- Make them smile and laugh. This seems like an easy one, but sharing smiles and laughter with friends is a great way to get them to think more positively about themselves. Life is too short to not have fun with our friends, and I would recommend everyone make their friends laugh and smile as often as the can. It may be the cure to picking them up on a day they are feeling down.
- Compliment them. Who doesn’t like a good compliment? We all spend so much time critiquing ourselves in our own heads, so when we hear something positive and different from a friend, it can teach us that what we may think about ourselves isn’t true. If you compliment a friend when they aren’t expecting it, it will have an immediate impact on their self-esteem in that moment. Friends respect their friends, so hearing something positive and reassuring is a good way to give them a boost.
- Comfort them and let them know you are always there. I can’t imagine a worse feeling that thinking someone is alone in their struggle. The truth is, they aren’t. Being able to know when a friend needs you is important, and it’s equally as important to let them know that you are always there for them. They may not always want to come to you, but if you can make your friends aware that you will always be there in a time of need, it will give them a boost because they will be confident in knowing they have friends they can come to for support.
- Do activities that both of you are able to enjoy. If you can find something you both love to do, it’s a great way to boost both people’s self-esteem. No one wants to do activities they don’t enjoy, so if you can always find a balance to do things you both like, you’ll keep the confidence and positive thoughts high.
- Talk about your own insecurities with your friend and remind them that everyone is human and no one is perfect. You need to show your friend that you have insecurities as well, so they don’t feel like they are the only one with low self-esteem. Both people may have low self-esteem about the same thing, and if you can talk about it together, it will make for a less alienating situation.
About the author
Aly Raisman is a two-time gold medalist, World Champion and USA Gymnastics Team Captain. She serves as a spokesperson for Walden Behavioral Care and Walden Center for Eating Disorder Education and Research.