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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. Her latest book is Hiding in Plain Sight: Exploring Scotland's ill health. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 08/08/2006

Iíve been doing a lot of reading on self-esteem recently and was amused when someone sent me a copy of an over the top promotional leaflet. You know the type of leaflet for some kind of guru led programme that promised you the world Ė lots of money, big house, great feelings bla bla. In fact, it claimed that it would teach you Ďto raise your self-esteem through the roofí. One of the things that always amazes me is how people regularly think because something may have beneficial effects more of it must be better. But there are other words for people with self-esteem going through the roof, such as arrogant and conceited, and they arenít flattering. To use young peopleís parlance, being that into yourself isnít an attractive characteristic no matter how big your house is.

On this theme Iíve discovered that Jean Twenge, author of a new book called Generation Me, whose research Iíve quoted here before, has a blog. One of her recent postings amused me even more. Apparently someone wrote to her to say that they had heard the pop psychologist Dr. Wayne Dyer say, "The best thing about Jesus was that he had a mom that believed he was the son of God. Imagine how much better the world would be if all of our moms thought that way." As you know, Iím all for confidence but narcissism and thinking you are the centre of the world - ĎGodís gift' - is quite another matter.

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