Young people who do not have a solid sense of self-esteem may struggle with low moods -- and research led by Ohio State University has shown that younger people actually value self-esteem boosts more than older people. The research, published in the "Journal of Personality" in 2012, revealed that people who had depressive symptoms often felt uneasy receiving boosts to their self-esteem, but they still valued them greatly. This makes a close friend an ideal person to deliver an uncomfortable, but much-needed, self-esteem boost.
A study published in the "Journal of Adolescent Health" in 2010 showed that low self-esteem was strongly related to body dissatisfaction in boys and girls of all ages. Boost your friend's self-esteem by telling her how pretty her hair is or how much her outfit suits her. Most compliments work well to boost self-esteem, so remind your friend of all the things she does well. You could praise her for getting high grades, for excelling at sports or even for simply being a good friend.
People with low self-esteem feel more deeply affected by social circumstances, a 2010 study at Shimane University showed. The research, which was conducted on students, found that the lower an individual's self-esteem, the worse he felt when he was excluded from a game of catch simulated by a computer program. Conversely, when students were included, they responded with a more positive attitude than people whose self-esteem was already high. Whenever you organize a social activity, invite your friend with low self-esteem to give him a boost.
Be Facebook Friends
Not only will your friend with low self-esteem feel more included and valued if you connect with her on social media, but research has shown that having a good Facebook profile can boost self-esteem. A study at Cornell University, published in "Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking," showed that students who spent a short time editing their Facebook profiles felt more positive about themselves after the activity. Posting positive feedback on your friend's Facebook profile, and liking and sharing her content, is a good way to boost her self-esteem.
Feeling accepted by friends can protect people's self-esteem even if other relationships in their lives are problematic. A study by the University of Bergen, which was published in 2014, found that when people aged 13 to 23 were not close to their families, low self-esteem was more likely. However, youngsters who felt accepted by their friends were protected from this dip in self-esteem, even if their relationships with their parents were strained. Remind your friend that you like him just as he is, and that he does not need to try and impress you to be your friend.
- Journal of Personality: Investigating the Link Between Liking Versus Wanting Self-Esteem and Depression in a Nationally Representative Sample of American Adults
- Journal of Adolescent Health: The Link Between Body Dissatisfaction and Self-Esteem in Adolescents: Similarities Across Gender, Age, Weight Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status
- Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience: Does Low Self-esteem Enhance Social Pain? The Relationship Between Trait Self-esteem and Anterior Cingulate Cortex Activation Induced by Ostracism
- Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking: Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem
- Journal of Youth and Adolescence: Peer Acceptance Protects Global Self-esteem from Negative Effects of Low Closeness to Parents During Adolescence and Early Adulthood;
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