“Self-esteem by proxy” refers to a phenomenon where an individual derives their sense of self-worth from the accomplishments or characteristics of someone else. In other words, their self-esteem is based on how well their friend, partner, or family member is doing, rather than on their own accomplishments or characteristics.
For example, a parent might experience self-esteem by proxy when their child achieves academic or athletic success. They may feel a sense of pride and validation from their child’s accomplishments, and this may temporarily boost their own self-esteem.
While it’s natural to feel proud of loved ones and their accomplishments, relying solely on the success of others for one’s sense of self-worth can be problematic. It can lead to a lack of confidence and a sense of inadequacy when those individuals aren’t achieving or performing at a high level. It’s important for individuals to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem that is based on their own personal values, accomplishments, and character traits.