Jason Stephens is a research assistant at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and a doctoral candidate in educational psychology at Stanford University. William Damon, born in , is a professor of education and human development at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a consultant to the Children's Television Workshop.
His books, The Moral Child and Greater Expectations , concern the development and teaching of basic virtues and the difficulties of raising a moral child in a materialistic society. Some Do Care , co-authored with his wife, Anne Colby, describes the lives of twenty-three people who demonstrate the altruistic nature that we wish our children to have.
Some do care : contemporary lives of moral commitment. Anne Colby , William Damon. Those who grow up with low self-esteem because they were belittled in childhood often continue to hold that opinion stubbornly in the face, sometimes, of exceptional success. What we learn during these formative years has an outsized effect on the rest of life. Ideally, those who grow up thinking well of themselves—because that is what their parents thought—will become resistant to the bad opinion of others.
That is the ideal state that my patient was referring to. Someone who is supremely self-confident can shrug off unreasonable criticism. They can even tolerate being ostracized. Of course, that is an idealized state. No one is that sure of himself or herself. When I was at Princeton, there were no fraternities. There were seventeen "eating clubs. These visits were inspections, during which time the visitors would determine if particular students were desirable or not. I did not then—and do not now—think much about social status, but the atmosphere of social selectivity so permeated the school at that time that I was able to predict the exact ranking of all seventeen clubs as was determined by a research project that was conducted that year.
I understood that the criteria by which the students were chosen were not things that I especially valued. I did not think I was charming, or particularly attractive or appealing. I dressed sloppily. I did not wear white buck shoes, and I did not have a crew cut. I would never have described myself as "skilled" in the social graces.
I did not anticipate that I was likely to do well in bicker, but to be considered undesirabl e by sixteen of the seventeen clubs was hard to swallow. My roommate, who found himself in the same situation, was especially upset.
Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment by Anne Colby
He had been valedictorian of his high school class of , as well as president of the student body; thus, his descent into a social limbo was further and more precipitous than mine. He went around that first night railing against the unfairness of the process and refusing to accept his offer to come to Court—until he saw that there was no alternative, The whole thing had a bad effect on him; and knowing him ever since, I think some vestiges of that rejection were permanent.
Personally, I felt a lot better when I discovered that all my friends were also at Court. I had a great time the next two years. There were a small number of students who got no offers to join a club.
Everyone knew who they were. They were assigned to different clubs by the administration. He went on to a distinguished academic career as a mathematician. When everyone thinks ill of you—even if they are not necessarily people you admire—it is hard not to feel depressed. But, in general, the opinion of strangers should not matter very much. What follows is a hierarchy of whose opinions should matter:. This is the way this works: I would feel distressed if my wife thought I had behaved disrespectfully to her—or to anyone else, for that matter.
I would feel concerned if a close friend thought I had behaved in such a way. If an acquaintance said something similar to me, I might stop briefly to think about it. If it was a stranger, I would not pay any attention , and I would have forgotten about the incident a few minutes later. If someone thinks you are a criminal , you will have to take heed. If someone thinks you are a pedophile , or an embezzler, or a terrorist, there will likely be repercussions that you cannot ignore. But if a stranger thinks your hair is too long, or your laugh is too loud, you should not care.
You should not bother to hide your political opinions from the others in your car pool, because it does not matter if they approve or not. In general, you should be able to say what you think without worrying about the impression you are making. You should not have to stay indoors just because there is a stain on your shirt. And yet there are some people who wish to present themselves to the world as being without flaw—even without anything that anyone could construe as a flaw, or a failing, or a weakness.
They wish to be impervious to criticism. They put in considerable effort into this pointless endeavor. I recommend speaking up, especially if you are one of those people who are excessively concerned about some symptom you have or some failing. You cannot put these weaknesses in perspective unless you see that most people will accept you in spite of them. Most of the time they will not think twice about something that may have haunted you for years. Some people will disapprove of you, of course. No matter who you are, some people will disapprove. They judge everybody unfavorably because of their own emotional needs.
They will consider some people not well-enough educated, or from the wrong background, or too something or other—not classy enough for them, perhaps. Some people family members frequently have a vested interest in thinking you are deficient. They will think you are in the wrong no matter what you do.
