How to Help Someone With Low Self Esteem 

The two primary ways that we first develop self-esteem are from the way that we are treated by others and the things that other people say about us.

As adults, our sense of self-worth is mostly derived from two sources: our ideal self, or who we truly believe we should be, and our perceived self, or who we truly believe we are.

What we know about ourselves and how we feel about what we know form the foundation of our self-esteem. The gap between each person’s actual and ideal selves might serve as a gauge for their level of self-esteem. Our self-esteem rises when the difference is minor, but it falls when it gets larger. When we have a healthy sense of self-worth, we can make decisions that are best for us. On the other hand, having low or no self-esteem might make us feel depressed, nervous, unlovable, “less than,” etc.

The hallmark of low self-esteem is a poor self-perception that is frequently shaped by a number of variables, including: Previous setbacks, criticism, traumatic events, and ongoing pressures such as social stigmas, unreasonable expectations, and peer comparison

It may be difficult to see a friend or loved one struggle with poor self-esteem. Support may be given by assisting them in challenging unfavorable views and by showing them empathy and encouragement. 

Self-esteem: What Is It?

Feeling good about oneself is not the only aspect of having high self-esteem. In simple terms, it’s your perception of your own value, skills, and potential. Picture yourself gazing through a bright, clean lens, and you will see a true mirror of yourself. Healthy self-esteem is typically the result of this insight.

Conversely, if that lens is scratched or smeared, your vision will be warped. Low self-esteem is a result of this distorted perspective. It’s like trying to navigate life with a broken compass when you have really low self-esteem; you frequently end up going in other directions than who you really are and find it challenging to make choices that would actually help you. 

Indicators Of Possible Poor Self-Esteem

Though it’s not classified as a mental disorder like depression, low self-esteem may nonetheless have a big influence on your feelings, behaviors, and ideas. Consequently, your relationships, general quality of life, and general well-being may suffer greatly as a result of this loss of value and self-worth. These are some indicators and manifestations that you or a loved one may be experiencing poor self-esteem.

Poor confidence. Low confidence is typically strongly associated with low self-esteem. When navigating unfamiliar events, people, or locations, a lack of confidence in your daily life might present difficulties or obstacles. Increased tension or worry may result from this, which is frequently exacerbated by a critical inner voice.

Adverse Social Comparison. A person who has poor self-esteem is more prone to upward social comparison, which is the inclination to measure oneself against others who one believes to be “better” than oneself. While there are positive aspects to social comparisons as well, if it leaves you feeling inadequate or unworthy, it may have a detrimental effect on your self-esteem.

Asking for what you need might be difficult. Someone with low self-esteem may struggle to ask for things they need out of fear or embarrassment. In some instances, they may feel as though they don’t deserve help and don’t prioritise their own needs/desires. 

Having trouble taking compliments. People with poor self-esteem sometimes find it difficult to accept or gain from other people’s praises since they don’t think well of themselves. Positive feedback is typically greeted with mistrust, uneasiness, or suspicion; these sentiments of skepticism can be exacerbated by self-defeating beliefs.

Self-talk that is negative. People who have poor self-esteem frequently place all the responsibility for mistakes on themselves. Rather than empowering themselves with affirmations and constructive self-talk, they self-critisize and dwell on their shortcomings. 

Adverse Thought. People who don’t think well of themselves may frequently anticipate failing and believe things like “I can’t do anything right” or “Nobody likes me.” Because of their persistently pessimistic views and self-doubt, individuals may be afraid to attempt new activities or have faith in their own talents because they fear making mistakes or being rejected. These self-defeating ideas may prevent someone from realizing their own potential and value.

Absence of limits. Because they are afraid of being rejected or abandoned, people with low self-esteem frequently hesitate to set clear limits. On the other hand, we give others access to our time and space if we don’t establish appropriate boundaries. 

Indicators of Strong Self-Esteem

Among these is having a healthy self-perception that acknowledges both one’s strengths and areas for improvement. When faced with obstacles, a person who has a strong sense of self-worth is resilient and views them as chances to grow and learn. They have the grace to accept praise, but they don’t use other people’s opinions to gauge their own value. They are confident in their skills and possess a sound sense of self-worth, which enables them to form enduring bonds with others out of empathy, self-assurance, and concern.

Strong self-assurance. People who have high self-esteem demonstrate self-acceptance and a strong conviction in their own skills. They take on life’s obstacles head-on and are frequently unfazed by unfamiliar circumstances, people, or locales, handling them with poise and composure. Strong mental health is also shown by their confidence.

Fair comparisons in society. Although it’s normal for people to compare themselves to others, those who have a good sense of self-worth do so without undermining their own value because they hear positive and uplifting messages from inside. They are inclined to acknowledge their own special traits and accomplishments, taking inspiration from others without feeling inferior.

Efficient exchange of requirements. When someone has healthy self-esteem, they may freely communicate their needs and wants. They see the worth in themselves and know how important it is to take care of their needs and achieve their objectives. Additionally, this promotes happier partnerships.

Acceptance of admiration. Positivity in oneself is shown in the ability to receive and internalize praise. They are further shielded from unfavorable emotions and the expectations of others by their ability to take compliments without question, as they perceive them as a reflection of their skills and accomplishments.

A favorable opinion of oneself. A person with a positive self-image uses uplifting self-talk instead of self-criticism. They continue to see their experiences in a positive light. For instance, instead of concentrating on mistakes when faced with a challenge, they are able to concentrate on their strengths and the lessons they have learned.

