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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default Bad/good self-esteem, really.. related to various levels

    What if a top sportsperson thinks they're no good?
    What if an alcoholic no-good homeless bum thinks they are the best in the world?
    What if there's anything in between or some combination?

    I'm in my graduate studies and I'm a promising researcher. I was complaining that a real researcher used my idea and misrepresented it's origin. (It was a really good idea). The response I got, was essentially this: "If you thought you had such a good idea, why didn't you act on it?"

    I whined and whined about how my case was handled, and in the end, what I got was this: I have too low of a self-esteem, so I tend to rely on other people's perceptions on the worth of ideas like these. It's what got me sharing those ideas in the first place. So, there it is.

    So, is it all relative? What is bad self-esteem? I already thought I was better in research than 99.9% of people on average. Was that bad self-esteem? Should I have thought of myself as better than 99.99% on average? Or what is it about?

    What is bad self-esteem really if it relates to something really good? What does anything like that really mean?

  2. #2
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Maybe the 'real researcher' is not a very ethical person and screwed you.

  3. #3
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    He doesn't feel that way. Maybe they're accustomed to using "student work" to that extent. Like.. student does it, it's my own research! Ahh I'm quite unhappy about it. But.. I'm wondering what bad self-esteem is really related to. Is it infinetly situational? One can't undo bad self-esteem by overacting. How can one undo it? By trusting no-one? I can do that, but then I would have no empathy..
    p.s. I've discussed this the whole evening and I'm now quite tired, so perhaps I've done wrong to come to this website this tired. Sorry. My writing will be more coherent in the morning.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Years ago, you complained about some guy taking credit for one of your ideas. Did you learn nothing?

  5. #5
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    How independent am I supposed to be? Sharing nothing with anyone until I have the full confirmation? What am I supposed to do?

    I must say, even my wife told me I shouldn't tell my ideas untill I've secured everything.. but.. some people put me on a trusting mood. I think that the ability to trust is a good thing. Maybe I should just find all the details of how to use it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    How independent am I supposed to be? Sharing nothing with anyone until I have the full confirmation? What am I supposed to do?

    I must say, even my wife told me I shouldn't tell my ideas untill I've secured everything.. but.. some people put me on a trusting mood.
    You married a smart woman.

  7. #7
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Thanks. I think I've learned my lesson now. What I think now, is that one must consider their own situation to what's comparable in similar circumstances. So, to have a thesis idea is remarkable. But, amongst other people who have a similar ideas, it's usual. And it's a usual thing to be competitive. But now really, I must go to sleep.. I'm much too tired. Thanks all.

    What I'd like to say in the end, the task of "not thinking too much or too little of your self" is a really hard task in itself.

  8. #8
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    It's highly relative and depends on who you compare yourself with. People are most likely to compare themselves to their peers so if you're a professional athlete, your peers are likely to be other professional athletes. You could be lousy compared to other professional athletes but still better in your sport than 99.9% of the population. On the flip side of the coin, you could be a homeless bun living on the streets but compared to your fellow street bums, you managed to collect significantly more spare change than them, so you feel superior.
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  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    I'm in my graduate studies and I'm a promising researcher. I was complaining that a real researcher used my idea and misrepresented it's origin. (It was a really good idea). The response I got, was essentially this: "If you thought you had such a good idea, why didn't you act on it?"

    I whined and whined about how my case was handled, and in the end, what I got was this: I have too low of a self-esteem, so I tend to rely on other people's perceptions on the worth of ideas like these. It's what got me sharing those ideas in the first place. So, there it is.

    So, is it all relative? What is bad self-esteem? I already thought I was better in research than 99.9% of people on average. Was that bad self-esteem? Should I have thought of myself as better than 99.99% on average? Or what is it about?

    What is bad self-esteem really if it relates to something really good? What does anything like that really mean?
    Self-esteem is related to self-confidence. This is gained through succeeding at what you try to do, and being able to attribute that success to your own efforts rather than just "luck", or someone else giving you a break. How do you know you have succeeded, though? Sometimes it is obvious: you try to fix your computer, and it works right again. Or, you have a goal of saving X dollars by the end of the year, and you reach or exceed that.

    In a professional context, a big part of measuring individual success comes from the evaluation of others. The entire peer review process is based on this. You can try something in the lab and see that it works, and even show that it is repeatable. On one level, this already is success. Documenting this through publication submits the idea to the scrutiny of others, and also contributes to the overall advancement of your field, since others will now be able to learn from what you learned. This helps to build your professional reputation, and is an accepted and legitimate way of "blowing your own horn".

    In my experience as a researcher, it is considered unethical to publish someone else's ideas without proper acknowledgment. I also know that it happens, especially in academic settings where advisors will claim students' work as their own. They usually deserve coauthorship on a student's publications, but that is not the same thing. Someone in a senior position (i.e. faculty) should encourage you to develop a good idea, not "steal" it. A fellow student should not be allowed to do so, either. Their advisor should prevent it.

    The answer is not to become distrustful of others, it is to develop greater trust in yourself. You cannot develop your ideas in a research setting in a vacuum. Instead, learn what mentor(s) you can trust, and run ideas by them for advice on how best to pursue them. Your own advisor should be such a person. If not, you have a greater problem than this particular incident.
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  10. #10
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    The response I got, was essentially this: "If you thought you had such a good idea, why didn't you act on it?"
    They mean, put it out there sooner than the other person?

    I whined and whined about how my case was handled, and in the end, what I got was this: I have too low of a self-esteem, so I tend to rely on other people's perceptions on the worth of ideas like these. It's what got me sharing those ideas in the first place.
    They mean, since you apparently want this feedback, put the idea out there lickety-split so others can see?

    I see mixed messages in your account, unless there's a detail you didn't include that mitigates the contradictions. A damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't kind of situation.
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