But others will take one look at you and approve. They will admire you for things you take for granted. Try to find these people. Follow Dr. Neuman's blog at fredricneumanmd. I found this in a school textbook. I found that quite interesting. I wish I would have known that during high school-I wouldn't have felt so self-conscious.
I think it depends. Love it, when people make fun of me, criticized me and judgme, especially for my accent. Thank you,. I wouldn't worry to much, some times I would automatically be making fun of him for it, when actually which my closest friends i can speak openly and they know its with love not malice so Surely people's rankings of whose opinions matter more vary? I care more about what a particular close friend thinks than I worry about the opinion of one of my sisters, whom I have never been close to.
A spouse does not automatically have the most important opinions in the world by virtue of being a spouse. A colleague's opinions can, and often should, mean more than a boss' opinions. I have come to realise that I care a lot more than I'd like to about what other people think - in fact my love-life has been greatly affected by it. I am in my late thirties and never married. In the past I have dated guys more based on their looks than anything else - it was in part because that was what attracted me, but the other payoff was the feeling of being special because I was with the hot guy.
It is very shallow I know but it was important to me. I even accepted a lot of bad treatment in my twenties because I wanted to be associated with a cool crowd or to keep a boyfriend. It took me a long time to connect that X is not a nice person because I would 'fall in love' very fast and in the end it would be the guy that would drop me instead of me breaking up with him - which would further erode my self-esteem.
So now I am in a relationship with a man who wants to marry me. The problem is, I am acutely aware when we are in public together that he isn't the conventionally good-looking guy.
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His friend, who I dated briefly before I started dating him, even asked me 'is this your type? I am too aware that people are judging me and us - but at the same time I've never been treated so well by a man so there is this back and forth weighing the good with the bad. I feel really immature for having those thoughts. Should I marry him?
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Does anyone have advice? You sound very much like me. I also held out for the most attractive guys to date, and eventually those relationships failed, although sometimes after years. I'm in my 40s now and married to a wonderful man who treats me like gold dust and whom I love very much, but is not the most attractive man I've ever been with. However I met him after making a conscious decision to stop being so superficial, because I realised a few of the reasons behind this superficiality:.
Other than initial attraction, I was choosing to date good looking guys mainly because of my own insecurities from an unhappy childhood when I was bullied and unpopular. Subconsciously I was seeking social acceptance from others and redemption by being with the hot guy: "look at me now". Now that I can see this in hindsight, it's no surprise to me that those relationships failed. They weren't based in real love or commitment.
I realised that the attractive guys I dated were generally all too aware of their appeal, and ultimately were always looking out for someone hotter. I was also guilty of this myself to some extent, and see the same trait in goodlooking friends who never fully commit in their relationships, or cheat, or have open relationships.
Thoughts of other people judging you for being with someone you feel is not attractive enough are superficial, insecure, and paranoid. They may even be true - maybe some people are judging you. But: who cares about people who feel they can judge you? How dare they anyway? You may care because of your own insecurities, but you need to be aware that this is in your head, and is coming from the wrong place.
Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment
Take care not to ruin what could be the perfect relationship with the person you need to be with, all because you crave acceptance by other people who don't matter. Your need for acceptance and approval can blind you to what you have: a deep, meaningful relationship with genuine love. Real, genuine love is rare, and precious.
All of the above is based on my own experience. I still feel all of these insecurities at times in my relationship with my husband, but I know that they have nothing to do with him or the relationship, and everything to do with my insecurities and my past. I appreciate your advice as you were in a similar position to me and overcame your insecurities to the extent of having a loving marriage.
I am still with my great boyfriend. On a lighter note I've realized that it's much more fun 'fixing' a bad look if someone's happy to play along than trying to make someone love you. Do you tell him that?
I have to say, you and i wouldn't like each other in real life. Sorry, i feel bad for him, instantly. Wow reading your thing made me think of something i went through I didn't care for her because of all the things i had heard from others and him and the general very unhappy all of the time.. I did think he was shallow for the "sort of girls he would hire" I was told was on purpose Long experience has informed me that I should not recommend that someone marry a particular person--or not marry.
I have been wrong in the past.
I am sure, however, that you will be attracted to other men. So what? Human beings do not stop being attracted to others after they get married. It is natural, no matter how good-looking your spouse is. Whether or not you will be faithful has nothing to do with that.