Building on from the last post on self esteem, I wanted to share that there is some amazing work done in the area of mediation and non-violent communication by Marshall B Rosenberg. His philosophy is to always try to connect with what is uniquely alive in each individual. In interactions, I have found that when I do this (and it does take practice, just like anything worthwhile) and genuinely honor the life before me, I run in to far less conflict, even in really difficult situations, as it is diffused by my interest in the person. Furthermore, coming from this attitude, I am able to look past any angst that may be present from the other individual without taking it on board or personally, and find as a result that this angst quickly disappears. Once the wall is removed, there is nothing for anyone to bang against!
Two excellent reads on this topic are Speak Peace in a World of Conflict and Raising Children Compassionately both by Marshall Rosenberg. In the area of child psychology and applying the concept of non-violent communication to children, Dr Louise Porter has an excellent book "Children are People Too". Not only will you learn about your own self-esteem but also how to interact with people and children in a way which truly supports the self-esteem of others.
In the book "Raising Children Compassionately" there is an excellent case study of two groups both given the same issue to deal with, one supposedly dealing with an adult and the other group dealing with a child. Neither group knew this simple distinction until they shared the methodology of how they would deal with the issue. The group dealing with the adult were horrified at the presentation from the group dealing with the child because it was patronizing, derogatory, disempowering, disrespectful and generally unfriendly. The revelation that the group was dealing with a child and the then acceptance of the method used was quickly followed by horror as both groups realized the double standards applied to children. That's why Louise Porter's book is such essential reading! Don't overlook either book if you want to raise your children compassionately, respectfully and keeping their sense of self and self-esteem in tact!