Self-esteem is, by definition, something personal that an individual thinks about themselves. It involves their perception based on past circumstances, events, and opinions about their level of worth. It also comes from external pressures and other people’s voices saying things about them that may or may not be accurate.
Self-esteem issues feel like forever to many people, and they generate demotivation besides reducing willingness to accomplish goals in life.
However, there are ways friends, loved ones, and family members can help others find success at improving the feelings and opinions they have about themselves.
First of all, accept that you cannot build another person’s self-esteem simply by telling them how great you think they are.
One outside opinion cannot battle long-term negative thoughts or the voices of many other people who were not so complimentary in the past.
There is no one way to quickly snap a person back into the realm of good self-esteem, and instead, it is a potentially long and ongoing process that mostly happens inside the affected person’s mind.
Every Person is Different
Before diving into ideas that do not help with self-esteem and things that do, the most important thing to remember is that every person is unique. They have different reasons for feeling down about themselves, and different things will make them feel better.
There are no single solutions that will suit every person struggling to improve their personal feelings.
The best bet is to try various ones for extended periods to determine if they genuinely help or not.
True kindness never hurts.
Comparing or One-Upping – Positive Affirmations That Work – Participate Together
Things That Do Not Help Others Build Self-Esteem
These supposed self-esteem boosters can fail or backfire, especially if they are practiced alone.
Positive Affirmations Without Open Mind
These feel-good sayings are designed to train your subconscious to think and feel a different way about you. In practice, a person says something like, “I am a strong and successful businesswoman” every morning in the mirror multiple times before heading off for work.
For some, positive affirmations help when in conjunction with other methods. These contradictory statements will automatically be tossed out as ridiculous, untrue, and even mockery for others who have such a firm view of themselves.
Cajoling or Mockery
Of course, bullying and making fun of someone won’t make them feel better about themselves. These things could be part of the reason for their low self-esteem, to begin with.
Friendly cajoling and playful mockery can have the same effect. You will not tease someone out of his negativity, and people will not suddenly become convinced they are just “being silly” and need to stop worrying about things so much.
Comparing or One-Upping
There will always be someone in the world who has more cause to feel worse than you might. This information, however accurate, is not helpful when it comes to helping someone improve self-esteem.
If anything, they might feel guilty about feeling bad when they have so many things genuinely going for them. Guilt does not solve problems.
The solitary nature of the self-esteem problems makes it difficult for friends and family to figure out what they should say, do, or recommend. Discussing the matter with them and what they want to get out of the process could be a significant first step.
Things That CAN Help Others Build Self-Esteem
Slow and steady wins the race. Excellence is a matter of habit.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” Napoleon Hill
Positive Affirmations That Work
While repeating affirmations may feel disingenuous or false, the right ones can help reprogram the mind to think in new ways.
Some of the most effective are ones that the person trying to change writes themselves. These affirmations, repeated frequently, speak directly to their mind and say exactly what they need to hear.
Therefore, they are less likely to be rejected. Help your friend or family member brainstorm ones that make sense to them.
People with self-esteem issues may shrink away from other people or be fearful of new ideas or activities. Rather than forceful cheerleading and insistence that the person comes with you to rock climbing or karate class because it will make them feel empowered, start small and slow and use inputs from the low self-esteem person. What do they like to do? What do they want to do? Stand by their side and go to do activities with them. Volunteering is a great option.
Cultivating talents and accomplishing small goals on the way to a big one are excellent ways to gradually and gently discover higher planes of self-worth.
Just Be a Great Friend
Good friends listen without judgment, help others solve problems when asked for help instead of jumping in with solutions, and offer empathy and even sympathy whenever necessary.
A person with feelings of low self-value may constantly imagine people are trying to look for an escape when talking with them or listening to what they have to say. Be patient and practice kindness always.
Consider the Option of Professional Help
The suggestion to talk to their doctor or find a therapist or other trained professional requires careful handling.
Someone might find it insulting to hear, “You need help!” since their brain translates it into “You’re not good enough. You can’t do it.”
Remind them that there are people who go to school to learn how to help others and that they chose that as their job because they truly want to. If you have ever been to therapy or know someone else, share the experience with them.
In the end, there is only so much support you can give to help someone improve their self-esteem. Be patient, share the love, and always practice empathy.
As time goes on, celebrate the improvements, and they will come more frequently.