I’m 17-years-old, but I can’t face people confidently. I feel as if they don’t like me from the way they treat me. I’m easily swayed by my negative thoughts which make me feel bad all day long. Please help!
Looks like you feel hurt and mistreated by people who don’t seem to dislike you, and your negative thoughts don’t help the lack of confidence you feel.
More than others liking you, it is essential to like yourself first. So, start by asking yourself, ‘Is it really true that people don’t like me?’ Whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’, ask ‘What proof do I have for this?’ All the ways they treat you can be included here. Then ask: How do I feel when they treat me like this?
Next ask, ‘How would I like people to treat me?’ What steps can I take to make this happen? How difficult or easy are each of these steps. This should also help you to learn about yourself as a person. Are you shy? Hesitant to reach out to others? Do you think you’re not good enough or undeserving?
The first step to make it happen is to love, accept and like yourself the way you are now. Self-acceptance is the best starting point to change and build your confidence.
Develop your confidence by developing your personality. Discover your own talents by trying out different hobbies and by contributing to someone’s life. Volunteer to teach younger kids or join a youth group to do social work. If you are less self-conscious about yourself, you’ll be more confident. Remember, respect yourself, and others will treat you respectfully.
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.