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Author Topic: Self-esteem issues. I need help!
Kasey-Tama
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Well, first off I'd like to say thank you for creating this website and board. But I have some concerns about my self-esteem and confidence. Ever since I was in first grade, I was bullied. I was bullied for seven years, (and I'm in eighth grade, in case you're wondering) and it's seriously affected my self-esteem. I'm just asking for help. My teachers are aware of my self-esteem issues, but they all give me the same stupid advice: "Believe in yourself, Kasey!" The advice never works, and I've also tried other methods like writing my positive qualities down, journaling, and other things like that, but it doesn't work! I'm frustrated and depressed because of it. I wanna be like the other girls at school who have confidence, even if they aren't the prettiest girls in the world. Sigh...I don't need to be told I'm amazing, either. Nobody here knows me too well, anyway. With that aside, tough, I just need advice and (maybe) some comfort.
~ Kasey

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Kasey-Tama
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Maybe nobody cares...? It's understandable. I complain too much, and always put myself down. I compare myself to other people, too. Wow, I really am dumb...
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Gilraen
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I used to be very similar. I never had any sense of self-worth. I was bullied a lot in middle school and in high school I was ignored most of the time. What really got me out of it was focusing on myself instead of on everyone else. I found out that my body language was really off putting for some people (like when I'd sit in class, I wouldn't smile or be friendly, I'd basically just shut down and spend all my time drawing or reading and ignoring everyone else because I felt like I had no one to talk to or that no one would want to talk to me. One girl also told me that I apparently frown a LOT when I'm just sitting and thinking, and that I usually put off a vibe of wanting to be left alone). I also figured out that doing and wishing are two separate things. If you want to be friends with someone, instead of lamenting about how you aren't or how you'll never be because you're not good enough or pretty enough or cool enough, strike up a conversation. Say "Hi" or "How was your weekend" or "I like your shoes". Even if the conversation doesn't last long, it's progress usually. If you open up a little to people, they'll open up to you. The last bit of advice I have is the most important - no matter what, be yourself. Don't do things you don't want to do or act a way you don't usually act in order to gain approval. I know a number of people who spend so much time trying desperately to be liked by not being real that nobody likes them because no one knows who they really are. The key to confidence is being real. Being true to yourself, and presenting that self to others.

I know it can be hard to be yourself when you don't like yourself. I know it's really tough to try and talk to people when you don't feel like you're someone worth talking to. So remind yourself every day that you ARE worth talking to. You ARE worth having friends and being happy. I don't know much about you, but I know without a doubt that there is something that makes you special. Hold on to that and highlight it.

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Gilraen
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You also shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Everyone is insecure about something - ESPECIALLY at your age. This is something that you're insecure about and there's no shame in that.

Since you're in the eighth grade, you might benefit from looking forward to high school. I don't know what the area you're in is like and if you'll be going to high school with most of your peers, but high school is a great time for self growth. You're still pretty young, and you and everyone around you are going through a lot of changes. Everything right now isn't the be-all end-all. =)

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Kasey-Tama
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The weird thing is that I talk to many people, and I have at least 5-6 really close friends. It's more like I get really scared to try new things for fear that I'll fail. I always belittle myself, and I'm just overall really negative and ugly and stuff like that. Yes, I am an honor roll student, but so what if I get great grades and am a great friend? I just don't have the confidence I need. Not to mention that a real jerk of a girl at my school who's probably the most popular girl in the eighth grade told me that I look like a boy, yet she pretends to like me. You wouldn't really understand...it's hard to explain.
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Kasey-Tama
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But thank you, Gilraen, for the advice. I'm excited for high school, in total honesty.
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Gilraen
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I guess what you should do then is say yes to new things - especially if you want to do them and they aren't dangerous. Have fun with stuff =) When I get scared about trying something new (which is ALL THE TIME, and I've talked myself out of doing things before and I regret it usually), I weigh the pros and the cons. Pros are always a new experience, something new I might like, something that I can get other people to experience too, something I can tell people about. Usually the only con is that I'm afraid of looking stupid or doing badly. But then again, everyone is if they're new to something. And if you're trying new things with your close friends, then you shouldn't worry about them laughing at you or thinking you're silly or stupid. Real friends won't do that.

