Shameless flattery isn't the only way to boost someone's self-image.
Step 1: Encourage exercise Lure the person off the couch. Studies show that exercise raises confidence, so you’ll both get a self-esteem boost.
TIP: Strength training, in particular, has been shown to make people feel better about themselves.
Step 2: Get him a pet Get him a puppy—particularly if the person who needs to feel better about himself is a child or a senior citizen. Research shows that both groups benefit greatly from dogs’ legendary unconditional love.
Step 3: Encourage him to volunteer Encourage the person to become a volunteer. They’ll feel good for helping, and it’ll remind them of how fortunate they are.
Step 4: Encourage writing Urge the person to pen a poem. Writing verse has been shown to raise self-esteem by producing endorphins, the so-called 'feel good' chemicals produced by the brain.
Step 5: Compliment him Use praise wisely. Research shows it’s better to compliment a person for working hard than being smart, because the latter will cause a major drop in confidence every time the person fails at a task.
FACT: Adolescent girls with low self-esteem are more likely to diet and less likely to exercise than confident girls, according to The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls.