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Selfie Versus Self Esteem

Psychological research shows that people who are lacking in self-confidence take selfies everywhere

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Thought leadership for reflection ~ On November 19, 2017, I checked in at the GVK International-Airport, Bombay. I was returning to Delhi after a long week of consulting sessions on Customer-Centricity, with a client. My flight was delayed by two hours due to some snags. I decided to relax and read at the lounge. I found a corner-seat at a high-table, since most of the lounge-chairs were occupied. As I glanced through the lounge, I noticed some popular characters in the lounge which included actor Ranveer Kapoor, a cricketer, and P. Chidambaram (PC).

People in the lounge including well-to-do executives kept crowding the three and falling over each other for selfies. Being a keen observer and learner of  human behaviour, I sat there and watched the tamasha.  After some time Ranveer and the cricketer left for their flights. People now started paying more attention to PC.  

Meanwhile, PC got tired of posing for selfies and changed his seat to a high table, which was two tables away from mine. As I sat there reading my book, I saw a sharply-dressed gentleman (designer jeans, Louis Vuitton belt, bespoke-blazer), walk into the lounge. He crossed our tables looking for a seat. On recognising PC, walked back and approached PC for a selfie. PC who was by now fiddling with his iPad, was grumpy, snubbed this gentleman and declined.

The gentleman who was embarrassed, walked away. Gradually he came around and sat on the bar stool at the table I was sitting on. I acknowledged him with a smile and he sheepishly smiled back. He then went to get some snacks and drinks. After he returned and started munching on his snacks, he smiled, extended his hand and introduced himself. He dug into his wallet and gave me his business card. I told him I do not use business cards, will mail my coordinates and began reading his card. His card announced him as Director- Legal in a Fortune 500 company.

After exchanging some pleasantries and chit- chat (and learning that he was an Ivy-League (Columbia) product), I checked, if I could ask him something. “What happened there?” I enquired. He said, “PC is rude” and whined on about PC. I listened to him and simply said, “It’s not about PC! Why would a person of your stature and education, want a selfie with a tainted minister, who is corrupt?” He was silent for a while. After some reflection he said, “You are right. I should never let something like that ever affect my self-esteem again. Thank you for the insight”.

#IdeasForAction ~ In one of my #KarmaKurry books, I shared a thought:  “A lot of people with a lot of ill-gotten wealth may have a lot of net-worth, but are simply not worthy of our trust and respect”. Psychological research shows that people who are lacking in self-confidence, take selfies everywhere and anywhere, with anyone to boost their self-esteem. If one truly celebrates one’s dignity and values one’s integrity to be self-respecting, then one would never seek selfies with any celebrities or dignitaries, especially with characters, who are blemished and indulge in wrongdoings. What we do, speaks louder than what we say! Never forget that.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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leadership Magazine 3 March 2018


Jerry is a management & OD consultant, celebrated inspirational orator, teacher, UN advisor, internationally certified leadership subject matter expert, trainer, Executive coach and an effective, innovative fundraiser and missionary entrepreneur

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