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Self-esteem Games

To You, But From Who?

~ From the book “104 Activities That Build:” ~

Sometimes it is difficult to hear and accept compliments, especially when the compliment is given in front of other people. But if those compliments are a part of a guessing game, they are easier to hear and even more fun to give.


For people to give and receive many positive comments as a way of improving their self-esteem.


People with a low self-esteem who could benefit from hearing positive comments about themselves as well as those who need practice giving positive comments to others.

Group Size

  • 4 to 15 participants


  • One envelope per person
  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils


Give each person an envelope, pen or pencil and several small slips of paper. Ask everyone to put their names on the envelopes and then pass their envelope to the person sitting next to them.

Once you receive your neighbor’s envelope you write down an attribute that you admire about that person on a slip of paper. Add your name and then place the paper in the envelope. continue passing the envelopes around until everyone has written down a comment for everyone else in the group.

Once all of the envelopes are full, they should be passed to the leader. The leader then selects one of the envelopes and selects a comment to read out loud to that person, without reading the name of the person who wrote it. The person whom the comment was written about will then try to guess who wrote the comment, and if s/he guesses correctly, s/he receives a point. The object is to be the one in the end with the most points. Go around the circle reading one comment from each envelope before starting over with the first person. Continue in this manner until all the comments are read from each person’s envelope. After the game is finished, each person may collect their own envelope and keep it as a reminder of all their good qualities.

Discussion Prompts

  1. How do you feel after hearing all those positive things about yourself?
  2. Do you often hear positive things from others? How does this affect you?
  3. Will you keep this envelope? Why or why not?
  4. Why is it important to hear positive things from others?
  5. Do you believe everything that was said about you? Why or why not?


After everyone has written attributes down and filled the envelopes, redistribute the envelopes among group members, so that each person takes turns reading a comment from the envelope that they have. This is simply a way to get everyone more involved in the process.


~ From the book “The wRECking Yard of games and activities” ~

When we look in a mirror, we may not see ourselves the same way that other people see us. Often we see the negative parts, what we don’t like about ourselves, how we fail to do what we think we should do. We may simply fail to see the good in ourselves that others see in us.

This activity is one of self-reflection. Are we too hard on ourselves? Do we ever pay attention to our good qualities? When people realize how hard they are on themselves, maybe they can ease up and start to realize the good qualities that they possess. Perhaps they will even feel better about themselves.


To explore how group members view themselves and to compare this perception to how they are viewed by others in the group. To increase self-esteem by receiving positive affirmations from others in the group and to recognize the origins of one’s own self-esteem.


People who have low self-esteem and/or negative self-perception. The group members should be familiar with each other.

Group Size

  • 1 or more


  • Blank sheets of paper
  • Rulers
  • Colored markers
  • Pens, pencils


Give each group member a blank piece of paper. Have each person draw a mirror frame, leaving at least one inch of blank space around the outside. Everyone must put their names on the top of the pieces of paper and then write down words or sentences inside of the mirror frame that describes how they view themselves.

Once everyone has completed this task, have them all place their mirrors in a pile. Allow time for everyone to write positive comments for everyone else in the blank space on the outside of each of the mirrors in the group. These comments should reflect how each individual views the others in the group. Encourage the group to be positive.

Once everyone has finished this task, give everyone back their mirrors and allow time for them to read the comments prior to discussion time.

Discussion Topics

  1. Is there a difference between how you view yourself and how others view you?
  2. Are you surprised by what others see in you?
  3. Why is it important to find positive aspects of your personality?
  4. Where do you get your self-esteem?


If the group is large, break the group into smaller groups when it is time to write on the mirrors.

If the group is young children or low functioning, provide an outline of a mirror frame for them to color in, rather than allowing them to create their own frame.

Based upon the type of group, it may be appropriate to allow group members to write down anything, not only positive comments.

Don’t emphasize the fact that the comments written about others should be positive. This gives people with a low self-esteem more faith in what was written about them rather than assuming people wrote positive comments because they had to.