Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)
According to Proverbs 13:20, hanging around wise people makes you wise. Similarly, if you want to improve your self-esteem, you will need to build relationships with people who are happy and feel good about themselves.
If others’ attitudes are negatively affecting you, how will you grow for God? God wants you to rise up and be all that He says you can be, and if the people you spend your time with are preventing you from growing in a positive direction, you may need to distance yourself.
I’m not suggesting that you ditch every friend who suffers from low self-esteem, however. Even the greatest friendships will have to sort through hurt feelings and misunderstandings as they learn to deal with each other’s issues and flaws. But you do have to ask yourself a difficult question when things go badly. Are you helping them to increase their self-worth? Or are they influencing you to think less of yourself?
My dad used to put it this way, “If you’re sitting on an iceberg and it’s melting, stay on it. But if the iceberg isn’t melting and you are getting cold, get off.” You can’t help anyone if you allow yourself to be pulled down with them.
Even airlines teach this principle: put your own oxygen mask on first. Learn to look after yourself. With a healthy sense of self-esteem, you will be empowered to help others realize who they truly are as well.