I am 20 years old. I am the shortest fellow in my class. All my friends mock me. I cannot say anything to them because they are my best buddies. Even my girlfriend left me because of this. I am so depressed and down that I don’t feel like going to school. They are also calling me ‘chhottu namboodiri’. Please help me.
You feel hurt when your friends tease you about your height; you feel quite helpless that you can’t deal with their behaviour effectively.
If you want to stop this teasing without damaging your friendship, have a frank talk with your friends. Include the following: your feelings, that you value their friendship, but you also value yourself, and the action you want, etc. For example: “I feel hurt when you, my closest friends, tease me and make fun of my height. I am fine with my height, but I don’t like being teased about it. I would like you to stop this.” Be firm when requesting them to stop. If they still continue to tease you after a few times of your asking them to stop, evaluate: Are they really your friends? Or just having a laugh at your expense?
Simultaneously, develop your personality, maximize your strengths and avoid self-pity. When you value and respect yourself, others will also respect you. Take inspiration from others: Actor Danny De Vito is just 4 feet 10 inches, but he has found his talent and showcases it. Remember: gold kept in a ‘tiny’ box is far more valuable than many ‘big’ objects! It has its own shine. Find the gold within you and even though you are short, you can become a person that others will look up to!
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.