What to do when your BFF has super low self-esteem
My best friend and I are very close, but she has such low self-esteem. She’s always saying things like “I’m dumb,” or, “I’m so ugly.” Then she says I’m so “pretty or smart or lucky,” and that I have the “coolest clothes.” It annoys me because she’s a great person! I think she insults herself just so I’ll give her compliments. Her parents are divorced, and she always fights with her mom. How can I help?
Your company and compliments, respect and affection are already helping. But you’re right, it’s a shame she spends so much energy putting herself down. You might even mention that the only thing you don’t like about her is that she’s constantly belittling herself.
It’s too bad she and her mom are at odds—parents don’t always do all they can to boost kids’ egos and help kids feel wanted and wonderful. Encourage your mom to invite your friend to dinner, and ask Mom to offer some encouragement of her own.
Finally, tell your friend that we all have little gnomes on our shoulders—one is kind, one nasty. My nice gnome whispers that I’m positively brilliant. My nasty one sneers that I’m a moron. So I tune out the criticism, and turn up the volume on the praise. We should all try to be the best we can be, but it’s then OK to go ahead and listen to the gnome saying, “Way to go!” That’s my secret to self-confidence. Pass it on.
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