Labile self-esteem refers to a constantly changing sense of self-esteem. For most people, self-esteem remains relatively constant over time. However, labile self-esteem is easily changed from low to high, or high to low.
OMG! Did you know there is an actual clinical term for Drama Queen? Well, there is, and the criteria actually cracks me up…mostly. It is called Histrionic Personality Disorder by the WHO, (the organization not the band), as follows:
[A] personality disorder characterized by:
- shallow and labile affectivity (
- exaggerated expression of emotions,
- lack of consideration for others,
- easily hurt feelings, and
- continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.
How many people, particularly women, and the vast majority of teenagers, male or female, have not suffered from this so-called “disorder”?Well, I have to disagree with the criteria, as well as popular opinions and descriptions of drama queens. Which are all disparaging and inaccurate.Everybody, and I mean everybody, self-dramatizes. Every person feels their problems are the worst problems, and I must agree with them. After all, the problems belong to them and they are the only ones that can solve them.As a living being, we are all suggestible. Mass hysteria is an example. Even when someone reacts in the opposite desired behaviour that proves suggestibility.Exaggerated expression of emotion is called passion WHO! Without passion people would do nothing and die out as a species.Egocentricity is universal…altruism is a fallacy. People only do something because that action has some kind of emotional pay-off for them. Even Mother Theresa did what she did because it made her feel good.Theatricality…is entertaining. Proof? Hero-worship of all the stars in our world.Self-indulgence? Seriously? If you don’t indulgence yourself, who will? If you don’t indulge yourself life would be drudgery, pure and simple. Then we would die, for there would be no passion to create anything.Then there is the lack of consideration for others…I mean, come on! That is right along the lines of altruism, isn’t it? Not to mention mind-reading. How am I to know what others like and don’t like? Unless they tell me, then convince me that they are not just trying to control me.Easily hurt feelings is called sensitivity. Geez! Give me a freakin’ break!And then, there is that final, all important one called the continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention. Damn. Should we be seeking boredom? Should we be doormats? Should we try to fade into the background, become invisible? I think not!!!!!!Did I mention that other criteria? No? Hmmm, maybe I just forgot to put it in. Here goes:
- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval…whatever!
- Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat…damn straight!
- Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior…ok, I’ll give them this one. I was inappropriately seductive when younger and now I indulge in inappropriate behaviour:) And I love every minute of it as it amuses me to no end! LOL
- Using somatic symptoms (of physical illness) as a means of garnering attention…This particular characteristic was beaten out of me as a young child so I can’t speak to it really. However, my opinion is how do I know for sure how anyone else really feels? I don’t. Enough said.
- A need to be the center of attention…this particular characteristic is off and on for me, depending on how safe I feel being the centre of attention. All subjective to circumstances and the people around me.
- Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification…why should I wait for something I want? Low tolerance for frustration is my middle name.
- Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others…who are these others/do I give a shit how I appear to them? NO. I do not.
- Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are…yup, ain’t that the truth. After all, I have no reliable way to know how intimate a relationship is. You know, after the sex and true confessions, what’s left?
- Making rash decisions…decisive. I am decisive.
Many people believe starting a new business venture, career or anything that has to do with making money is gambling, risky and dangerous to their well-being.
I beg to differ.
Money is a commodity, easily gained and just as easily lost. Not a big deal to me.
What is a big deal? What is risky to me?
Leaving your comfort zone, moving far, far away from you contacts, family and loved ones. Leaving behind your mental security net is risky. All those people you depend on when you are down and out to help pick yourself up again and move forward.
Have you ever thought how you would get through tough times without your network of peeps?
With no one to encourage you.
No one to believe in you.
No one to love you.
Isn’t that the biggest risk of all?
It is not so easy to replace friendships and loved ones. It takes years if not a lifetime.
So what is my point?
We moved to our dream location…our current dream location (because this is not the first time we’ve re-located ourselves across a country). It’s risky because we only have each other…we must be everything to each other. Lovers, friends, entertainer, problem solver and so on.
I had no fear of this unknown. I still have no fear now that I am here.
How can that be? Me, so fearful of so many things, yet so daring when it comes to something so huge.
I trust my husband with my life.
I trust that he will not let me down.
I trust that he will move heaven and earth trying to live up to that trust.
