How Social Relationships Can Affect Your Self Esteem

How Social Relationships Can Affect Your Self Esteem

Social relationships can have a significant impact on your self esteem. Friends have the power to bring out the best and the worst in you. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Here's how social relationships can affect your self esteem.

A Good Sounding Board Boosts Your Confidence

In terms of social relationships, having good close friends can give you that extra "oomph" you need in your self esteem. When you're unsure of anything, be it as simple as what dress to wear on a date or something as serious as having insecurities about your new co-workers, having a good friend to talk to eases your anxieties and helps you gain perspective. In short, it makes you feel more confident in your actions and in your sense of self. One of the biggest benefits of close social relationships is the sense of security that you feel. You can't put a price on the value of having good friends. They boost your self esteem.

Toxic Relationships Make You Feel Badly About Yourself

You've surely encountered one of those people before: the person who is quick to be cruel to others. In the best cases it's someone you only know by acquaintance and rarely have to encounter, in the worst it's someone in your inner circle. These kinds of people are toxic to your health and well-being. You've probably had the friend who is quick to point out how large your thighs look or how that guy in the club was only talking to you because "you just happened to be at the bar at the same time--he would have talked to anyone." Even if you realize this person's comments are out of line, they can still hurt and make you feel badly about yourself. Dealing with put-downs from others is hardly worth maintaining the relationship.

You Compare Yourself to Your Friends

It's very important to surround yourself with supportive people. Even if you get along great with your friends and find them to be positive people, it's still likely that you'll be comparing yourself to each of them. Sometimes it's the physical things: the friend you think is prettier, the friend who has a better wardrobe than you, the friend who always seems to get attention from guys. Other times you question the non-physical traits: why does your friend have a better job than you or why does your friend's personality outshine yours? Being around people who encourage you to be the best you can be, and who also share in on the traits you envy (say, helping you network with their colleagues or telling you how fabulous you are) helps you to boost your self esteem. Likewise, you should want to encourage them.

Social relationships can have a positive or negative impact on your self esteem. Build your circle of friends with people who see you in the best light and who have a positive outlook on life. Don't spend time around people who are keen on bringing you down.