I have very low self-esteem and confidence. How can I "cure" myself?
I am normally a confident person (I've told my parents that I am gay already), unafraid to say what's on my mind around family or people older than me, but when I'm in a mall, for example, in a large crowd of people around my age, I feel horrible. I feel so self-conscious that it hurts! I just feel small and insignificant and like I want to just disappear. I think this is largely because I feel like I'm not a very attractive person...
I don't have much confidence when it comes to being alone in a group of people. I say this because I am not normally one that blends in so well, makes friends easily, or is highly extroverted. I suppose I'm more of an introvert, but not a bookworm.
If it helps at all, I'm 16 and I'm gay. I think being gay has a huge impact on how I feel, but I don't know much about how it relates to how I feel, besides that it makes me have less self-esteem to approach another guy.
Please help me - I don't know what to do. Please don't answer this if you're just going to make homophobic comments or try convince me that I can't be sure that I'm gay at this age.
Thanks in advance.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
First off, I'm sorry to hear about your problem. It pains me to know that something as important to everyday life as going out in public worries you so.
Secondly, let me assure you that your problem isn't uncommon. In fact, most of the people that you see at the mall have similar issues. Look around and notice how many of them that are smiling and self confident..are walking alone. Not too many. People bring people along with them to feel more comfortable.
I've had a similar problem. Here are some of the steps I've taken to address it:
1. Take a chance. Do something "crazy." (Hopefully not TOO crazy!) You'll find that each time you do it, it gets easier. More importantly, it'll strengthen your ability to disregard the judgments of others. A lot of our discomfort comes from feeling that we aren't approved of by others.
2. Sit and watch people. Imagine what their lives might be like. What they do for a living. What their concerns might be. Imagine that they are old friends who simply forgot to say "Hi." This should help you to see that the people who you might feel are judging you have their own problems and imperfections..they're people just like you in many ways.
3. When you get up the nerve to, find someone who looks approachable..and this is going to sound crazy..find something about them like their shirt or their hair or whatever. And just say.."Just wanted to tell you that I think your ____ looks cool." (It doesn't matter whether you do or not..imagine that you do.)
You'll be surprised at the reaction. Trust me. The first time is the hardest time. Each time builds confidence and self-assurance.
If they are receptive and friendly, think to ask another question. Like, "Where'd you get ____ if you don't mind my asking?" Keep asking questions and talking for as long as they seem receptive. The minute they begin to look uncomfortable...excuse yourself and move on.
I promise that if you REALLY try this and get into the habit of doing it, you're going to be pleasantly surprised by how it will change your life.
- 1 decade ago
I kinda felt like you too. One day I just felt like everyone and everything had it better than me. I also made the mistake of trying to get approval from people, so I can figure out my worth or attraction level. Well some people can sense that and they can make you feel worse if they want too.
One day I saw a circus performer in Mexico that was called the wolf boy. He had hair that covered his face and people stared and looked at him like an oddity. I though this poor guy must feel so bad, but that was not the case. He said that he has a heart and admitted that he has feelings and they can get hurt. He accepted himself they way he is and he said that he is "unique" and that no one is like him. I think in a way like a fingerprint. At that time he was with a gf and planning to get married. He already had children. Just think how someone like him can overcome fears when he has it worse than many people.Source(s): Experience
- 1 decade ago
Hi. I'm sixteen years old as well, and I know the feeling.
I recommend you make a list of your interests in black pen. For example - my list would have things like music, art and writing on them. In red pen, mark an asterisk beside the things others (or yourself, if you can trust yourself to be objective) consider you good at, and in blue or green pen, mark an asterisk beside the things you would like to pursue. If it's something you don't think you can do for money or just inconvenience - put it there anyway! (For example, maybe you live in the city and want to learn horse riding, but you're not willing to go out of your way to learn it quite yet.)
Now, try to gradually focus on those things. You'll find that when you practice the things you are good at, your confidence will go up. When you practice the things you enjoy but didn't want to do before - we'll take the horse back riding thing back into this - your confidence will go up because you went out of your way to do it, even if you fail.
And, on failure, you might find this quote useful:
"Within every adversity is an equal or greater benefit.
Within every problem is an opportunity.
Even in the knocks of life, we can find great gifts."
Failure is a teacher. Learn to love failure. It is your friend. Failure is not something horrible - it's telling you that there's another way to do what you want to do. Let's say the horse back riding doesn't work out - that'll either teach you that you don't enjoy it, that you don't like the people who taught you, or that you didn't like traveling far to do it.
Maybe this doesn't look related to being confident around others, but if you can learn to be confident in yourself, that will show outwardly.
Now, let's say that the above exercise didn't do you any good - maybe you couldn't think of anything that you're good at, or enjoy. That's okay. Get out another piece of paper, write your name in the middle, and take a few moments to daydream.
Do an exercise I'll have in the sources below. Basically, imagine yourself five years in the future as the person you want to be. Not the person you think you will be, but the person you want to be. Talk to them. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel when you do this. After, write down what they were like. Get a quality they have that you don't, or lack in, and work on it. One quality at a time. And use baby steps, too - if you want to be generous, start by giving people a kind smile. If you want to be honest, tell someone how much you appreciate them. If you want to be self disciplined, start visualising yourself being just that.
Make plans. Make detailed plans, and if you don't know what to do, get a big, general plan and break it down. Such as - "I want to be famous.", let's say. List ways that one might be famous -for-, then ways that that person might become famous through that. You might think of listing Australian Idol there, or making a scientific breakthrough. Then you list what you have to do to get to those places - learn to sing, get to auditions, audition and pass; study science, develop new theories, make experiments relating to that theory, submit evidence.