I wonder if he feels the same?:)
I haven’t seen my granddaughter since she was 7 or 8 years old. She is now a beautiful, almost 15-year-old, young lady who wears her heart on her sleeve and her sense of humour like a badge. She has taught me a lovely lesson in how to be yourself:) She is proud to be like her Grammy too LOL
Wearing my heart on my sleeve was taboo for me. In my ADDled mind, if people knew my feelings it was an open invitation to hurt me. My joy and my pain were things to be kept hidden at all costs, to protect myself from more pain and ridicule.
So NOT true for everyone!
I watch my granddaughter share her joy, her pain, her sadness and her enthusiasm. It makes my own heart swell with love for her and pride. How beautiful it is to see someone so accepting of those emotions! How wonderful it is to see someone recognize the feelings for what they really are, then live the emotion and then move on from emotion! So amazing! And far more manageable than my way…
Which is to suppress the emotion, pretend it doesn’t exist, push it down, push it away, deny it, feel it but bury it…etc. etc. etc.
Such negativity only leads to more pain, more hurt and less joy.
The proof is the way I’ve lived my life.
For instance, while in Montreal after 4 days of being on the road and suffering numerous panic attacks on the Montreal freeway, I was in NO condition to drive around the city to visit 6 siblings! Not to mention the waste of time, money and energy it would have taken to do that. Plus the toll it takes on the environment driving here, there and everywhere on our own when they could have doubled up, even tripled up, in their vehicles to come see me.
So, the only one of my siblings that I did spend a little time with was my little sister. We had a lovely, enlightening visit and I was very happy to hug her. We shared our true feelings about how we felt during our childhood, which is something we never spoke about before.
My sister had it marked on her calendar as a major event.
My four brothers did not bother to come visit. 2 of them didn’t even bother to call me or make excuses. It was a major non-event for them.
In the past I would have said “Whatever”, pretend I didn’t care, pretend I wasn’t hurt and carry that with me forever.
Instead, I was honest with the 2 brothers I did speak to, telling them I was hurt and listening when they said they would come visit me, here, on the island, during the next long weekend instead, because they were still working at 8 PM and they were tired.
I can understand that. I can relate to that. And I can now look forward to their visit. Without a grudge:)
As for the other 2?
Well, I am still pretty “miffed” about their lack of interest. So I’m waiting until I get a handle on the emotions before I say anything to them.
But I WILL say something…just not within the heat of the hurt feelings. Only when I can be somewhat rational.
It’s something new for me and I wonder how it will work out. I wonder if I will move away from the hurt by waiting to speak out.
How would you handle this situation?
I was interested to learn about how much pressure and stress I’m under with all that I have going on at the same time.
Not too awfully bad…my score is 178 which falls in the moderate range.
Score of 150-299: Risk of illness is moderate
Score of <150: Only a slight risk of illness
While a positive event for many people, retirement is considered the 10th most stressful event.Read more:
Any type of major change in your life, either good or bad, can cause stress. Examples of major life changes include: getting fired, changing jobs, starting or ending a relationship, divorce, getting married, buying a home, relocating, starting or finishing school, starting a family or having kids leave the home, being a victim of a crime, spending time in jail, retirement, mid-life crisis, or menopause.
1. Take the time to adjust. If experiencing a major change, take it easy. Don’t take actions that heap additional changes on top of it. Just concentrate on learning to live with the new situation. TOO LATE, GOT LOTS OF CHANGES HAPPENING ALL AT THE SAME TIME:)
2. Express your feelings. Willingness to express feelings and reach out for help when under pressure will increase chances of remaining healthy. Do not keep your feelings bottled up. OK, BE PREPARED FOR SOME EMOTIONAL POSTS ROFL
3. Let your personality be your guide. If highly ambitious, aggressive, always in a hurry to get things done, try to take life a little more calmly. Be less competitive in sports and outside activities as well as on the job. However, this doesn’t mean you should spend a do-nothing weekend after a pressure filled week or take a long vacation after a major life change or period of stress. That sudden turn off may be worse for you than having something to do. Or, you may be the easy-going type being less competitive. You worry less and don’t allow the clock to drive you. If so, you might suffer ill effects by doing what comes naturally-withdrawing during periods of heavy stress or intense competition. Actually, you might do better by being more active than usual; keeping somewhat busier to avoid becoming depressed. Both types should seek to alter their usually behaviour gradually and strive to be a bit more like the other. I AM BOTH TYPES COMBINED ! OH-OH
4. Consider the impact of life changes when making decisions. i.e. say your life change score is high and you’re offered a new job in a different line of work. It would mean moving and a different schedule with new people around you. One alternative would be to avoid the life change and stay where you are. The other would be to take the job and make a point to avoid additional stressful situations and take particular care of your health for the next 2 years. By knowing how much stress you are under-including that from pleasant events-you are better able to make well-timed decisions and take good care of yourself when you are under a high degree of pressure. 2 YEARS? I CAN BARELY MANAGE 2 MINUTES! GUESS WHAT MY NEXT 2 YEARS WILL BE ALL ABOUT?
