Helping someone to see their self worth is tricky. When you’re low, it’s difficult to see past destructive thoughts.
I remember when my best friend first told me that she was struggling. She was always putting herself down and feeling guilty about things that she had no control over.
Her frustration and unhappiness came from the fact that she was constantly comparing herself to others. She was around the middle of her class at college, and she couldn’t stop comparing herself to those who were doing better than her.
She didn’t feel good enough, and she was never satisfied with what she had. She wanted to be thinner, prettier, and smarter than she was. She was always focused on her flaws, and she couldn’t see the good in herself.
To me she had a BRILLIANT wit, and always had something new to talk about. She was friendly and warm… but she just couldn’t see it.
Seeing her pain was difficult to watch. How could I help her?
There are many ways that you can help someone to see their self worth, but it takes time, effort, and a whole lot of patience.
Let’s walk through a few ways to help someone struggling with low self worth.
What do you say to someone who is struggling with self worth?
One of the best things that you can do is to support them in continuing their process of self-discovery.
We all go through moments when we feel unvalued, and it’s extremely comforting to have a friend in your corner during the process.
1. Highlight the positive things that are unique about them
When you highlight the things that are unique about someone, it can be a great way to help them realise their self worth.
When someone is focused on the good things about themselves, it makes them feel more confident and positive. Don’t underestimate the power of telling them, because a compliment can go a long way.
If they’re good at playing guitar, then encourage them to play. If they’re a good problem solver or technically-minded, talk about it. See where you can bring these things up in conversation and let them work in their element.
2. Encourage them to focus on learning and growth
When people repeatedly focus on their failures and flaws, life looks like one big blob of failure and flaws.
But when they focus on learning and growth, they begin to notice their strengths and opportunities. It’s all about appreciating what they’re good and striving forward wtih a focus on those strengths.
3. Discourage feelings of guilt
One of the most important things that you can do when helping someone to see their self worth is to subtly discourage feelings of guilt.
Guilt is one of the most destructive emotions.
Often, those feelings of guilt are based on things that are beyond our control. So encourage them to shift their focus to the opportunities, instead of guilt, fear, and doubt.
4. Help them understand that we all go through low points
By reminding them that we all go through low points, you can help them to feel less alone and more “normal”.
It can help them to put things in perspective, and understand that they can move beyond this.
Tell them that “it’s ok to not be ok”.
It can do wonders to remind someone that everyone has their ups and downs… but it can be hard to see when you’re in the middle of your own tough times.
5. Encourage them to focus on gratitude
One of the best things that you can do when helping someone to see their self worth is to encourage them to focus on gratitude.
When someone is grateful for the good things in their life, it helps to notice the good things about themselves.
A good suggestion is to write a gratitude journal – 3 things you’re grateful for each day. This can help your brain to form the habit of searching for the good things in life, which in turn helps to support a sense of self-worth.
6. Get out and do something fun, especially exercise
One of the best things that you can do is to get out of the house and do something fun.
It simply makes them feel good about themselves. Plus, exercise is a great way to boost your mood chemicals and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
So, get active and have some fun!
Go for a hike, shoot some pool, or see a movie together.
7. Finally. Know that you’re not responsible for their self-worth
It’s great that you want to help them see their self-worth, but you are NOT responsible for them.
Try to help them, but understand that they need to want to change before they will.
Trust them, but don’t babysit them. Encourage, but let them make their own decisions.
The best you can do is be supportive. Show empathy, not sympathy. Basically, you’re giving them tools rather than fixing anything for them.
Conclusion – how to help someone see their self-worth
To help someone see their self-worth, you should be supportive and positive. Remember that while your goal may be to make a difference in this person’s life, it’s not up to you; they need want change before any real progress will happen.
As long as you understand where your boundaries lie, then there are ways that you can still support someone who wants better for themselves without feeling like everything is on your shoulders.