Dear Life & Style,
I’ve noticed lately how many people around me suffer from low self esteem. Reasons for their lack of confidence range from being single, struggling financially, or not doing well in school. I want to help them realize that they are good people with a lot going on in their life. They should be proud of what they have instead of dwell on what they don’t. Any ideas to help me boost their self-assurance?
There might be more to it than money matters, lack of love or grim grades. Before any of us can feel good about life, we need to feel good about ourselves.
Begin by letting these individuals recognize that they’re beautiful inside and out.
Research “The Dressing Room Project.” This group of girls post colorfully designed cards on bathroom mirrors, inside dressing rooms and on campus bulletins, that boast inspirational confidence boosters such as “beauty is within.” You never know whose day you may brighten by taping such kind-hearted quotes in public places.
Feeling down could be an effect of stress. Recommend they take a yoga class, clearing their mind of worry and pressure could be the major sense of relief they’re craving.
It’s also important to be a good listener. Maybe they need and ear to vent to or a shoulder to cry on.
If you know one of your fellow peers is struggling with class work or homework assignments, offer to explain it to them over a cup of coffee. Suggest they visit places like the Subject Area Tutor Lab or the Learning Resource Center, which both offer academic support.
If it’s loneliness that’s eating away at someone’s self-esteem, it might not necessarily be due to the fact that they are without a significant other. They could be longing for friendship as well.
Introduce them to your group of friends, try a new restaurant, grab some frozen yogurt or host a “game night.” Perhaps just being surrounded by people, laughter and fun is the cure.
If it is Mr. or Ms. Right they seek, first attempt to introduce the benefits of the single life. When that special someone does come around, he or she will undoubtedly be worth the wait. However, soul mates don’t usually appear until you stop forcefully searching.
In the meantime, show your friend that the world is at their fingertips, and freedom to live and do as you please has its perks. Be spontaneous and let him or her choose where to go and what to do for a couple of weeks.
If dollars are getting them down, suggest the two of you go job hunting together. Hit the town and be sure to inquire at all the stores inside the mall for an application. Don’t forget to check on campus, since there’s plentyof opportunities right in front of our noses.
If this individual has a tight schedule as is, sit down and research opportunities of free or low-cost entertainment. CSUN puts on numerous events throughout the year and so does Los Angeles County.
There are also hundreds of thousands of scholarships out there, so encourage the individual to apply to as many as possible.
Although we may be a little too old for lemonade stands, you can’t go wrong with a garage sale. Ask other friends to go through their closets and donate their old memorabilia.
Then again, maybe what this person needs is to realize that things could be worse. Try volunteering. It would make anyone feel good to make the world a better place by helping others in need.
Other quick tips include suggesting they do something they’ve been putting off. Accomplishments, no matter how small, result in self-fulfillment which inevitably leads to happiness.
Also, have them do something they’re good at. Experiencing that sense of competence would contribute to an increase in their self-worth and allow the individual to feel proud of themselves.
Lastly, have your friend make a list of all the things they have achieved in their life so far—no matter how small. They may just need a little reminding. Remember a little kindness goes a long way.