If you feel the need to work on your EQ, please visit
Bring Your Life Into Balance
HELPGUIDE’S FREE STRESS-BUSTING, MOOD-BOOSTING MINDFULNESS TOOLKIT
Will I work on my EQ? Doubtful. I have visited this site many times and am overwhelmed with all of it.
Well, if you look around you, the most intelligent of people screw up all the time. They screw up because they are not able to use their intelligence in any given situation…the emotional response has taken over and no amount of intelligence is going to change how they feel in the moment!
Rationality takes a permanent vacation when your entire response and beliefs are based on your emotional reaction to a situation.
People can live their whole lives in a very self-destructive mode based on their emotions. They can come up with intelligent reasons why they are living in such a way without realizing their emotions prompted them to the point of harmful living.
The first example that comes to mind is about a person living with an eating disorder. First they are out of control, either purging, bingeing or starving themselves in reaction to pure emotions they cannot handle. Once on the road to ‘recovery”, whatever road they choose, the battle is a daily one and rationalization becomes part and parcel for the duration of the process.
Then, a new way of eating and living is born, seemingly healthy and intelligently thought out, based on sound food choices etc. But, if you look closer, you can see the constant obsession with food is still there. Not only is it still there, it is high on that persons list of priorities. All that healthy living lifestyle, eating right and exercise, is still primarily all about control.
It becomes; control what you eat, control your movements, control how you look, control yourself. Thoughts about emotions and what brought them to that brink are repressed, not spoken of and hidden away, buried beneath a whole lot of self-delusion. And that is why the urges to binge, purge and starve never really go away. Because the emotions are not really dealt with. To fully feel and deal with the devastating traumas that brought them to such a destructive self-view is too much to handle so the lid must become more firmly locked into place by any means possible.
I subscribe to the mindset that says “lock up the hurt and throw away the key”. Never letting it out would work best for me. After all, if the mind turned itself off to protect you from the emotional devastation of the trauma, then the mind must have known what it was doing, right?
Wrong, so the experts say. Repressing only works for a time. The trauma to your psyche comes out, no matter what you do, it will seep out in the most insidious ways. But it will always come out.
I half believe the experts are correct.
I only half believe them because I was able to repress emotional trauma for 40 years. 40 years is a long, long time! Unfortunately the time came when I have had to fight with the emotions, push them away, try to re-bury them because the “seeping” has taken its toll on my life in a major physical way. I do not want to deal with any traumas of the past. I do not want to deal with anything that was ugly enough to be locked away so tightly.
Who’s got time for all this self-improvement crap? Not me. Besides, I’m too old for this, right?
I’ll think about this tomorrow. Or maybe the next day…next month…next year….never.
- (EQ) skill 5: The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence. Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in relationships. Two people can’t possibly have the same needs, opinions, and expectations at all times. However, that needn’t be a bad thing. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen trust between people. When conflict isn’t perceived as threatening or punishing, it fosters freedom, creativity, and safety in relationships.
The ability to manage conflicts in a positive, trust-building way is supported by the previous four skills of emotional intelligence. Once you know how to manage stress, stay emotionallypresent and aware, communicate nonverbally, and use humor and play, you’ll be better equipped to handle emotionally charged situations and catch and diffuse many issues before they escalate.
Tips for resolving conflict in a trust-building way:
- Stay focused in the present. When you are not holding on to old hurts and resentments, you can recognize the reality of a current situation and view it as a new opportunity for resolving old feelings about conflicts. Not a problem, I rarely remember situations of the past. No hurt feelings lingering however no learned skills remembered either!
- Choose your arguments. Arguments take time and energy, especially if you want to resolve them in a positive way. Consider what is worth arguing about and what is not. If I pay attention long enough to argue it’s because someone is trying to force me into their way of thinking. I argue, kick, fuss and fight when someone tries to bully me into anything.
- Forgive. Other people’s hurtful behavior is in the past. To resolve conflict, you need to give up the urge to punish or seek revenge. Elaborate revenge scenarios take place in my head. Also soon forgotten in a day or 2.
