July 6, 2010

Childhood and self-esteem

Agatha ChristieImage via Wikipedia

Agatha Christie said: "One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood."

If we take "love" - love in any form: romantic, family and friendship - as a proof of our life existence, love is certainly the most important aspect of life, because only if we appreciate our existence in the first place, are we able to fulfilled it. The more love we receive, the more meaningful and joyful we feel our life is. That’s’ why we all desperately search for love.

Unfortunately, all love we received from others is not completely secure. We could lose our lovers, friends and family members. Or, even worse, we could try very hard but still could not get others’ love. However, one kind of love we could never lose - if we ever get it – is the love from ourselves: self-esteem. A person with a true self-esteem would feel the most confident, capable and emotional secure in his/her entire life, because self-esteem is unconditional, which means we do not have to worry about losing it.

However, self-esteem doesn't come to us with life itself. Many people do not have it, or many people have to work very hard to get it. This difference, by psychological studies also my own observation, is mostly caused by our different childhood.

If all love we received from others are insecure, one type of love from others is different - the love from parents. The love from parents has the same nature as self-love – unconditional. Because of this nature of "unconditional", it is secure, so we don’t have to worry about losing it. Whoever have happy childhood, receive this unconditional love from their parents (or whoever raise them), would gain self-esteem easily from the beginning of their life. And because (it seems) that things we learned earlier in our life would usually stay firmer with us in our later life, these people (who received unconditional love from parents) would naturally hold their self-esteem during their entire life. And on other hand, those who do not receive such kind love during their childhood would have issues with self-esteem during their entire life. Some might eventually learned, some might not.

This is how I feel about Agatha Christie’s a few words which tells a universal truth of life.

Of course there are still exceptions, because life is complicated. Even those who have happy childhood might have to face challenge of their confidence under some specially circumstances, or, those who have unhappy childhood or even no childhood at all could end up knowing the best about how to love themselves. However, generally speaking, a happy childhood is a solid foundation of our self-esteem - the most important ingredient of our personal life happiness.


  1. I had a happy childhood, and I can see the difference it made in my life. Though I've had my share of unpleasant experiences with overbearing and critical people, it has never shaken my faith in myself.

  2. i can tell np you had good childhood. i didn't. it took most of my life to learn to love myself. i think i finally learned and very happy where i am now:-)

  3. When I was a child my father taught me English Literature. He taught me the meaning of the word 'pain' Through that pain I grew into a very loving person. I too learned to love myself Yun Yi. I too had a difficult childhood. As children without that parental love to nurture us we are so lost and often feel abandoned. What an awful feeling, but somehow we manage to find the love we need. Love is the greatest thing!