Information from the University of Texas at Austin
The Counseling and Mental Health Center
Childhood experiences that lead to healthy self-esteem include-
being listened to
being spoken to respectfully
getting attention and hugs
experiencing success in sports or school
having trustworthy friends
Childhood experiences that lead to low self-esteem include-
being harshly criticized
being yelled at, or beaten
being ignored, ridiculed or teased
being expected to be "perfect" all the time
experiencing failures in sports or school
People with low self-esteem were often given messages that failed experiences (losing a game, getting a poor grade, etc.) were failures of their whole self.
Step 3: Get Help from Others
Getting help from others is often the most important step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem, but it can also be the most difficult. People with low self-esteem often don't ask for help because they feel they don't deserve it. But since low self-esteem is often caused by how other people treated you in the past, you may need the help of other people in the present to challenge the critical messages that come from negative past experiences. Here are some ways to get help from others:
Ask for Support from Friends
Ask friends to tell you what they like about you or think you do well.
Ask someone who cares about you to just listen to you "vent" for a little while without trying to "fix" things.
Ask for a hug.
Ask someone who loves you to remind you that they do.