- End conflicts that can’t be resolved. It takes two people to keep an argument going. You can choose to disengage from a conflict, even if you still disagree. That’s right…if the argument lasts long enough for me to get bored with it then I am outta there, gone. Literally and physically, I remove myself from the situation.
- OK, so conflict resolutionis not my strongest ability. I either don’t care enough to want to compromise, which means I give in or give up so I can move on. If I do care about the situation enough to want to resolve it, I’m afraid it has to be my way or highway. That’s right. Compromise is not in my repertoire of what I do.
- If I care about something enough to argue and fight for it, and it holds my attention that long as well, it means it is vitally important to me and I do not let it go. Bottom line, if I don’t care about the situation I do not engage. If I engage, I must win.
- (EQ) skill 4: The ability to use humor and play to deal with challenges. Humor, laughter, and play are natural antidotes to life’s difficulties. They lighten your burdens and help you keep things in perspective. A good hearty laugh reduces stress, elevates mood, and brings your nervous systemback into balance.
- Take hardships in stride. By allowing you to view your frustrations and disappointments from new perspectives, laughter and play enable you to survive annoyances, hard times, and setbacks.
- Smooth over differences. Using gentle humor often helps you say things that might be otherwise difficult to express without creating a flap.
- Simultaneously relax and energize yourself. Playful communication relieves fatigue and relaxes your body, which allows you to recharge and accomplish more.
- Become more creative. When you loosen up, you free yourself of rigid ways of thinking and being, allowing you to get creative and see things in new ways.
How to develop playful communication:
It’s never too late to develop and embrace your playful, humorous side.
- Try setting aside regular, quality playtime. The more you joke, play, and laugh—the easier it becomes.
- Find enjoyable activities that loosen you up and help you embrace your playful nature.
- Practice by playing with animals, babies, young children, and outgoing people who appreciate playful banter.
- THIS IS MY ONE AND ONLY TRUE SKILL – I CAN AND WILL LAUGH AT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING, DELIRIOUSLY WITHOUT ANY SELF-CONSIOUSNESS. HUMOUR HAS GOTTEN ME THROUGH THE HARD TIMES, THE DAILY FRUSTRATIONS OF LIVING WITH ADHD (UNDIAGNOSED/UNTREATED, DIAGNOSED AND TREATED THEN DIAGNOSED AND UNTREATED).
- MY ABILITY TO SEE HOW RIDICULOUS MOST THINGS ARE IN LIFE HAS ENABLED ME TO RIDE THE STORMS AND NOT TAKE MYSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.
- YES, I HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF LAUGHING AT INAPPROPRIATE TIMES AND I HAVE BEEN TOLD MY HUMOUR IS INAPPROPRIATE AND I HAVE BEEN TOLD MY HUMOUR IS OFTEN “DARK” (WHATEVER THAT MEANS).
- REGARDLESS OF AN UNAPPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE, I WOULD NOT TRADE MY SENSE OF HUMOUR FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD.
- Emotional intelligence(EQ) skill 2: The ability to recognize and manage your emotions. Being able to connect to your emotions—is the key to understanding yourself and others.
Many people are disconnected from their emotions–especially strong core emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, and joy. This may be the result of negative childhood experiences that taught you to try to shut off your feelings. But although we can distort, deny, or numb our feelings, we can’t eliminate them. They’re still there, whether we’re aware of them or not.
What kind of a relationship do you have with your emotions?
- Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment? If they are strong enough to capture my attention the answer to this question for me is YES.
- Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest? Once again, YES.
- Do you experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions? Honestly, if they are discrete I will never be aware of what’s happening inside of me, let alone what’s happening with my facial expressions!
- Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others? Duh. That’s the only type of feelings I recognize, intense enough to get my attention.
- Do you pay attention to your emotions? Do they factor into your decision-making? I try very hard to be aware of my emotions and fail most of the time. Mostly, when anger hits me it’s like a ton of bricks that fell from the sky and leaves me wondering what the heck is going on?
If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or turned off. In order to be emotionally healthy and emotionally intelligent, you must reconnect to your core emotions, accept them, and become comfortable with them.
Easier said than done! I’ll accept my core emotions once I can find them. As for being comfortable with my emotions…well, that is the million dollar question for me. Childhood conditioning is a mitigating factor in being comfortable with myself. If I get a grip on the feelings I wonder if I’ll be comfortable with them.
This all sounds like a full-time job to me.
And not just a little bit boring either. It sounds like I’d be bored with so much concentration on myself…if I could pay that much attention to what’s happening inside for any significant length of time I might succeed.
Here’s what I know for sure.
ANGER makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Sadness embarrasses me.
