However I never really hit a low or felt extremely depressed by these facts mainly because I knew that I was better than that. But I've seen many girls around me have extreme self esteem issues stemming from the physical to the emotional. (and I say girls because I didn't and don't have male friends haha) I could never get my head around to why they thought this way about themselves.
To be honest I think all you need to be is confident in yourself to know that you're better than all those horrible things you think of yourself.
You don't have friends?
Well perhaps you prefer to be by yourself or just have a small group of close friends. Society these days seem to promote that a huge social group will bring you happiness and popularity but I think it will just bring drama. Like myself, there's nothing wrong with having a handful of friends only. (and trust me I can count my friends on one hand) On the other hand if you are someone who would like more friends then put yourself out there! Join clubs and interact with other people. Start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, perhaps you two will end up to be life long friends.
You don't feel intelligent enough/compared to the people around you/don't meet parents expectations?
There will always be someone who is smarter than someone else. Instead just focus on yourself and what you can improve on. If you do need extra help then go get it, in the end it will only benefit you. When I was graduating high school and going into University I asked my mum what she would do if I couldn't get it. All she said was that I wouldn't be disappointing her but myself and when she said that it struck like lightening because I knew she was right. I wasn't as smart as lots of people around me and often I had to work twice as hard to get the results they seemed to get easily but you can't compare that way because everyone is different, what matter to me is that we ended up in the same place.
You don't like the way you look?
There are many things you can do to improve your physical appearance. If you think you're chubby/overweight you can always fix that, it's not the end of the world! Nothing bugs me more than someone who complains constantly about their size but refuse to do something about it. Either love it, embrace it and move on or do something about it <--harsh but it's true. Sitting there and thinking low thoughts of yourself certainly won't help you lose weight or get fit but if you're thinking it you're already half way there. Now you just need to do it! Think of the satisfaction when you can fit into those clothes you want to wear or think about how happy you will be when you look down at your feet and your belly is flat!
If you're not happy with the way you look (nothing to do with weight but perhaps you think your eyes are too spaced out apart or your nose is too big etc.) There are many ways that make up can help disguise those features. I'm not make up guru so I won't be going into details about that but try and fixate yourself on the lovely features you do have and everyone has some! Tell yourself that you look pretty today and make it your goal to think that throughout the day. I think it's also time to insert the usual cheesy --> If you feel happy then your inner beauty will shine through to your outer core!
One thing I'm proud of is that I never had any problem with my physical appearance. Not to come across as being arrogant or cocky but I think more girls should think this way! If someone asked me what I would change about my body I wouldn't know what to say because I'm happy with it. I mean, sure I have those bad days where I wake up and look/feel like a zombie or those moments where I wish my breasts were larger or my stomach flatter but at the end of the day I'm really happy with my body and mind =)
I also think it's important to surround yourself with positive people who will push you and encourage you to do your best. Don't hang around the people who are constantly complaining, don't like anything about the world, want to lose weight by just whining or even worse, people who put you down so they feel better.
Improving self esteem probably won't happen over night (unless you make it like that!) but small steps can probably gradually change the way you think about yourself positively. Set yourself little goals and perhaps little rewards whenever you meet one. Simple things such as I mentioned above, telling yourself you look pretty all day and focusing on your good features, finding help on some homework you've been stuck with or acing that exam, not having one negative thought the whole day or doing some exercise. The list is endless and different for everyone.
Personally it took me a long time to realize that what I had was good enough. I didn't need 100's of friends and I realized I relished the times I had with myself. After that life felt so different and I never felt negative about not having enough friends to satisfy society. Recently someone really close to me said that I'm so much more positive and happy now upon hearing that I felt even more happy because I can tell others noticed too. I also made sure that I never repeated those moments where I felt so isolated, desperate and lost because I know that I am worth so much more than that.
At the end of the day knowing you're happy is what's most important =)