Here’s a Newsweek interview with Jennifer Crocker, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who focuses on self-esteem issues, regarding the treatment of contestants on “American Idol.”
She believes that the judges’ criticism “can hurt people’s self-esteem temporarily and the more invested they are, the more they’ve attached their self-worth to being a great singer, the more it’s going to hurt.”
I should distinguish what I described in the last post as a “dream” from a person’s complete investment of self in an activity or toward an accomplishment. Only after years of therapy have I learned how to tease the two apart. But I still get them confused a lot…where I fool myself into thinking that winning a Pulitzer or finishing an Ironman or seeing my name on the “New York Times” bestseller list will “complete me” (like Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire”).