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S. Rufus

S. Rufus is the author — under the byline Anneli Rufus — of several books including Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself (Tarcher Penguin 2014) and continues on the path of addressing self-esteem.

5 Shelter-in-Place Habits Worth Keeping

From a safe-seeming 6 feet apart, a neighbor and I waved hello. As if on cue, w…

8 Tips From an Introvert on How to Stay Home

"With stay-home orders issued worldwide and offenders arrested for attending fun…

5 Ways to Be Brave Today

“Now that the whole world feels enveloped in a cloud of fear, we think only heal…

Were You Raised to Be Afraid?

“I was raised to believe that being frightened meant being alive. Timeo, ergo su…

6 Ways to Cultivate Kindness

“We are born to be at worst brutal, at least single-mindedly hardwired to surviv…

3 Amazing Gifts That Are Too Huge to Wrap

“Do you grieve the holidays’ material sheen, this season’s increasing status as …

What’s the Weirdest Thing You’re Thankful For?

“I’m thankful for nondairy creamer, locking doors, and never having to take alge…

Are You an Expert Texter?

“Texting lies somewhere between pictographs and contactless telepathy. But do it…

The Gift of Halloween

“Autumn scoffs: Bear up, babes. Last call. This is your final warning before dar…

Why Do So Many of Us Live in Fear?

"If only they knew: For us, fear is not a choice. A little fear is necessary for…

Are We Really as Useless as We Feel?

“When we feel useless, we wish we could be instead brilliant and brawny, angelic…

7 Lies Your Eating Disorder Is Telling You

Eating disorders almost never stop talking to us, whispering in our ear. Here ar…

4 Ways to Increase Your Empathy

“Empathy will not heal the hurt world overnight, but can at least make life more…

Do Horror Films Serve a Spiritual Purpose?

Is the appeal of horror films deeper and more ancient than simply wanting to get…

Can We Reframe—and Reclaim—Father's Day?

"Mother's and Father's Day are gauntlets, radiating expectations. Even vowing to…

What's Your Game of Thrones?

Not everyone excels at flights of fancy, but for those stuck on the ground, mayb…

What If History Hurts?

Some family trees trace back to unspeakable tragedies. Can we still love history…

Can Travel Help Us Stop Hating Ourselves?

Seeing the world can help you see yourself in a new light.

Strategies for Decluttering Your Space ... and Your Sense of Self

If you are triggered by the prospect of decluttering, here are three gentler way…

Do We Talk Too Much About Our Pain?

In a world of constant sharing—a debate about how much is too much.

It's OK to Envy Belle Delphine

What is your sense of purpose?

Is Your Mind Broadcasting Fake News?

We who experience anxiety, depression and self-hatred know fake news better than…

What Did R. Kelly Steal?

Sometimes low self-esteem starts with high self-esteem.

If You Don't Celebrate Christmas, You're Not Alone — and It's OK

Yuletide music, words and images are ... everywhere. Social media is all snowcl…

5 Things Narcissists Do on Holidays

​And how to respond safely.

If Michael Phelps Battles Depression, So Can You

If depression can happen to world-famous gold-medalist millionaires, it can happ…

What If the Survivor You Need to Believe Is ... You?

Disbelieving ourselves only sustains our suffering.

How to Derail Our Self-Hatred Habits

Question these habits so you can change them.

Being Present While We Travel

"Instagram travel" Is changing where we go and why.

You Ask Us What We Want....

For those of us who struggle with low self-esteem, desire can be triggering.…

8 Reasons Why We Hate Shopping

How shopping can trigger low self-esteem issues.

Were You Abused by Accident?

When you are a victim of abuse, your mind comes up with all the reasons it's not…

Why Does Optimism Feel So Weird?

When you have low self-esteem, optimism doesn't come easy.

Inheriting Low Self-Esteem

What if your self-hatred is not actually yours?

The Toxic Tide of Expectations

How high expectations can sabotage your self-esteem.

Which Masks Does Your Low Self-Esteem Wear?

Which costumes does your low self-esteem wear? 

3 Ways to Reconnect With Things We Love

We quit things we love because we believe ourselves unworthy. 

The Self-Denial Diary

This exercise illuminates our motivations, good and ill, which might help us avo…

Can Talking to Strangers Raise Our Self-Esteem?

Strangers see us with fresh eyes.

How to Tell Your Stories Without Casting Yourself as the Victim

Empower yourself to shift the stories you tell.