And being a great student and a great friend is a super good thing. It may not count for much when everyone is focusing on material stuff (which is par for the course in middle school - what you're wearing, who your friends are, whether or not you're up on the popular trends) but toward the end of high school and especially in college it becomes really important. Having the right outfit or the right hairstyle or the perfect figure or the prettiest face doesn't count for much when you get a bit older. A lot of girls who are popular right now probably won't be super popular in college - and they might not end up being successful either. You can outdo every one of them.

Have you tried asking your friends what your best qualities are? Sometimes it helps to see yourself from someone else's perspective - and you get complimented to boot! I'm not saying fish for compliments, but ask them honestly what they like about you.

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Kasey-Tama
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Well, I have asked one of my friends about my positive traits, and it turns out that I have more than I thought! [Big Grin] I guess I am worthy of being loved and such after all?!
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Kasey-Tama
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Just a question: How long does it take to build confidence? I hate to be a drag, but I'd like to know. That way, I can start to work my way up to build my confidence.
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Kasey-Tama
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Nevermind..? [Embarrassed]
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Gilraen
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Sorry. Haven't been on the internet since about 4pm.

I'm glad to hear you have such positive traits! =) I didn't doubt it for a second, but it's good that you found out.

Unfortunately I can't really give you an answer for your question. It's really an individual sort of thing. I guess for me it took about a year or two to really start noticing changes in how I was interacting with people and how much I was doing. I started being more receptive to event invitations and to stepping out of my shell, and my friends were a big help in keeping me in line with things. I also made sure that one of my closest friends was always in the know about my feelings. I'd tell her how nervous I felt about something, or how scared I was (and I pointed out more than once that it was probably irrational and crazy) and she'd be really great about it and would go with me or would get me psyched for it and encourage me along

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turtle_lady
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Sometimes it can take years to build confidence. I completely understand howyou feel Kasey. I am 22 years old and I am still working on my self confidence but I do believe that it will get better [Smile]

It is a process but if literally "believe in yourself" to get better...you totally will. I used to hate all those comments about how "amazing" I am or how "beautiful" I am or anything like that. But the trick is just to believe them anyways even if you really don't agree with them.

Here is how I am working on it: everytime I say or think something negative about myself, I stop myself dead in my tracks. I say "no, that is a lie, that is not true about myself." We don't realize this, but most of our talk goes on inside of our heads, our "self talk." This all goes through our heads where we may think things like "oh God, what I said was so stupid, they must think I' an idiot" or "God, I really hate this shirt on me, I look so ugly." T counter that, I say things like "you know, it doesn't really matter, this person is my friend and he/she still likes me no matter what" and "even if i don't like this shirt on me, I am beautiful because I was made this way"

We've all been here, am I right girls? [Wink] However, all those things are completely lies. We all have qualities about us that are loved and desired. Especially if we think badly about ourselves, it shows and other people feel uncomfortable. Do you ever notice that the most attractive people are the ones who love themselves? It's completely true because those people are a joy to be around. This is also why it is important to be careful about the people you hang out with.

Hanging out with negative people will in turn mke you feel negative. I tend to hang out with frinds who love themselves and feel good about who they are...and it rubs off on me! Mind you too, it helps very much to encourage others because it encourages yourself too!!

It's so simple but at the same time, it's not. Remember to smile and to stop yourself dead in your tracks if you think or say anything negative about yourself and then say something positive. If you and your friends and family remind you enough, you will believe it. However, you must help yourself before anyone else can help you. I am glad you decided to seek advice for this sort of thing because it is definitely not easy because I have been there myself. I was also bullied and emotionally abused.

But I am now getting married next year to a man who loves me completely for who I am...because he can see that confidence in me and it is so attactive to him. And confidence is never built through sex or any sexual activity, but the respect and love you have for yourself and the respect and love he has for you. You will understand when you enter into highschool soon and continue to grow [Smile]

You are a beautiful woman Kasey and I wish all the best for you!! Keep reminding yourself over and over and over again how great you are. It may take weeks or months to believe these things...but everything that says that you are not beautiful or that you are stupid or that you are not worthy of anything is all a lie. You have the power and capability within you to do as you choose...just pull it out of yourself, because that wonderful and happy and desirable Kasey is in there, waiting to be free and show herself off to the world!!

--------------------
~Kayla Christine~

Posts: 51 | From: Ontario | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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