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41% in their 20s answer they have low self-esteem

Posted April. 03, 2017 07:17,   

Updated April. 03, 2017 07:23


“People (who suffer from mental illness) rushed to see me since they start using KaKao Talk messenger and number 1 appears next to message.”

Audiences in their 20s and 30s of the crowded auditorium began to chuckle. Number "1" next to message of KaKao Talk does not disappear until the other person read it. The self-esteem of young people is broken when they got no reply after ‘1’ disappears (read and ignore the message).

A lecture on self-respect was held on March 11 in "Alice," cultural space of Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. The mood in the auditorium was heated up when Yoon Hong-gyun, a practicing psychiatrist and author of “Self-esteem Lecture (Simple Life), gave a lecture. The bestseller has sold over 250,000 copies. Organizers prepared for 60 seats but about 100 attended the lecture. Most of them were young people in their 20s and 30s.

The self-esteem is an attitude toward the self that considers the self as beloved and precious one as well as beliefs about oneself that the self is capable of achieving something. The belief that “I can do anything” is the positive eval‎uation of the self and is the driving power of execution. Having low self-esteem makes the one difficult to challenge on something makes a result with steady efforts. A participant named Ban Du-ri (29), who was employed at a culture center but quit the job last year due to the hard work, said, “Young people have higher qualifications but they have no place to go, comparing to 10 years ago. In a nutshell, people of my age are greatly disappointed and feel helplessness in general.”

Today’s young people are experiencing unemployment crisis and getting used to failure and many of them suffer from low self-esteem and say, “I hate myself.” part-time job search site "Albacheonguk" conducted a survey on 616 respondents in their 20s at the end of January and 40.6 percent answered they have low self-esteem.

Nathaniel Branden, American psychologist who studies on self-esteem, calls self-esteem as the immune system of consciousness, saying. “A weak immune system decreases your odds for a speedy recovery if you do get sick. Likewise, low self-esteem makes you easily give up when facing a serious problem.”

Decreasing self-esteem also affect happiness of the youth. “The correlation of self-esteem with happiness is 0.6 and which is very high. Self-esteem is the first key to be happy,” said Tal Ben-Shahar, psychology professor at Harvard University.

Youngsters who lost their happiness due to lack of self-respect sometimes make an extreme choice. According to the Statistics Korea, the main cause of death among young people is suicide. Dr. Yoon said, “The society demands more to young people but rewards always tend to come late.” Kim Bo-mi, vice director of HUGMOM Eunpyeong center, psychology counseling center, said, “When we tell young people to endure and overcome it, they cannot easily understand the word. They have to learn how to take up the challenge and overcome the failure within the education system.”

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com