Niv Iro
15 min read
4 months ago

How to help someone with low self-esteem and depression

This guide's all about throwing a lifeline to folks struggling with self-doubt, with tips on being their sideline hero. Spot the signs, be there for them, and know when to call in the pros for backup.

How to help someone with low self-esteem and depression
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Having healthy self-esteem is like wearing a suit of armor against the world's challenges. But not everyone feels strong inside. Many people deal with low self-esteem and depression, which can make life harder and less enjoyable.

We all have negative thoughts sometimes, but when they turn into constant negative self-talk, it can really bring a person down. Low self-worth can come from many places like past experiences, social media, or a critical inner voice that won't say anything nice.

Family members, friends, or a romantic partner can make a big difference. They can help you see the good things about yourself and encourage you to try new things. A safe space and positive affirmations can change negative thinking into positive thinking.

This guide will help you understand the signs of low self-esteem and depression. It will show you how to help someone who is having a hard time. The goal is to help each other build self-esteem for a better quality of life. It's about becoming a good friend to yourself and others, especially during difficult life events.

We'll look at the causes of low self-esteem, how to make positive changes in day-to-day life, and when to get professional help. It's a journey, but with hard work and support, anyone can feel worthy of love and have a positive self-esteem.

Let's get started on this path to feeling better. Everyone deserves it.


Friends Support Each Other Often

How to Recognize the Signs of Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence? 

Recognizing the signs of low self-esteem and self-confidence is not always simple. Healthy self-esteem is like a shield for our hearts and minds. It helps us feel confident and face life's ups and downs.

We have written extensively about the difference between self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth and you might want to read this as a refresher.

But when that shield cracks, it's often because of negative thoughts and self-talk. These can come from different places, but the results are the same: low self-esteem and sometimes depression.

It's easy to miss the signs, so we need to be alert. You might see a friend always saying they're no good or can't do anything right. They might pull away from others, or not enjoy things they used to love. These are the red flags we can't ignore.

Negative thinking can make a person feel like they're not worth much. This is where low self-worth starts to grow. Social media can make things worse, showing us "perfect" lives that make our own seem less valuable.

Self-esteem issues can make someone have a hard time in social situations. They might feel like they're not as good as others or don't belong. This can lead to feelings of worthlessness, which can be a heavy burden to carry.

The first step in helping is noticing these signs. By understanding what's happening, you can start to make a difference. Offer a listening ear, remind them of the good things they've done, and be there for them. This is how we start building back that broken shield, piece by piece.

The signs of low self-esteem can sometimes be subtle, but they are crucial to recognize in order to provide support. Here are some of the top signs to look out for:

  1. Negative Self-Talk: This is one of the most telling signs. If someone often says they're not good enough, criticizes their abilities, or expects to fail, they likely struggle with low self-esteem.

  2. Withdrawal from Social Situations: If a person starts to avoid social events or interactions, it may be because they feel like they don't measure up to others or fear being judged.

  3. Lack of Confidence: An unwillingness to try new things or take on challenges can indicate a person doesn't believe in their own abilities.

  4. Overly Critical of Themselves: Pay attention to whether someone has a hard time accepting compliments or always points out their faults.

  5. Signs of Depression: Low self-esteem and depression often go hand-in-hand. Look for changes in mood, sleep patterns, or appetite as potential indicators.

  6. Physical Symptoms: Sometimes low self-esteem can manifest physically, such as with a slouched posture, avoiding eye contact, or nervous habits like fidgeting.

  7. Fear of Failure: This can stop someone from trying because they believe they will not succeed, no matter how hard they try.

  8. Feelings of Worthlessness: They may express that they feel unloved or believe they have nothing valuable to offer.

  9. Difficulty Accepting Positive Feedback: They might brush off compliments or positive comments, insisting they're not true.

  10. Perfectionism: An unhealthy level of perfectionism can also be a sign, where the person sets unattainably high standards for themselves.

Recognizing these signs is the first step in helping someone build back their self-esteem. It's a process, but noticing and addressing these issues can start to turn negative self-beliefs into a more positive self-view.


Family Support

What Are the Roots and Effects of Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence?

When someone has low self-esteem, it doesn't just hurt their feelings; it can change their entire life. People with poor self-esteem might stop trying new things because they lack confidence. They might believe they'll fail or aren't good enough. This negative thinking can lead to a negative impact on their quality of life, making them miss out on good things and have a hard time enjoying life.

Physical health can also take a hit. Stress from negative feelings and thoughts can lead to physical symptoms and even make someone feel sick more often. Plus, when you're down on yourself, you might not take care of your health as well.

Many things can cause these negative beliefs and thought patterns. It could be past experiences where things didn't go well or constant negative self-talk that becomes a critical inner voice.