Fear overwhelms me to the point of killing the “flight or fight response”.
JOY is good. I recognize joy. I love Joy. I feel JOY and recognize it. I always end up crying when the Joy is strong. Which is usually 98% of the time LOL
I think it’s doubtful.
OK, so I need to work on step 1, big time. Can someone get me a big flashing light and attach it to my stress response?
All part of self-awareness, I know. I have no idea I’m stressed until it’s too late. I’m already reacting physically and emotionally to whatever has caused this great big stress response in me. I know, I know…I need BIGcues to recognize small things. By the time I realize that I am stressed-out, it’s too late to do anything but react.
The time to cut off the source of stress has long past and I’m at the mercy of whatever physical reaction my body is having which in turn triggers an emotional response. Usually anger. At myself. For not recognizing what was happening to me. From frustration at missing the clues once again. Then I berate myself for not getting it…something so damn easy and I miss it completely. Totally unaware that the situation, the same situation, will make me bug out. That’s right, in retrospect, I know it’s everyday situations that I do not excel at but continue to attempt and fail each time that frustrates me. I realize the difference between symptom and behaviour…symptoms of ADHD cannot be changed but behaviour CANBE CHANGED. I keep trying to accomplish something simple, something normal people do without a second thought, but keep failing, which just pisses me off.
Hard headed…sure, I get that. Intellectually I get it. But the combination of childhood conditioning, tenacity and willfullness along with forgetfulness has put the habit of keep trying until it happens into my DNA. I even am smart enough to try different ways to accomplish those mundane tasks that frustrate me so much. Alas, it just doesn’t happen for me. I lose. Yet again. I hate that. So much.
What to do? I’m not really sure.
The tip says to recognize when my body starts to feel the stress, tightened muscles is a big one.
Ha! Tightened muscles are an all day thing for me. All day and all night. I’m pretty tensed up most of the time. As a matter of fact, I cannot identify a time or moment when my body is relaxed. Even when I’m sleeping my body is tense and my sleep is restless. I used to follow that popular trick all the experts push all the time…deliberately tense up each individual muscle, starting at your toesand working your way up to the top of your head. Tense it up, relax, tense, relax moving up and up until your body relaxes.
To be honest, it worked for a short time. Ok. It worked a couple of times. Then, when I would tense a part of my foot, it would cramp up. Yikes! Painful! Not only was it painful but disruptive to any kind of relaxation that may happen in bed.
Toes curling in agony I’d be rolling off the bed to hit the floor and try to massage that foot cramp out so my toes would uncurl, swearing and whining to boot. Funny? Oh yeah, it’s funny. At the same time, it frustrates me.
Now, I just don’t bother trying to relax the muscles in my body. I’m content with relaxing the brain muscle so I can fall asleep. That has become my top priority in life…sleeping.
Sleeping is good. Sleeping is great. Sleeping is the best thing since sliced bread.
Can I skip step 1 and move on to step 2? We’ll see next time.
So which one is the most important, your IQ or your EQ?
Here’s what I know for sure.
If your IQ is high enough, you can fake the EQ…you can even compensate for a low Emotional Intelligencewith a high IQ. You can be a success without a high IQ, but you cannot succeed with a low EQ.
The biggest difference between IQ and EQ is:
Your IQ really measures your ability to learn and cannot be changed much. No one can be taught how to be a genius:)
Your EQ measures your ability to perceive and use the emotions of a situation…and that CAN be changed.
My test scores for EQ are low…low low low – see a snapshot of my results below
Emotional Identification, Perception, and Expression
You seem to be lacking in most, if not all of the skills that can help you identify, perceive and express emotions in yourself and others. This can, if it hasn’t already, hinder your ability to read others, to understand how they feel, and to effectively identify your own emotions. Lacking these skills could mean that you are unable to relate to others and may sometimes even question why you yourself behave the way you do.
That’s right, that’s me in a nutshell.
The good news…I can change that score. I have changed that score a little.
Take a look at the link for the website below and let me know what you think. I would love to know who else struggles with EQ besides myself!:)
The best things in life are free, and below is the link for a site that actually has a comprehensive FREE and helpful online tool that can help.
Tomorrow, I will continue with this theme on a more personal level, with tips and tricks that I have used over the years to fake my way through life LOL
Bring Your Life Into Balance
HELPGUIDE’S FREE STRESS-BUSTING, MOOD-BOOSTING MINDFULNESS TOOLKIT http://www.helpguide.org/toolkit/emotional_health.htm