8 Ways to Help Your Kids Not Hate Themselves

Help kids build and maintain confidence, empathy, joy, and self-compassion.…

4 Favors that People with Low Self-Esteem Want You to Do for Them

Here are four small favors that those who don't hate themselves can do for those…

What Not to Say to People With Low Self-Esteem (and What to Say Instead)

Some things not to say to those of us who tend to hate ourselves — and why, and …

3 New Year's Anti-Resolutions Guaranteed Not to Sink Your Self-Esteem

For some, resolutions are not the path to a better life.

What Are the Best Presents for People With Low Self-Esteem?

Here are some strategies for picking gifts that not only are relatively trigger-…

How to Survive Holidays Spent With People We're Supposed to Love, But Don't

If you are facing holidays this year with Those You Cannot Love, here are 4 help…

Write Your Self-Hatred a Thank-You Letter

Could your self-hatred be a coping strategy you never let go?

When Worship's a Trigger: 4 Ways to Make Spirituality a Safe Space

How might you create holidays around the ones that mean the most?

5 Games You Should Never Play Again

Learning to identify these games that have been forced on us can help us never t…

5 Ways to Process the Anger You Thought You Weren't Allowed to Feel

Start observing your anger to truly understand where it should be directed.…

9 Things You Might Assume Are Your Fault, But Aren't

When blaming yourself for your own suffering becomes a core belief.

5 Techniques to Fight Back Your Inner Critic

Talk back to your inner critic with these tactics, including using funny voices …

Ingratitude Is Way Too Easy

Are you often accused of being a complainer? Whiner? Pessimist? An ingrate too i…

More Reasons Why Social Media Makes Us Hate Ourselves

You're not seeing yourself clearly, and social media may be to blame.

Giving Sincere Compliments Is a Win-Win

I was visiting a housebound relative when she suddenly decided that she needed s…

Sometimes You Need to Find Your Own Holidays

Passover came and went this year and I not only observed the holiday but barely …

Your Unchosen Lifelong Companion Is ... You

Do you find it difficult to love yourself? I mean: to truly relish looking at an…

The Self-Loathing Look

In a public place thousands of miles from here, a stranger identified me as some…

You're Not Fighting That War Alone

One of self-loathing's most devious tactics is to isolate its victims, chasing e…

The Food and Drink Industry Plays With Our Heads, Because It Can

Last week at the Fancy Food Show, an annual marketplace where over 1,000 food an…

Some of Us Really Need Halloween

“The global prevalence of death-related holidays—such as Día del Muerto, the Hun…

Meditation Is Hard When You Hate Yourself

Maybe at some point you decided to try meditation—thinking it might help y…

Self-Hatred: Made in America?

An anecdote often retold in meditation circles involves the Dalai Lama meeting w…

How (Besides Self-Hatingly) to Analyze Any Situation

After a long walk, I sat on a bench in a small city park and unwrapped a fresh p…

How Self-Loathing Makes Us Look (Mistakenly) Like the World's Best Partners

I've been called the perfect partner, the source of all happiness, a dream-come-…

The Other Higher Powers

I'd be rich if I had a dollar for each time I recommended the twelve steps to so…

5 Signs That Your Self-Esteem Is Improving

How can you tell if your self-esteem is improving? Sometimes—thanks to luck, wor…

People-Pleaser Syndrome Almost Always Backfires

If you and I meet anytime, in any way, today, these things will almost certainly…

That's Not Just Negative Self-Talk. That's Rage.

Recently I started having trouble sleeping. Awake at 4 a.m., I'd scold myself: R…

Book Review: Two Dogs and a Parrot

Two Dogs and a ParrotWhat Our Animal Friends Can Teach Us About LifeBy Joan Chit…

You're Already the Master of a Craft. But Which Is It?

Last night in the intensive-care unit, someone said of the patient we were visit…

Sometimes Just Stepping Outside Is a Mark of Courage

On crowded streets, I often wonder who among us found it very hard to leave his …

Tiny Traumas Are Traumatic Too

I hadn't seen Tracey in over a year. And I was wrangling, that morning, with the…

Does Everyone Call You "Negative"?

I'm not telepathic. But I probably know something about you. It's this: If you …

Write Your Own Self-Compassion Proposal

Compassion is a virtue. But what if, by inborn instinct or after diligent learn…

Giving Thanks for Giving Thanks

One day recently, as we sat outside a bakery where the season's first pumpkin pi…

Book Review: The Toltec Art of Life and Death

The Toltec Art of Life and Deathby Don Miguel Ruiz with Barbara EmrysHarperElixi…

The 3 Best and 3 Worst Reasons to Be a People-Pleaser

Picking me up from a high-school football game, my dad saw me amidst a circle of…

What Would You Want to Be Famous For?