Social media can add to the problem, too, showing a life that seems perfect and makes one's own life feel less so.

Low self-worth can also make social situations hard. It's tough to hang out with friends or meet new people if you don't feel good about yourself.

You might think you're not interesting or worthy of love, but that's not true. Everyone has something special about them.

Sometimes, our family members or romantic relationships can either help build us up or bring us down. It's a long way, but changing negative thought patterns and beliefs is possible.

It starts with recognizing the causes and effects and then working hard to make positive changes. 

This is how we begin to build a positive self-esteem, and it's important in everyone's day-to-day life.


Help Each Other

How You Can Help Nurture and Support Systems with Active Engagement

Active support from family, friends, and partners plays a vital role in overcoming low self-esteem and depression. Each group offers unique forms of encouragement and strategies to help individuals build a healthier self-view and tackle life's challenges more confidently.

Family's role in helping someone with low self-esteem and low self-confidence

Family members are the backbone of our support system. They can take the lead by initiating conversations about self-worth and mental health, providing a judgment-free zone where individuals feel safe to express their feelings. 

By actively listening and offering words of encouragement, they can help dismantle the critical inner voice that feeds negative self-talk. 

Engaging in activities that promote physical health, such as family walks or shared hobbies, can also boost a person's self-esteem by showing them they're valued and included.

Friends' role  in helping someone with low self-esteem and low self-confidence

Friends have the unique ability to challenge negative thought patterns directly. They can organize social situations that encourage positive interactions, helping to ease the anxiety associated with low confidence. 

By pointing out the individual's strengths and achievements, friends provide positive feedback that counters feelings of worthlessness. 

They're also in a position to introduce new experiences, gently pushing the individual to step out of their comfort zone and discover new things about themselves and what they're capable of.

Partners as Pillars of Emotional Support

Romantic partners can offer continuous emotional support by reinforcing positive affirmations in daily interactions.

They can create a partnership dynamic that focuses on mutual growth and support, encouraging each other to pursue personal goals and celebrate successes, no matter how small.

Partners can remind each other that they're worthy of love and respect, directly countering feelings of inadequacy and boosting each other's self-esteem over the long run.

We have written extensively about how you can be the best cheerleader to your partner and we recommend the read. 


Collectively Creating a Safe Space

Together, family, friends, and partners can build a network of support that encourages positive thinking and self-recognition. They can help the individual to recognize their worth, challenge their negative beliefs, and make positive changes in their life. 

Through their unique roles, they demonstrate that building high self-esteem is a communal effort, grounded in the hard work of love, understanding, and patience. 

This active engagement shows the person struggling with low self-esteem that they are not alone, that they are valued, and that they have a team cheering for their success every step of the way.


Partner Support Each Others

Encouraging Healthier Mindsets

Transforming one's mindset from a place of negativity to one of positivity and growth is a pivotal step in overcoming low self-esteem and depression. This journey requires active participation and a willingness to embrace new perspectives and habits.

Fostering Positive Thinking: The cornerstone of a healthier mindset is positive thinking. It begins with acknowledging that negative thoughts and self-talk are part of the problem. By consciously choosing to focus on positive aspects of oneself and one's life, individuals can start to challenge and change their critical inner voice. Encouraging affirmations and reminders of one's worth can be powerful tools in this process.

Embracing New Experiences: Stepping out of comfort zones by trying new things can significantly boost self-esteem. Whether it's picking up a new hobby, learning a skill, or simply changing daily routines, new experiences can lead to a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence.

Cultivating Self-Worth and Love: Building self-worth involves recognizing and celebrating one's inherent value. It's about moving beyond feelings of worthlessness to a place where one feels deserving of love and happiness. This shift is crucial for fostering healthy romantic relationships and maintaining a positive impact on one's own life and the lives of those around.

Leveraging Positive Feedback: Feedback from others can be a mirror reflecting our best qualities back at us. Accepting and internalizing positive feedback helps reinforce a positive self-image and combat negative beliefs.

Improving Physical Health: There's a strong connection between physical health and mental well-being. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient rest can all contribute to a more positive outlook on life. Physical activity, in particular, is known to reduce symptoms of depression and improve mood.

Building High Self-Esteem: The ultimate goal is to cultivate high self-esteem. This doesn't happen overnight but through consistent effort and positive reinforcement. High self-esteem empowers individuals to handle social situations with ease, face life's challenges with confidence, and engage in positive relationships.

Support Networks: Remember, no one has to do this alone. Family, friends, and partners can all play a supportive role in this transformation. They can provide encouragement, offer a listening ear, and remind the individual of their progress, especially during difficult times.

By committing to these steps, individuals can gradually shift their mindset towards one that supports growth, self-acceptance, and a fulfilling life. It's a journey of hard work and perseverance, but the positive impact on one's quality of life and self-esteem is well worth it.


