It can be incredibly hard to see someone close to you suffering. If a loved one near you is struggling with issues of self-esteem, you may feel helpless–or sometimes even upset or angry.
There is no proper protocol for addressing self-esteem within the confines of a close relationship. Self-esteem issues can be a relationship killer, prompting changes in how you handle conflict and communication. With depression on the rise, emotional states are becoming an increasingly focused-on factor of modern relationships.
While the crux of your partner’s self-esteem issues inevitably lie with them, there are things you can do to help. Support and positive encouragement, among other contributions, can be hugely helpful to someone struggling with low-self esteem.
If you want to know how to help someone with low self-esteem, read on as we talk through just what you can do.
Be There to Offer Support
Loving someone with low self-esteem can be difficult, but the most essential thing you can do is also the easiest.
Offering your time and an ear to your loved one can make a huge difference in making them feel appreciated and heard. Making concrete plans and setting time aside for your loved one is a great way to help show them that their time and company is valued. People with low self-esteem often lack the initiative to instigate plans with others.
While spending time with your loved one, you should discuss with them their life and talk about whatever they feel comfortable talking about. You should listen closely to everything they have to say and maintain eye contact. Really listen.
In turn, you should respond honestly and from the heart. This kind of attentive and honest communication can help to make people with low self-esteem valued and promote a deep and open relationship.
Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one about their problems and what may be wrong. If they ask for advice, give them your honest advice on the matter.
Caring attention can do a lot for someone’s self-esteem and can help to build someone up and guide them towards better self-love, and a better life overall.
Avoid Lecturing or Belittling
More than anything, a person with low self-esteem wants to be heard and feel valued. As tempting as it may be to try to tell them how they should think about things, you should avoid doing so.
You can seriously risk alienating the person you’re trying to help if you attempt to forcefully guide their behavior, or tell them how to think. Instead of disagreeing with a person’s complaints about themselves, attempt to dig deeper into why they feel this way. This might provoke a more significant conversation.
You should be there to affirm their feelings and allow them to be heard, not disagree with them on their feelings. Feeling heard can help an individual feel empowered and make steps towards further progress.
Express & Relate to the Individual
Sharing personal stories of your own struggles is a great way to make another person feel like they are not alone in their strife.
We all live with our inner voices, and it is difficult to know what is normal or abnormal. A person with low self-esteem may feel as if those around them never feel the doubts and fears that they do. If you can discuss your own experiences with the problems they are facing, they may find great comfort in the realization that they are not alone in these struggles.
Individuals with low self-esteem frequently view themselves as outsiders or abnormal. Helping to illuminate the false nature of this belief can give an individual great relief.
Talking to someone about the way you talk and think to yourself can help them understand a more positive inner voice. Model an inner voice that shows the support you’d give a dear friend or loved one, not an abusive one.
Recognize the Realities
Issues of self-esteem are complicated and frequently deep-rooted. Ultimately, self-esteem is a personal matter, and you should recognize that you may not be able to help someone with low self-esteem. The best you can do is to offer encouragement and support.
Loving someone with low self-esteem can be a complicated matter, and you should be sure to value your own feelings and role in the process. If you don’t, you have the potential to make matters worse later.
People with low self-esteem can become easily needy. Establishing a proper sense of boundaries is essential in keeping your relationship with your loved one strong and trusting.
You may feel guilty about establishing boundaries, but these matters help to keep you fully engaged. The last thing you want is to begin to begrudge your loved one for their behavior. They eventually will notice this feeling and this can make matters worse.
Don’t be afraid to gently establish your obligation to work, family, and other friends in your discussions with your loved one. Don’t be afraid to limit the hours when they can call to reach you–or you may receive a 3 AM call when they need to be heard.
Do not accept abuse, verbal or otherwise, from your loved one. Low self-esteem does not give a person a pass to be cruel, and it is important for your loved one to understand this if they are going to improve.
Working to maintain a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship can be its own huge help in aiding your loved one’s return to a healthy mental state.
How to Help Someone with Low Self-Esteem
Helping to build someone up can be a tricky but rewarding task. The least we can do in this crazy world is to help take care of one another, and knowing how to help someone with low self-esteem can make a world of difference in the life of someone who needs it.
Remember to be patient with those struggling–the path to self-love can be a long and bumpy one. With your help, your loved one can and will get there.
Looking for may ways to promote and improve self-esteem? Check out our blog for the best tips, tricks, and advice.