Self-esteem isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

From Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff:

…research shows that people with high self-esteem are just as prejudiced, if not more so, than those who dislike themselves. People with high self-esteem also engage in socially undesirable behavior such as cheating on tests just as often as people with low self-esteem do. And when people with high self-esteem feel insulted, they frequently lash out at others. In one study, for instance, college students were told they did worse than average on an intelligence test. Those with high self-esteem tended to compensate for the bad news by insulting the other study participants and putting them down. Those with low self-esteem, on the other hand, tended to react by being nicer and complimenting other participants as a way to seem more likable.