My fame reached its apex in 2010, when within six months my writing attracted mo…

How to Become Your Own Hero

Telling yourself, once or twenty thousand times, "I'm smart; I'm beautiful; ever…

Has Low Self-Esteem Made You Forget How to Have Fun?

One night two weeks ago, while watching a Nebraska-based trance band, I suddenly…

Book Review: Reclaiming Conversation

Reclaiming ConversationThe Power of Talk in a Digital AgeBy Sherry TurklePenguin…

How Can I Love You When You Don't Love Yourself?

Person A tells Person B: "You're beautiful.""I am not," Person B retorts."I love…

Can We Give and Get Gifts Without Hating Ourselves (or Anyone Else)?

My mother's birthday was last week. Because she's left ths world, I couldn't sen…

Is Lying to Ourselves Even Crueler Than Lying to Others?

Last year, I lost interest in writing.That was a problem, because writing's my c…

From Childhood Onward, Spirituality Shapes Our Self-Esteem

Some children aren't spiritually inclined, but many are. Is this because their t…

What Do We Really Mean When We Say We're Doing Nothing?

When anyone asks what I've been doing lately, I almost always say: "Nothing."Of …

Renouncing Things We Love and Forgiving Ourselves Enough to Get Them Back

Last month, as a white-ribbon waterfall fed a chocolate-milk river swirling seaw…

Introverts: Is Social Media Stealing Your Self-Esteem?

   Not to over generalize, but mainly:Social media feels natural,…

Would Living Somewhere You Loved Make You Hate Yourself Less?

Do you love where you live?Do you live where you love?Exploring rainforests, far…

Talking With People Who Trigger Your Issues

I met a supermodel last week.Daisy Lowe, whose archangelic statuesquity graces V…

4 Signs That Your Self-Esteem Has Improved

Maybe you've been working hard to raise your self-esteem—with or without the use…

Just Don't Do It

Do you do certain things only because of fear and anxiety? Give yourself permiss…

I've Seen the Short, Straight Line from Low Self-Esteem to Suicide

Last week, a member of my extended family decided that life was no longer worth …

Does Doing What You Love Require Doing What You Hate?

We're often told: Do what you love.Our friends, teachers and whoever else cares …

Book Review: The Fear Cure

The Fear CureCultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and SoulBy…

Were You Trained to Hate Yourself?

One night many years ago, when I was 29, I sat beside my father in a car.He was …

Are You Your Own Prisoner?

Dusk fell over the Greek island with a soft strumming sound: the salty, minty se…

Littering is Really, Really Bad

Yesterday a man was walking toward me on the sidewalk, unwrapping a sandwich. Ju…

What's the One and Only New Year's Resolution That People With Low Self-Esteem Should Make?

This is the time of year -- and pretty much the only time of year -- when the pl…

5 Ways to Keep Self-Loathing From Snuffing Out the Holiday Spirit

Strung with baubles, soaring ceilingward and breathing strong pinesap perfume, t…

Kindred Spirits Can Save Your Life, Even If You Never Actually Meet Them

If low self-esteem had a Constitution, its First Amendment would be: I hate myse…

The Uncertainty Curse

Few states of mind are more synonymous with low self-esteem than uncertainty.Peo…

Spa Treatments for Low Self-Esteem: A Lesson About Love

She ran her hands over my cheekbones, her fingerpads expert after years of exper…

The Benefits of Being a Big Frog in a Small Pond

Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem might not like ourselves very much…

Why Does Low Self-Esteem Make Us Lie—and How Can We Start Telling the Truth?

I once asked a friend whether she knew anything about Russian literature."No," s…

Getting What You Want Might Not Destroy Western Civilization

Boarding the Azamara Quest in Barcelona, about to start a week-long Riviera crui…

Book Review: The Marshmallow Test

The Marshmallow TestMastering Self-ControlBy Walter MischelLittle, BrownThe expe…

It's OK to Stop Thinking About Yourself

During a recent interview about my new book Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yoursel…

Luxury Therapy

Photo credit: Kristan Lawson

It's Really Not Your Fault

Situation 1: Hiking with friends, I relish the sea breeze but keep falling farth…

The Secret Power in Feeling Helpless

One of the most crushing and crippling side effects of low self-esteem is the se…

Book Review: Animal Wisdom

Animal WisdomLearning from the Spiritual Lives of AnimalsBy Linda Bender, DVMNor…

Are You Afraid to Accept Praise?

"How old are you?" she asked.I told her."What? No way," she chirped. "You look t…

Are You a Good Listener for the Wrong Reasons?

