It is difficult for anyone to know exactly how you feel about yourself. Therefore, defining self-esteem is not a simple task. But it is important to seek self-knowledge and always be attentive, as there is a strong relationship between low self-esteem and depression.
And, contrary to what many people believe, self-esteem is not necessarily related to having the love of other people, having the trust of friends, being successful at work. A person can have it all and still not feel good about themselves.
There is also no formula to keep self-esteem always high. But some tips from psychologists can help work out this issue better. Here are seven things they wish you knew.
1. Getting too many compliments is not the solution
When someone is feeling down, it’s not a compliment that’s going to change that, especially when that compliment comes from a family member or friend, who you know wants to please you. But, in general, that’s what people think, so this is often the most common attitude. At these times, the most effective thing is for those close to you to offer emotional support. It works more than just praising you.
2. Money is not the solution either
Material success can be a trap for self-esteem. There is a feeling that the balance in the bank account is synonymous with happiness, but studies have shown that the exact opposite can happen: those who believe in this are more likely to have psychological consequences when something goes wrong in their life or career. Keeping self-esteem linked to financial life is not good for one thing or the other.
3. It Can End Your Relationships
While it may seem like an individual problem, having low self-esteem makes people more insecure and more resentful, which leads to behaviors that hurt others as well, especially in more intimate relationships. A study done in the Netherlands in 2017 showed that those with low self-esteem tend to regret choices that involve their partner (from what movie to watch to something bigger like moving to another city), because they feel inferior and think their opinions are not important.
4. Having a large group of friends is not that important
Self-esteem has a lot to do with how others perceive a person. So there’s an idea that having lots of friends makes you feel better. But, in fact, it is not so. Having friendships or contacts in many different places – at the gym, at work, old school or college colleagues, among others – can reinforce your many values in many ways at the same time and is therefore better than being part of a single group. (although with more members).
5. You can become more intolerant
The way each one sees the world is shaped by self-esteem. A 2011 study showed that the lower someone’s self-esteem, the more they tend to have bigoted and prejudiced behavior towards others. On the other hand, those who feel better about themselves will probably not feel threatened by differences, nor believe in very radical opinions, and will know how to respect everyone’s choices.
6. Women are not more vulnerable than men
Common sense has long believed that girls tend to have more fragile self-esteem than boys, but a study of people aged between 14 and 30 showed that there is no gender distinction between this feeling. Boys/men are just as vulnerable to low self-esteem as girls/women. What happens is that often, especially in adolescence, there is greater social pressure on girls to fit into a pattern, which makes many start to dislike themselves.
7. Simple gestures help a lot
It doesn’t take much to support a person who needs to improve their self-esteem. There are very simple ways to help. Give signs (or say) that you believe in the value of that person. Doing small day-to-day tasks for her, such as housekeeping. And, mainly, to show interest in talking and having the company, without trying to solve it, but just making yourself available to be together at that moment.
All these tips are important for anyone who is going through a phase of low self-esteem or living with someone in this situation. But in all cases it is essential to look for a psychologist, who will know how to work in the right way to overcome any problem.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
With Knowledge Comes Wisdom
Walk comfortably in both Darkness and Light with these digital Books of Shadows: