It's difficult to see a friend you care about struggle with feelings of unworthiness. Low self-esteem, which sometimes develops in childhood, can negatively impact many different areas of a person's life, according to health professionals at Mayo Clinic. Help your friend boost her self-esteem by assisting her in formulating new perceptions of the challenges in her life. Your friend must want to increase her self-esteem, though; otherwise, your efforts may be ill received.
Be supportive. People need several different kinds of support, according to licensed clinical and forensic psychologist Joni E. Johnston in an article published by Psychology Today: emotional, informational, esteem and tangible support. When your friend expresses self-limiting ideas, give him emotional and esteem support. Listen attentively to provide emotional support; encourage your friend to view himself in a more positive light to provide esteem support. Offer support to show your friend that others care about his well-being.
Ask your friend if she'd like to raise her self-esteem and if she would like your help in doing so. Informational support, or advice, can be offensive when it's unsolicited. Just because your friend is sharing her insecurities with you doesn't mean that she wants you to tell her what she should do about them. Asking her if she would like your assistance shows that you respect her, which will help keep your friendship intact.
Gather helpful materials on ways to build self-esteem. In a 2011 article, Mayo Clinic health professionals offer suggestions on ways to build one's self-esteem: identify troubling situations, become aware of thoughts and beliefs, challenge negative or inaccurate thinking and adjust thoughts and beliefs. Mayo Clinic and other resources can give your friend the tools he needs to boost his self-esteem and improve his quality of life. Encourage him to use these tools as often as necessary.