the gift of seeing ourselves as others see us. Wouldn’t that be nice, a social mirror!


  3. I do know that we tend to have mental schema of things we are ourselves focused on. For instance, if a spouse is a cheater, they may be focused on the mentality of what it is like to cheat, and thus accuse their spouse of cheating. This is because they only notice the confirming bias evidence, and the schema shines a beam of focus on only this evidence.

    Not necessarily that our self-esteem drives our opinions of others, but that it does drive our reactions towards others. In general, people who feel better about themselves have a stronger standpoint, and can easily appreciate others without feeling intimidated. People who don’t particularly appreciate themselves might feel intimidated by others and react with trying to lower the person to their level.

    Critical people tend to criticize (themselves AND others), while accepting people tend to accept things more readily.

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  4. These are things I came to see as absolute, with no grey area, nearly twenty years ago. Due to my need to see things, less as theory and more of: ‘is this useful?’ I’ve moved mountains within my own development following the philosophy of: what we see in others, positive and negative, is only ever a reflection of ourselves. How can we possibly recognise anything about others, if it doesn’t, or hasn’t existed within us, at some point in time?

    I think when we’re able to react with indifference, toward the negative behaviour of others, this indicates a clear acceptance of our own fallibility. Getting to this stage though, does take time.

    You actually have a right to be as demanding as you bloody well want. If those around you dislike your demanding nature, well, that’s their problem and something they need to deal with. If someone doesn’t want to meet your demands, and that person has high self-esteem, they will tell you so. As a teacher, I believe placing high demands on people is actually your responsibility: it’s your responsibility to help others raise their self esteem and your demands help toward this.

    It’s really all about perspective. A pig will only be demanding when wallowing in the mud. There are times when I need to raise my game, in terms of being demanding, simply because I’m fed up with the mud slinging many humans seem to require. I am of course indifferent to that ha ha!

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      1. Ah right, well, yes, it is a two way street. I think that people feel their own attitude towards themselves all the time. You can’t escape it really, so thats why I think it’s the starting point. But I think I may have misunderstood you again 😦


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