Exploding the Self-esteem Myth in the January Scientific American looks at the evidence that high self-esteem leads to better outcomes. Not much there.
After coming to the conclusion that high self-esteem does not lessen a tendency toward violence, that it does not deter adolescents from turning to alcohol, tobacco, drugs and sex, and that it fails to improve academic or job performance, we got a boost when we looked into how self-esteem relates to happiness. The consistent finding is that people with high self-esteem are significantly happier than others. They are also less likely to be depressed.
Even here, correlation doesn’t prove causation.
People with high self-esteem are better at making friends. Unfortunately, that means they’re quicker to end a relationship, confident they can move on to someone else.