"Self Esteem" as written by Cornell Haynes, Gary Kooper and Carlton Ridenhour....
I wrote her off for the tenth time today
And practiced all the things I would say
But she came over
I lost my nerve
I took her back and made her dessert

Now I know I'm being used
That's okay because I like the abuse
I know she's playing with me
That's okay cause I've got no self-esteem

We make plans to go out at night
I wait till 2 then I turn out the light
All this rejection's got me so low
If she keeps it up I just might tell her so

When she's saying that she wants only me
Then I wonder why she sleeps with my friends
When she's saying that I'm like a disease
Then I wonder how much more I can spend
Well I guess I should stick up for myself
But I really think it's better this way
The more you suffer
The more it shows you really care, Right?

Now I'll relate this a little bit
That happens more than I'd like to admit
Late at night she knocks on my door
Drunk again and looking to score
Now I know I should say no
But that's kind of hard when she's ready to go
I may be dumb
But I'm not a dweeb
I'm just a sucker with no self-esteem


Lyrics submitted by spitfirek7, edited by bestman12349

"Self Esteem" as written by Cornell Haynes, Gary Kooper, Carlton Ridenhour

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Self Esteem song meanings
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123 Comments

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  • +11
    General CommentI'm tired of everyone saying things like "He's doing it to himself" and "He should just leave her" and "He likes the abuse" and "He's using her for sex". Obviously he enjoys the sex, but that's not why he's with her. He's in love with her and feels like the only way she'll stay around is if he gives in. He's miserable with her but he's even more miserable without her. And he doesn't like the abuse, he just accepts it because he feels like it's better than nothing. That's what it's like when you have no self esteem. The most important line in this song is "Well I guess I should stick up for myself But I really think it's better this way" because for some people, being abused truly is better than being away from someone you love.
    BigE254on January 29, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI have to disagree. I don't think it's about how girls use guys. I think it's about how people use eachother. Have to admit it, both girls and guys do it. This song happens to be about a specific girl, but if you look deeper, then it can be related to everyone.
    wolfperson1on April 29, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentNot exactly an abstruse message here. As others have said, the dude loves the girl, but she treats him like a piece of meat (salami? hot dog?) to be used--and thrown away--at her own convenience. He puts up with the abuse because, well, he has low self-esteem, feels powerless, and wants her around at any cost. And besides, the sexytime (to extend the meat-metaphor: a hot dog slapping a folded-up bologna?) does seem to be enjoyable for him.

    Back in high school, in the 90s, I used to jam this song all the time. I could relate to it, because I, too, had low self-esteem. This song was extra depressing for me, though, because I was actually *jealous* of the guy in the song. I'd think, "Well, at least you HAVE a girlfriend of some sort!" (at that point in life, I hadn't even hugged a girl yet). Later in high school, I did get a few girlfriends, and I'm happily married now. But man, I'll never forget those dreary afternoons lying on the bed in my room, staring sullenly at the ceiling, with this song spinning on repeat in my Sony Discman as I held back tears of hopelessness, social ineptitude, self-hatred, and unrequited teenage libido.

    Man, the first couple years of high school sucked. Glad that shit's over forever.
    woollywormon December 19, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIts all the shit girls can get away with,... It shows girls also treat sometimes treat guys like dirt,.... Not just the other way around
    Spiralling_Cajun?on November 22, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe song isn't about girls and guys, it's about low self esteem. The guy stays in the relationship even though it's abusive because it's the only thing that tells him he is wanted. He only finds self worth through the relationship, and let's himself be abused because without it he sees himself as nothing. He doesn't think he deserves any better. He's trapped in an abusive relationship because in his mind he can't afford to kill it.
    Ganondoxon February 22, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment1. one of the greatest songs ever
    2. it reminds me on my ex.. similar story.. we were together for about 1 week - from the beginning on i kinda knew she didn't really like me, then she left me cuz she fancied one of my friends.. i really hated her for that and never wanted to see her again..
    then after 1 week i saw here again - she was drunk (me 2), i somehow knew she was gonna try to get me again and i was concerned to tell her that i hated her.. but then as she was standing in front of me, i "lost my nerves" and couldn't resist.. though i know she just wanted to have some fun and use me again..
    she left me again after 1 week..

    i dunno how but this song really helped me to get over it..

    lo (sry for my english)
    loon June 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfuck you suzy! this song has to be about me and my ex gf. the guy is really depressed and lonely (so basically me). he's just happy to have a gf at all, but he knows that she is using him. she's a bitch and tells him what to do and she makes excues when they're susposed to go out. also, she's a big slut who cheats on him and she's an asshole who always puts him down. he needs a girl who will actually care for him (not her, for sure), but he stays with the whole thing, cause he gets lots of sex out of the deal (the only part of the song that isn't about me and that cunt suzy). i love it, i love it, i love it!
    epp88on May 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis sounds like the relationship I am in. A guy who is in a relationship mess. She tells him she wants him...but cheats on him. He just doesnt say anything. "Late at night she knocks on my door
    Drunk again and looking to score
    Now I know I should say no
    But that's kind of hard when she's ready to go"
    That would be why most likely^^
    Chris2088on September 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis remind me of a girl who was totally turned on by me, and at he time,i was in love with another but afriad to make a move.instead ,this bitch came along and i thought i was followin my heart by go for her instead of the one i loved.i took her out, and she built me up for nothing,cuz i got nothing out of the relationship we had.She grew tired of me cuz she got to know me as a person instead of some hot guy and then blew me off out of nowhere.i later learned that all the otehr guys she had been with got the full package, and i got shit. i also learned that she only thought of guys as "challenges",and not people who need intimacy.what a bitch!
    Ciyaak Boyon November 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can tell you exactly what this song is about, because the same thing happened to me. The girl was taking zadvantage of the guy, the guy wanted to dump her but his self esteem was causing him to stay with her. He would dump her, she would drive her nuts so he'd take her back, being miserable once again. Basically it is one big cycle.
    sea_of_sorrowon September 27, 2006   Link

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