Monday, March 27, 2006

America, where everyone is above average

Remember my post a couple months ago about self-esteem? One of the things I wondered about then was why so many people have so little self-esteem while others have so much, even when it doesn't seem particularly warranted. Apparently, too much self-esteem is some sort of national characteristic in the USA. Because News of the Weird reports that "According to a November Washington Post poll (whose results were published in February), 94 percent of Americans said they are 'above average' in honesty, 89 percent 'above average' in common sense, 86 percent 'above average' in intelligence, and 79 percent 'above average' in looks. [Washington Post-AP, 2-5-06] [Washington Post, 2-8-06]"


  1. I know I'm above average. Honesty - check (though I haven't always been, so maybe I average out to average). Common sense ... I could be average, here. I'm above average intelligence and in looks, for sure.

    I think mostly average has a negative connotation. Everyone wants to think of themselves as above average because that makes the ugly and stupid people classify as something less demeaning. They're just average.

  2. I'm conscious of this because of my job in child care. We have been teaching children,since the early 80's, to have a strong sense of self and self esteem. Many games have been removed from play activities so that no one will lose and everyone will win. We tell our children how wonderful, smart and important they are. We are very careful with our words and with the words we teach the children to use, least we damage someone's self esteem.

    I think the people who lose their self esteem, do so because they are around people who have to tear down otheres to build themselves up. I have only recently realized that I am not the ugliest, stupidest and most useless person in the world; but it took living apart from my husband and spending a lot of time with people who really do love me to realize that.

    I think we (our self worth) is greatly affected by how we are treated by others.

  3. Well, I'm above all of those people in all of those categories. And probably all of you reading this as well.


What do you think?