The crucial difference between self-importance and self-esteem

I love Carl Semmelroth’s work. This is from his book – The Anger Habit Workbook:

A major source of anger is a person’s sense of self-importance. Self-importance is quite different from self-esteem. In fact, it is a major barrier to the development of self-esteem. Your self-esteem assures you that you have the ability to deal with whatever occurs in your life with competence and grace. Self-importance leads you to assume that whatever you want or need is owed to you because of who or what you are.

People with high self-importance assume what they want is owed to them due to the fact that they want it. People with high self-esteem do not hesitate to attempt to earn their way in the world.

I will add that one of the symptoms of self-importance is that it hides from the person in whom it  resides.

Self-importance makes it very difficult to hear no, and that is a major problem since negotiations begin with no.  The Camp system of negotiation requires that all self-importance be addressed and eliminated before the negotiation.   If you become a student at CNI,   you will be taught how to eliminate it. 


Wim Chase  LICSW

Academic Coach –


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