Friends Support Each Other Often

Practical Steps to Help to Help Someone with Low Self-Esteem and Low Self-Confidence

Taking practical steps to support someone with low self-esteem and self-confidence involves more than just good intentions. It requires actions that are both thoughtful and impactful. Here are some concrete steps you can take:

  1. Initiate Meaningful Conversations: Start by talking. Ask how they're feeling and listen without judgment. This can help them open up and feel seen and heard.

  2. Set Up Small, Achievable Goals Together: Work on setting small goals that are easy to achieve. This can help build confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

  3. Encourage Positive Self-Talk: Remind them to speak kindly to themselves. Help them turn negative thoughts into positive ones by challenging negative self-talk whenever you hear it.

  4. Promote Physical Activity: Physical health is closely linked to mental health. Encourage them to engage in activities or exercises that boost mood and self-esteem.

  5. Create a Positive Environment: Surround them with positivity. This can be through positive affirmations placed around their living space or by sharing uplifting content.

  6. Practice Gratitude: Encourage them to keep a gratitude journal where they can note things they're thankful for each day. This can shift focus from negative to positive aspects of their life.

  7. Be a Cheerleader for Their Successes: Celebrate their successes, no matter how small. Positive feedback is crucial in reinforcing their worth and achievements.

  8. Encourage Professional Help When Needed: Recognize when it's time to seek help from a professional. Offering to help find a therapist or accompany them to an appointment can be a big step.

  9. Provide Continuous Support: Show that your support isn't just short-term. Check in regularly and be there for them, showing that you care and are invested in their journey.

  10. Model Positive Behavior: Be a role model by showing how you deal with challenges and maintain a positive outlook. This can be inspiring and motivational.

By taking these steps, you're not only offering support but actively participating in their journey towards building self-esteem. For short-term hacks to improve self-confidence we have written this guide.

It's about making positive changes together, demonstrating that with patience, hard work, and the right support, overcoming feelings of inadequacy and building a stronger sense of self are within reach.


We Support Each Other

When to Seek Professional Help for Someone with Low Self-Esteem and Low Self-Confidence

There are times when emotional support from family, friends, and partners, while invaluable, might not be enough.

Knowing when to suggest professional help is crucial in supporting someone with low self-esteem and depression. Here’s how to recognize those moments:

  1. Persistent Feelings of Worthlessness: If the person consistently expresses feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, it's a strong sign that professional intervention is needed.

  2. Depressive Symptoms Don’t Improve: When symptoms like persistent sadness, changes in sleep or appetite, or loss of interest in activities continue despite support, it’s time to consider professional help.

  3. Serious Illness Signs: Look for signs that suggest depression might be affecting their physical health, such as significant weight changes, physical pain, or extreme fatigue.

  4. Thoughts of Harm: If they express any thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it's essential to seek professional help immediately.

It's important for family members, friends, and partners to know that not being able to "fix" the situation themselves does not mean they have failed. Mental health issues can be complex and often require the expertise of professionals. 

Encouraging someone to seek therapy or counseling can be one of the most supportive steps you can take. It shows you recognize the severity of their struggle and are committed to helping them find the help they need.

Remember, suggesting professional help is not about giving up on them; it's about providing them with a level of care and support that goes beyond what you can offer. It's a step towards healing, showing them they're not alone and that there's hope for a happier, healthier life.


Conclusion: Walking Together Toward a Brighter Tomorrow

In our journey through understanding and supporting those with low self-esteem and depression, we've covered recognizing the signs, understanding the roots, nurturing support systems, encouraging healthier mindsets, taking practical steps, and knowing when to seek professional help.

This path is not always easy, but it's filled with hope and the potential for positive change.

Everyone deserves to feel confident, worthy of love, and capable of navigating life's challenges. Remember, building self-esteem and overcoming mental health struggles are not solitary endeavors.

We thrive on connection, support, and understanding from those around us. Whether you're a family member, friend, or partner, your role in someone's life can be the beacon of hope they need to find their way.

For everyone looking for helpful literature, we have prepared this collection of books to help grow self-confidence and self-esteem

As we conclude, we encourage you to continue being the best cheerleader for yourself and the ones you care about. Visit for more resourcesconfidence affirmations, and quotes that inspire and uplift. Our site also offers guidance on how to support a partner, friend, or family member, helping you to strengthen your relationships and promote a positive, supportive environment.

Let's commit to being there for each other, celebrating every small victory, and facing setbacks with resilience and compassion. Together, we can make a significant impact on our lives and the lives of those we love.

Thank you for joining us on this important journey. The road to self-confidence may be long, but it's one we don't have to walk alone.

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