When you are in ego, people feel smaller when you walk into the room. They feel invisible before you. The result is that they feel depleted and in danger. When you are in your Unique Self, people feel bigger when you walk into the room. They feel seen by you. They feel your desire to love and give to them.
Don’t we all recognize that? Somebody walks into a room, and we immediately feel smaller? And in somebody else’s company we feel great, empowered, seen, and loved?
But why is this so? Aren’t those feelings of smallness and our dependency on other people’s acknowledgement related to our own bad self-esteem, as much of the New Age popular psychology makes us believe?
In an article from 1995 in Psychology Today we read the following:
…in fact, self-esteem is more a reflection of our relationship to others. In a bold new theory that turns conventional wisdom inside out, psychologist Mark R. Leary, Ph.D., proposes that self-esteem is a kind of a meter built into us to detect—and to prompt us to avert—the threat of social rejection.
… Think of self-esteem as the fuel gauge on a car. … Call it a “sociometer.” When self-esteem sinks to the danger zone, the appropriate response is not to fix some inner sense of self, but to repair your standing in the eyes of others, to behave in ways that maintain connections with other people.
… The sociometer is built into us not just because we are happiest when basking in the acceptance and praise of others—but because without them we wouldn’t have survived in the first place. “Early humans who struck out on their own, who had no ‘need’ to belong, were less likely to pass on their genes to successive generations,” Leary observes. So the self-esteem system evolved to monitor the degree to which we are being accepted and included—versus rejected and excluded.
… Leary has carried out a variety of clever studies in which subjects are led to believe that others are rejecting them. Even imagining social rejection lowers people’s self-esteem. …
… That the self-esteem system processes information at a preconscious level can be seen in the speed of our ability to pick up signs of disapproval. Studies by other researchers demonstrate that people are particularly fast at detecting angry faces in a picture of a crowd.
So, self-esteem is not a constant feature of our personality, but ever changing, mirroring to ourselves if we are socially integrated and acknowledged, or rejected and insecure.
In this week’s assignment of the Awakening Your Unique Self telecourse that is going on right now we are identifying our False Core Framework that is built around a sentence like I am not enough. I am not safe. I am invisible. or I am too much. Those sentences have emerged in early childhood as a result of our feeling separate, rejected or not safe. We then have built a False Self around it to compensate for these feelings and the conclusions we have drawn from them.
As Marc Gafni writes in the assignment:
It is important to realize that your False Self may be, in part, true. Meaning, it may be a true and good part of you. But it cannot take root and give your life ground because it itself is not grounded; it is living atop of your False Core.
So, if we are in our False Self, no matter how good we have become and how much self-esteem we may have built, we constantly need others to acknowledge us, in order to not feel rejected. And if another person walks into the room who is in False Self as well, our False Cores get triggered, and we both feel insecure and smaller, which leads us to prove to ourselves and the other how great we really are, which again makes the other person feel smaller and so forth… a real vicious circle.
Only from our Unique Self we can truly see the Unique Self of the other and recognize its shining beauty. Only Unique Self can see Unique Self. Only God-in-me can recognize God-in-You. Only then can we feel safe (and saved) and the pain of rejection can finally begin to heal.
You are most welcome to share with us your thoughts and feelings on this distinction either in the comment section below or on Marc Gafni’s Facebook page!