How to Help Someone With Self Esteem Issues: 11 Ways You Can Help Someone Gain Back Their Confidence
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WHAT IS SELF-ESTEEM?
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Simply put, self-esteem is the relation of opinion a person has about themselves. Everyone at one point or another in their life has had to deal with self-esteem issues, and that is perfectly okay to experience. We live in a world that makes us feel like our authentic self is not enough one way or another.
But how does one encourage someone with low self-esteem when it has become a problem? Yes, self-esteem issues can become major problems especially when it makes people lose their sense of self and retract inwards. Here are a few highlights on what it means to have low self-esteem and how this can be resolved.
WHAT CAN CAUSE LOW SELF-ESTEEM?
A lot of things can factor in and cause low self-esteem. For instance, child abuse, bullying from parents, teachers, and other people, and being constantly compared to others can make someone develop self-esteem issues especially when they are constantly being talked about negatively.
Research has shown that young people have more self-esteem issues as opposed to older people. Meaning that the older we get, the more confident we become. However, this also stipulates that often, if you are dealing with someone who struggles with their self-worth, it is going to be a younger person and you should therefore do whatever you can to make someone feel better about themselves if you can help it. Granted, trying to help someone who hates themselves is not an easy thing to do and it is not up to you to take on that responsibility and you should only do it if you feel that you can handle it and you are mentally prepared for it because it can be draining, sometimes.
HOW IS LOW SELF-ESTEEM LINKED TO MENTAL HEALTH?
Low self-esteem is linked to mental health in that it can take away your ability to interact in social settings, which may lead to developing anxiety disorders. It may also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse and other behavioral addictions.
There are some people who will take advantage of someone with low self-esteem and this can cause more damage than good because it often reinforces the negative ideas that the insecure person has about themselves and it could lead to catastrophic results. If someone you know shows signs of low self-esteem, it is best to recognize that they might not be mentally stable and leave them alone if you cannot or are not willing to help.
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH SELF ESTEEM ISSUES
Helping someone with low self-esteem can be a bit challenging. This is because most people with low self-esteem need constant reassurance for them to be confident enough to do things that someone who is well adjusted in their sense of self can easily do. In a way, when you decide to help someone with self-esteem issues, you are signing up to help them heal their inner child that was wounded and was never properly healed – if at all.
The one piece of advice you should give to someone with low self-esteem whom you are trying to help is to tell them to be open with working on themselves as much as you are willing to work on them. This is because you can be willing to help them but if they are not ready or open to receiving then no progress can be made.
1. RECOGNIZE THEIR FEELINGS
One way to make someone more confident is to start by recognizing their feelings. Understand that what they are saying about themselves, no matter how untrue you may think it is, or how negatively you might perceive it, is quite valid and you should recognize that.
When you are trying to help someone build their confidence back up again, you should be mindful of what you say to them as a response to what they have said about themselves. For example, if someone says “I am not pretty” do not say to them “No ways! You are so beautiful!” because although it is a beautiful sentiment, it is dismissive of their initial expression. When someone who is self-conscious says that they do not feel pretty, what they mean is that they do not feel seen or think themselves desirable because they have been told time and time again that they are not the beauty standard. The best thing you can say in this situation is “It must be hard having to deal with these feelings. I am here for you if you need to explore more and talk about it.”
2. BE A GOOD LISTENER
One thing about people with low self-esteem is that they will talk about their insecurities constantly. This might seem like a ploy to seek attention at first, however, when you take a more critical look at it, it is just their way of expressing themselves. If someone feels safe enough to talk about their insecurities with you, it means that they trust you. Most times people who have low self-esteem will talk about their issues as a way to vent in a safe environment. Oftentimes, all they need is a listening ear and nothing else. Make sure you provide that for your friend when they are venting out to you.
3. SUGGEST THERAPY
Sometimes the only way to help someone with building their confidence is to suggest that they seek therapy. However, make sure that you do this when you are comfortable enough with the person you are trying to help and try not to make it seem as though you are trying to fix them. Let them know, kindly and gently, that you think professional counseling might help especially when the root of their self-esteem issues is rooted in childhood or other abusive or traumatic experiences that they have gone through.
It is not easy to teach someone to love themselves and when you feel that you have reached your wit’s end, it is a good idea to suggest looking at other forms of help that can make your friend feel better about themselves.
