The current study examined how self-esteem and social achievement goals affect individuals'Â€Â™ emotions independently and jointly using the data collected from 367 college students. Social development goals were related to positive emotions (i.e., love and joy). Social demonstration-avoid goals were related to maladaptive patterns (low levels of joy but high levels of fear, shame and sadness). Social demonstration-approach goals were positively associated with joy but had null relations with all other emotions. The results indicated that social development goals buffered students with low self-esteem against negative emotions and amplified the positive emotional experiences. In contrast, social demonstration-avoid goals were especially harmful for students with low self-esteem.