"Thank you so much for letting me tell you all this," she said, reaching over an…

Yes, They Really Like You

Friendship is one of life's best blessings. Otherwise Bruno Mars, Dolly Parton, …

What Would You Do Today If You Didn't Despise Yourself?

Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem tend to shun whatever activities m…

You Were Not Born with Low Self-Esteem

Adapted from Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself

Can You Handle Criticism?

A total stranger about whose business establishment I had written an article ema…

Book Review: First Intelligence

First IntelligenceUsing the Science & Spirit of IntuitionBy Simone WrightNew…

Empathy: It's a Win-Win

At a family holiday dinner last week, it finally dawned on me that certain peopl…

Turn Everything Into a Self-Esteem Game-Changer

Low self-esteem is hard to lift. Unlike high self-esteem, which is primed to res…

Be the Life of the Party

You're minding your own business, not thinking at all about bouncy music, balloo…

Shop Courageously: Learning to Trust Your Judgement

Find your strengths and feel worthy of that next big purchase.We were deciding w…

What Did You Talk Yourself Out of Today?

I recently sampled not one but two of the richest, thickest, sweetest, most stra…

Practice Patience

Social scientists know that patience is one of the most important ingredients for success. Try these tips to boost yours.

Reading Between the Lines

New studies find that getting lost in a good novel actually makes us more empathetic in real life.

The Science of Superstition

A new study suggests knocking on wood might actually help us avoid bad luck.

Book Review: The December Project

The December ProjectAn Extraordinary Rabbi and a Skeptical Seeker Take Aim at Ou…

Do You Make Yourself Difficult to Love?

When someone says they love you, is your first impulse to argue that they can't?…

When Yes Means No and No Means Yes

I once met a woman who had traveled the world. She had learned to speak Zulu in …

Are You Playing Dead?

Reviewing 2013, I thought: This was the year in which I wrote a book and visited…

Book Review: Personal Intelligence

Personal IntelligenceThe Power of Personality and How It Shapes Our LivesBy John…

How to Embrace New Year's Resolutions When You Don't Believe in Yourself

Self-loathing can turn this annual self-help ritual into a slippery slope. New …

6 Gifts that People With Low Self-Esteem Should Give Themselves

Anneli Rufus is a frequent contributor to Spirituality & Health. Her books Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto and the Nautilus Award-winning Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On examined our lives as individuals in a crowded world. Rufus’ upcoming work, Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself, will be released by Tarcher Penguin in the spring and continues this path, addressing self-esteem. It serves as the catalyst for this blog and asks: Why do we feel the way we do about ourselves? - See more posts here.

Hands-On Healing

Pat Fleury teaches doctors, shamans, and regular folks the art of energy healing

Reclaiming Energy Medicine

Intuition medicine pioneer Francesca McCartney has grown from a nearly silent little girl into an outspoken proponent of a once-clandestine healing technology, making the science of energy a respectable twenty-first-century health care choice.

10 Telltale Signs of Low Self-Esteem

Anneli Rufus is a frequent contributor to Spirituality & Health. Her books Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto and the Nautilus Award-winning Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On examined our lives as individuals in a crowded world. Rufus’ upcoming work, Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself, will be released by Tarcher Penguin in the spring and continues this path, addressing self-esteem. It serves as the catalyst for this blog and asks: Why do we feel the way we do about ourselves?

Book Review: Return to Life

Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past LivesBy Jim B. Tucker, MD…

My Best Friend’s Girl: Is the "Bro Code" scientific?

Could the “bro code” be part of our DNA? A new study has found that men’s testosterone levels drop during contact with the wives and girlfriends of their closest male pals.

Puppy Love: It’s official! Having a pet is good for your heart

While all animal lovers know instinctively that living with a pet can lift their…

Sometimes "Sorry" Means Something Else

 Having agreed to meet a friend for lunch, I waved while entering the resta…

The Art of Healing

The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-HealingB…

When Pines Are Divine

A six-year Japanese program preserves thousands of Shinto shrines and woodlands.

When Pines Are Divine

A six-year Japanese program preserves thousands of Shinto shrines and woodlands.

Worried Sick

Recent studies confirm that a "half-empty" outlook is literally bad for your health.

Zen Medication: Can Meditation Heal Us?

A study published in the July Journal of Psychiatric Practice reveals that Zen m…

For the Love of Dog

Several new studies validate the notion that living in hermetically sealed, anti…

Curing Insomnia Without Drugs

Can’t sleep? The bad news is that, according to new studies, insomnia increases …

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