There is such a thing as having too much self-esteem.
I would like to have that problem, just as I would like to say, “I must have a high metabolism or something, because I just can’t seem to gain weight. Please pass the brownies.”
Jean Twenge, Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, has just published a book called “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before,” based on her research on the responses of 1.3 million young people. Twenge links the unrealistic expectations of what she calls Generation Me, anyone born in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s, with the increase in depression, anxiety, cynicism, and loneliness among American youth. She and her colleagues of the study claim that the narcissistic and self-centered attitudes of today’s college students are a threat not only to their personal relationships but also to American society.
“We need to stop endlessly repeating, ‘You’re special,’ and having children repeat that back,” said Twenge in an interview with the Associated Press. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”
Hm–maybe I shouldn’t be teaching Katherine and David to look into the mirror saying, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me!” And we definitely shouldn’t do the same exercise but with a Generation Me twist: “I’m the best. My crap don’t stink. And if anyone thinks otherwise, well, they’re wrong and must need therapy, meds, and ‘Beyond Blue.’”