Almost everyone has had a period of low self esteem at some point or another. Some more so than others. What you might not realize is that you could be contributing to the low self esteem of people around you by not saying anything. Literally. Think about how often you offer another person a genuine, heart-felt compliment. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do it often. That doesn’t make you a bad person or a mean person. The truth is, there’s a lot of rational reasons why so many people are hesitant to compliment other people. Maybe you don’t want the person to think you’re flirting or “sucking up” to them. Maybe you just never think to say anything. Or maybe you do think to say something but you think your opinion doesn’t matter & that it won’t mean much to that person anyway. However, let’s look at the flip side of the coin. Think of how often you get into an horrible argument with a person & you throw out some not-so-nice statements about them. If you’re like most people, you can probably think of quite a few times that’s happened, whether you meant it or not. I’m of the opinion that we, as a society, in general, are a lot more generous with our insults than we are with our compliments. What does this mean? It means that nine times out of ten, the average person is hearing something negative about themselves rather than something positive. That can really take a toll on a person’s self esteem. It’s possible that a person can be gorgeous in the eyes of a lot of people but those people have never told that to them. However, that person may have been called ugly by some jealous classmates when they were younger. The result is that person thinking that everyone must think that they are ugly because no one has told them otherwise. Obviously we shouldn’t base our self esteem on the opinions of others, but most people do. Not by choice. That’s just what tends to happen. So what can we do? Realizing what a potential impact what you do or do not say has on other people gives you a lot of power to help a lot of people. Next time you like someone’s outfit, tell them. Maybe they feel self-conscious in it & your compliment will turn their day around. Next time you notice someone’s lost weight, say something. Maybe they have been feeling like they’ve made no progress & your compliment will encourage them to not give up. If we all tried to make it a point to say more of the good things we feel about people, rather than just the bad, a lot of people might have higher self esteem. And in a society where eating disorders, self harm, & suicide are so prevalent, a few extra compliments could save someone’s life.