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Are there things that hinder your freedom
to be healthy, happy and responsive to your own needs? Are there
times that you place unrealistic expectations on others to meet
your needs for you? To wait for others to rescue us forces us to
assume the role of victim. This is unhealthy, inappropriate and
unattractive, to say the least!
Healthy Self Esteem + Healthy Boundaries
Esteem Self Test:
Without a strong sense of who we are we cannot be happy
in our own skin; with our femaleness or maleness. If we are not
comfortable with who we are, we cannot be successful in relationship
1. I would rather stay home than go to a social event
2. I sometimes overindulge in alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food (t.v.,
3. I don’t invest in my appearance so I won’t stand
4. I feel it’s important to justify my actions to others.
5. I think a lot about how others are perceiving me.
6. I like a good argument for its own sake.
7. I don’t push myself forward or take risks at work or school.
8. I often feel angry at other people.
9. I find it hard to say no to people.
10. I enjoy telling others about my successes.
(odd #’s: ways you avoid people or situations; even #’s:
defenses against low self esteem)
Seven Roots to Boundary Issues in Adulthood:
1. Lack of training in setting limits, in facing consequences
for your actions, or in delaying gratification.
2. Rewarded destructiveness: learning that out-of-control behaviour
3. Distortion of legitimate needs. Either I don’t need anyone
or I can’t survive alone.
4. Fear of relationships: abrasive remarks, sexist
humour and biases keep people away.
5. A deep hunger for love and connection that
was not met in the first few years of life.
6. Being raised in a critical, legalistic environment—now
7. Covering emotional hurt that came when you were neglected or
abused as a child.
Esteem Self Test
Adapted from McKay, M., Fanning, P., Honeychurch, C., and Sutker,
C. (1999). The self esteem companion. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
Adapted from Cloud, H. and Townsend, J. (1995). Boundaries workbook.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing.