Once a week, we answer a question submitted by a community member. This week we heard from Elise who is worried about her friend who is going through a rough patch and is suffering from low confidence.
Q - Hi, my name is Elise. My best friend has been going through a rough patch, including a breakup and difficulties at work. Her self-confidence is really low and she’s really down, and I’m really worried about her. Do you have any advice or tips on how I can help build up her self-confidence again? Thanks!
A - Hi, Elise! Thank you so much for your question. It is heartbreaking to watch somebody we love struggle so much and feel so down. You are a great friend for wanting to help your friend! Though self-esteem is very personal and depend heavily on the person, there are definitely things you can do to help boost your friend’s confidence. Here are our tips!
Understand it is a long process
When somebody is feeling low and their confidence is on the floor, it is going to take a while for them to pick themselves up and feel better. It’s not just a matter of a few compliments; it’s going to take a while for them to start believing in themselves again. It is a journey, so you must be willing to help your friend consistently, over a long period of time.
Though, as I said above, building up a friend’s confidence is a long process, it should also be a subtle one. If your friend realises that you are on a mission to boost their self-esteem, they will be suspicious and unlikely to believe anything you say to make them feel better about themselves, as they will think you’re just trying to be nice. You should go about this slowly, in stages, to ensure it’s not obvious what you are trying to do.
The first thing to do is to think hard about everything that you love about your friend, and what you admire about them. Make a list of these qualities, and truly take the time to appreciate your friend and what makes them special. If you compliment somebody without really believing it, it will be obvious, and will make the situation worse. Focus on the things you especially like about your friend, and the compliments will be heartfelt and sincere, and will more likely be believed.
Write a letter
Love letters don’t just have to be romantic. Take some time and write your friend a letter, telling her how special they are to you, and what you love about them. It doesn’t have to be an obvious attempt to boost their confidence, you can simply say that you are feeling really grateful for their friendship and wanted to let them know. Maybe add in some anecdotes about good memories the two of you share, and any times they have helped you when you were in need.
This is an easy and subtle way to give your friend a quick boost, and it also provides them with something they can read whenever they’re feeling like they’re not good enough.
Offer support when facing the difficult situations
If, like you said, your friend is dealing with difficult situations, then offer your support in any way you can. If they’re struggling at work, offer to help them come up with solutions; perhaps help them practice a conversation with their boss, or help spruce up their CV and support them in a job hunt. Knowing that they’re not alone and that you have their back will help them feel stronger and more confident about facing these tough situations head on.