Raising Your Self-Esteem Through Healthy Friends

Raise Self-Esteem Through FriendsRaising your self-esteem can’t be done without looking at the friends around you. These friends have one of the biggest impacts on the degree of our self-valuing.

Let’s take a look at why this is so important.


What is Self-Esteem?

Webster’s Dictionary defines self-esteem as “a confidence and satisfaction in oneself: SELF-RESPECT”. However, today it’s often used in a more generic manner of how we feel about ourselves, positively or negatively in degrees.


Why is Raising Your Self-Esteem So Important?

The degree you value yourself is the degree of self-esteem you operate from with yourself and others. For example, do you judge yourself harshly? Or do you allow yourself to make mistakes, as everyone does from time to time?

Raising your self-esteem affects who you choose as friends, who you marry, and whether you stand up for yourself or not.

The more we value our self, the more risks we take in positive ways to move forward in life. This is because when your self-esteem is healthy, you build internal trust in yourself to make good decisions most often. You also allow for making mistakes, which is human. And you trust that you will make better decisions as you move forward in life.


How Do My Friends Raise My Self-Esteem?

The more we raise our self-esteem, the healthier we become, and the more we value ourselves. As our self-esteem increases, the healthier our choice in friends tends to be. Likewise, the less we value ourselves, the less emotionally healthy are our friends.

Do you put your friends above your own needs most of the time? Or do you value both you and your friends who also value you for who you are? These are examples of how self-esteem affects your daily life.

Do your friends believe in you and that you can move forward in life successfully? If not, do they support you in getting help? Or do they put you down and let you devalue yourself?

Good and healthy friends will want the best for you and will encourage you along the way. They will stick up for you and will be there for you if you fall. They don’t judge but will let you know when they don’t agree with what you are doing.

Healthy friends want you to feel good and to value who you are. They want to see you move forward and they become your cheerleaders, raising your self-esteem.


Will I Need to Make New Friends in Order to Raise My Self-Esteem?

Sometimes you can keep friends if they demonstrate they will support you in healthy ways. If you find you are not getting support from them, it may be because they are afraid you will move forward in life and leave them behind.

The truth is that we are each responsible for our own well-being in life. We can choose to move forward in a healthy way, or keep doing what doesn’t work for us.


Options to Keep Your Current Friends

If you want to try to keep them as friends, you will need to ask for what you want of them. But first, you need to be clear what that would look like. Raising your self-esteem will involve your friends, one way or another.

For example, your healthy friends will demonstrate a belief in you, and they will want to do things to support you moving forward in a healthy way.

Your friends should not be competitive with you. We each have our own path. Both of you can move forward in a healthy manner. It’s not a competition. Therefore, healthy friends won’t sabotage the good things you’re doing to move forward.

If they want to move forward as well, then you both can make plans of how to do that, and support one another mutually. But remember, this is not a contest. It’s about you moving forward in life in healthy ways, with or without them.

We are each responsible for our own decisions in life.


If I Let Go of My Unhealthy Friends, Will I Be Alone?

Not unless you choose to be. The more you believe in yourself, the more you will make decisions that move you forward in healthy ways. As you do this, your belief in yourself will begin to show, and others will approach you who are emotionally healthier than what you had in the past. This is how it works in life.


Don’t Be Afraid of Getting Professional Help

Choosing to be healthy takes guts. The unknown is often uncomfortable. If you find you want the help of a professional to move forward, great! Give it a try, but don’t settle for someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. It needs to be a good match. Ask for what you want, and how you feel. The therapist is not a mind-reader.


Further Reading

Here is a link from my website Life and Relationships 101. Look under the section of Improving Self-Image for more related articles.

About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Dating, Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on YourTango.com and on MSN.com.

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