There are many reasons why we formed the friendships we now have with the women in our lives. Maybe we know the same people, share the same interests, live in the same community, have the same quirky sense of humor, graduated from the same school, and so on. These all represent the why we struck up a friendship, but the growth and satisfaction that result from a true friendship can be attributed to self-esteem–yours and theirs. Because self-esteem affects friendships.
Self-esteem is the term used to describe a person’s own measurement of her self-worth. It is how you think of yourself, describe yourself and the collection of beliefs you have pertaining to your abilities and worthiness, and we typically become friends with those who self-esteem most matches our own. There are key characteristics of high-esteem and low-esteem, and the following are just a few.
- An individual with high self-esteem considers themselves self-worthy and equal to others, regardless of differences in finance and personal success. They believe in their capacity to solve problems, adjust to failures and ask for assistance. They also participate in, and enjoy, many activities and hobbies.
- An individual with low self-esteem is hypersensitive to criticism leading to feeling attacked and not being open to constructive criticism. They are a perfectionist, which leads to constant frustration or underachievement when perceived perfection is not achieved. And, they are generally negative about life and often an inability to enjoy life.
The more we explored the qualities of self-esteem, the more they seemed to have traits of self-confidence and we wondered: Are self-confidence and self-esteem the same thing?
They are not; self-esteem refers to our acceptance of ourselves and the value we place on ourselves. Self-confidence refers to the confidence we have in particular areas of our lives. The two are often confused; think of a professional athlete, or a performer, who may receive every award and accolade possible in recognition of their achievements. They are highly confident, and rewarded, for their skill and yet for some, low self-esteem prevents them from enjoying the success and being happy.
We’re fairly certain we have barely scratched the surface of appreciating how our self-esteem, and that of our friends, make our friendships what they are today. But it’s given us, and hopefully you, too, some thoughtful insights into our friendships.