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Review of Other-Esteem by Philip O. Hwang, Ph.D.

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Tiffany Birkle K. Rodenberg R.W.S. 200 30 April 2002 Other-Esteem I read Other-Esteem by Philip O. Hwang, Ph.D. It was written to give people a new, non- traditional perspective to life's routines. He wants people to "learn to see the world anew"(ii). Other-esteem as defined by Hwang, is the respect, acceptance, caring, valuing and promoting of others, who may think, feel and act differently from ourselves. Throughout the book, he talks about how today we are too involved with ourselves and that our self-esteem is too high. We need to work on our other-esteem to counteract all the selfishness that is around us. Cognitive Development Issues According to Hwang, our minds can control, direct and intervene in our body's physiological or emotional functions, but cognitive distortion is the root of our unhappiness. This distortion comes from our overvaluing of our selves and not enough value for others. Our irrational perceptions and culturally biased attitudes are what distort reality. Our other-esteem is much like our self-esteem, our family, and our communities influence it. How we greet, act, and respond to people is all apart of other-esteem. We have to realize that people perceive things differently because of their relationships with their families and socialization. ...read more.


Psychological Development Issues An individual's mental well being depends in large measure on the many different levels of relationships the individual is involved in, family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, institutions, and even society in general (12). This idea is expended in Hwang's ideas about a ring of friendship support system, your circle of intimacy, and your work network. He believes that human intimacy in relationships is based on other-esteem, because your relationship with these people in your circle of intimacy is pure and beyond any suspicion of personal gain. Which is what Hwang is trying to do, move us away from ourselves and look at everyone else. Our ring of friendship is much like our circle of intimacy, they are rings of social support and we need them just as they need us. Hwang is ultimately trying to get us to have a balance of I-self and me-self. He says that we should be responsible for what we say not what others hear. Carl Rogers says that we need to be client-centered and teach to individuals, but this goes against arguments that Hwang presented. Hwang believes just the opposite of Rogers in that the best learning for students is when the project is directed away form the self and toward others. ...read more.


This goes for people that are bilingual, people with different dialects, people that talk in slang, or jargon. Also we need to watch out when talking to different genders. Everyone can be misperceived, but if we are careful I think it will be less and easier to acquire Hwang's goal of other-esteem. We need to acquire a healthy balance of other-esteem and self-esteem if we want people to perceive us differently and one place to start is by watching what you say and to think about what you are saying before you saying. This book got me thinking about myself and how I was being perceived and if what I said was coming out the way that I wanted it to. It got me to wonder if I had a healthy balance of other-esteem and self-esteem. I would definitely recommend it to students taking this class in future because it gets you thinking about yourself, and I think that once you begin thinking about how you are reacting and what you are doing, then you will be more aware what others are doing, and so you will be more aware in the classroom. Which is why I think that other teachers may enjoy reading this book. ...read more.

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