Clearly defined limits. Being aware of one’s own boundaries is an indication of respect for oneself. Individuals who possess a strong sense of self-worth will not hesitate to establish boundaries that safeguard their time, energy, and overall wellbeing, guaranteeing that they receive the appropriate treatment.

The Effects of Poor Self-esteem

The ramifications of having poor self-esteem are widespread and affect every aspect of your life. It affects more than just your mood; it also influences your interactions, choices, and behaviors. Your relationships may suffer as a result of low self-esteem, becoming more stressful than consoling. You may begin to second-guess your choices made at work, which might affect how well you perform there and send you in the wrong direction mentally.

This kind of thinking can spiral into an endless circle of unfavorable emotions and ideas. It’s similar to attempting to complete a difficult climb without planning ahead, without even knowing where you’re going or checking the weather. What was the outcome? You are inviting failures and disappointments into your life.

Not only can low self-esteem make the climb more difficult, but it can also make it seem unachievable. Your mental health and general wellbeing may be impacted more profoundly by this mentality. It would be dangerous to embark on an outdoor excursion without the proper equipment, don’t you think? In a similar vein, having poor self-esteem might leave you psychologically unready to face obstacles in life.

In a society where mental and physical well-being are equally valued, it is critical to address problems related to low self-esteem. Since life is a lengthy journey, emotional endurance is a necessary skill for all of us to have.

How to Support Someone Who Is Low on Self-Esteem

Here are some useful suggestions for supporting a friend or spouse who is struggling with low self-esteem.

1. Paying Attention Actively

Active listening is a communication style in which the listener must focus intently, comprehend what is being said, and retain it. When they’re done speaking, this should be followed with a considered reply. Empathy, according to research, is essential for a person’s healthy self-development. Your friend’s views, feelings, and experiences are validated when you take the time to listen to them actively and thoughtfully.

Healthy self-esteem requires both a sense of belonging and merit, both of which may be fostered by this affirmation.

2. Establishing Modest Yet Doable Objectives

By demonstrating one’s ability and creating a sense of success, setting and completing objectives may greatly increase one’s sense of self-worth. Urge your companion to set reasonable, doable objectives.

If you find it difficult to stay active, for example, try setting little goals like walking for 15 minutes three times a week or stretching for five minutes in the morning. They will feel more accomplished and motivated as they cross these milestones, which will boost their self-esteem.

Encourage them to aspire higher, acknowledge their accomplishments, and provide continuing support.

3. Exchanging Inspirational Sayings

Positive sentiments that encourage people to have faith in their own skills and self are frequently seen in motivational quotations. Perusing these quotations may boost one’s spirits, strengthening optimistic viewpoints and positive convictions.

According to research, motivating quotations can be an effective strategy for treating low self-esteem, especially in those who are ill with chronic conditions. However, adjusting the quotations to each person’s unique causes of low self-esteem may be necessary to maximize their impact. 

For example, you may email your buddy this saying by Christian, “Believe in yourself and all that you are,” if they don’t think they can get through a tough moment. Recognize that you possess a strength that surpasses all challenges. These sayings may be used as workplace reminders or screensavers to incorporate motivational phrases into everyday activities. 

4. Contesting Self-Defeating Assumptions

Depression, poor self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy are frequently exacerbated by negative self-beliefs. You may learn to confront and swap out these unfavorable beliefs for more reasonable and balanced ones by using strategies like cognitive restructuring, which is a method used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Increased resilience and self-worth may result from this. There is evidence to suggest that this might be especially beneficial for those who have been subjected to stigma, prejudice, or discrimination. 

Here’s how to assist a buddy with reframing unfavorable self-perceptions:

Determine the belief: Assist your acquaintance in identifying whatever self-defeating belief, such as feeling unworthy of their profession, they wish to disprove.

Challenge the evidence: Encourage them to look at the data that backs up their beliefs and think back to times when they’ve shown themselves or succeeded.

Examine substitutes: Promote the investigation of alternate interpretations or explanations for the data while emphasizing compliments or prior successes.

Dispute cognitive distortions: recognize and correct any cognitive distortions that are affecting their thinking, and encourage the examination of facts rather than biased opinions. 

Investigate balanced thinking: Help them to embrace a perspective that is more balanced by pointing out the good aspects of themselves and their prior achievements that defy their unfavorable beliefs.

Test the belief: Encourage them to take baby steps toward their objectives, such as putting in an application for a new job or taking on a difficult project, in order to see if their beliefs are true.

Offer assistance and motivation. Continue to encourage them, pointing out their accomplishments and acknowledging even the little strides they have made. 

5. Taking Affirmations At Face Value

According to research, people with poor self-esteem find it difficult to take compliments because of their unfavorable perception of themselves, which makes them uncomfortable and devalues praise. The results demonstrate how to narrow this perceptual gap by promoting a concrete attitude as opposed to an abstract one.

A “concrete mindset” is a mode of thinking that prioritizes direct experiences and precise facts above general ideas or abstract notions. This adjustment increases openness to encouraging comments. Encourage your buddy to concentrate on the particular attributes given in order to help them accept praise. Encourage them to take into account factors like clear delivery or in-depth research, for instance, if they receive acclaim for their presenting abilities, rather than discounting it or writing it down to chance. 

They may better recognize their abilities, digest good comments, and transition from abstract perspectives to concrete enjoyment of successes when compliments are broken down into specific aspects.

Final Thoughts

It takes tolerance, compassion, and empathy to help a buddy who struggles with self-esteem. Urge them to confront false ideas, acknowledge and appreciate their accomplishments, and be patient with your attempts. Because building self-esteem takes time,.

In the end, your assistance can have a big impact on their path to developing self-acceptance and confidence, so keep helping.  

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