The Reasons Why People Maintain Negative Self-Evaluations

Posted on June 24, 2015

There is a difference between experiencing a negative self-evaluation at some point and maintaining a constant negative self-evaluation. So, why is it that people maintain negative self-evaluations?

Within the literature of psychology, a number of explanations can be found. One explanation is found within the Cognitive Experiential Self-Theory, which proposes that people have a need to maintain a coherent self-view. A negative coherent self-view produces less distress and existential anxiety than an unstable self-view, so people unconsciously maintain a negative self-view (Epstein, 1973, 1980, 1992).

Another explanation is that when people maintain a negative self-evaluation, they gain a sense of control over themselves and their emotions. In other words, a constant negative self-view produces more controllable emotions than a sudden increase in negative emotions (Epstein, 1992).

This highlights the reasons why people maintain negative self-evaluations and why they may be so difficult to change.
However, self-acceptance and mindfulness techniques can help one improve negative self-evaluations.

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Source material from Reflectd

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