4. ASK FOR THEIR HELP
Someone who lacks self-confidence does not have the luxury of seeing their own potential and abilities when it comes to doing things such as finishing a piece of work. This is not to say that they do not have great ideas or that they are incapable of getting the job done, no. rather it is because of the self-esteem issues that hinder them from implementing their good ideas. Therefore, it would help them if every once in a while, you asked for their help. This will give them confidence because it will make them feel valued and their ideas valued which in turn will give them the boost they need to come out of their shell.
5. INCLUDE THEM
A person with low self-esteem is likely to seek comradery and companionship with people who see their value and show it to them. Therefore a great way to help someone with low self-worth is to include them in your plans and let them contribute some ideas. This not only tells them that they are valued, but it also shows them that they are a part of a collective that cares for them and values their time and opinions.
6. BE KIND TO THEM
Kindness goes a long way when you are trying to help someone with self-loathing issues. You don’t have to fully understand what they are going through for you to be kind to them. Once you have acknowledged that they are struggling with self-worth, it is important that you speak to them with kindness and gentleness and remember that some things might trigger them even if they are insignificant to you. Always extend patience and kindness to those who need it the most.
7. VALIDATE THEIR INSECURITIES
A good way to boost someone’s self-esteem is to validate their insecurities. There are
things to say to someone with low self-esteem and things not to say to someone with self-esteem issues and putting them down for feeling the way they feel and thinking the way they do is one of the things not to do when interacting with someone who has self-esteem issues. Do not invalidate their feelings by telling them or other people that they are only doing it for attention.
8. SET BOUNDARIES
Loving someone who hates themselves can be quite a task because they may end up becoming dependent on you for their validation and self-worth and that is a lot of responsibility for one person to carry. The best thing you can do for a person with low self-esteem is to help them boost their confidence. You can do this through affirmations, validations, and setting healthy boundaries around your relationship.
It is okay to let your partner know that there are certain parts of their behaviors that you cannot tolerate and even though you understand where they are coming from and why they act that way sometimes, you would like them to honor and respect the boundary that you have just set. This gives you room to grow as a couple, and them time to evaluate and re-think things before impulsively doing or saying them which makes them mindful not only of themselves but also of your needs.
9. ADDRESS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
The easiest and quickest way for low self-esteem solutions is to treat low self-esteem at the root. A lot of things can be the cause of self-doubt, talk to your friend about their childhood, ask them about that toxic relationship that they have just gotten over. Usually, low self-esteem is a symptom of a bigger problem and once this problem has been identified, it is easier to treat the symptom of it.
10. ENCOURAGE SELF CARE
Perhaps the best way to tell someone to love themselves is not to tell them at all but to show them. When you deal with someone with low self-esteem, it will help to show them that they do not need the external world for validation. This can be shown in the form of meditation, yoga, or even relaxing spa days. The goal is to help them discover self-care so that they can take time and reflect on their being and how they relate with the world around them.
11. SHARE POSITIVE THINGS WITH THEM
Another good way to help someone gain confidence and help someone with self-esteem issues is to share positive things with them. Send them that positive affirmation that you say every morning, send them an encouraging quote of the day that you have randomly found. These are things that help shape our subconscious minds and help us change the way we see ourselves and how we relate to the world around us.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How can a person improve their self-esteem?
A person can improve their self-esteem by getting out of toxic relationships or situations that make them feel like they are not good enough and surrounding themselves with people who genuinely care about them. Once you are away from the situation that made you question your self-worth, you can now begin to rediscover yourself and heal. This can be done through finding hobbies you are good at, taking yourself out on dates, signing up for a low self-esteem treatment plan, extending kindness and patience to yourself, and most importantly, setting healthy boundaries with the people you allow into your life.
2. What is self-loathing behavior?
Self-loathing behavior is any behavior that you indulge in that can be potentially harmful to you one way or another. People who exhibit self-loathing behaviors are usually trying to bury a hurt they do not want to feel and they will do anything to ensure that they never feel the pain.
In conclusion, this article has highlighted 11 ways on how to help someone with self esteem issues get their confidence back. These have ranged from having to compliment someone with low self-esteem to showing them that external validation does not matter and they should focus on internal validation only because the only person they need to feel validated for is themselves. We hope that this has been educational and also fun for you to read.
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