I am a Class 8 student and I perform well in studies. I am quite popular in my school because I am beautiful, and my overall performance is good. But my classmates do not behave well with me. They don’t talk to me as they think that I am very rude and have an attitude. They always ignore me and feel jealous. I don’t want to go to school and sometimes I harm myself because I know that I don’t have an attitude. I am depressed.
Your feelings of pain, anger and helplessness when your classmates ignore you in spite of your popularity in school are so strong that you end up harming yourself. Self-harm is not a suitable way of coping with your distress. Manage your feelings using relaxing techniques such as dancing, art, going for a walk, etc. And if you feel they are unmanageable, speak to a counsellor.
Just as we admire a film star for his/her beauty and acting but we don’t know them personally, your schoolmates admire you for your ‘beauty’ and ‘performance’ from afar and you seem to like this attention and popularity. Perhaps you expect the same kind of attention from your classmates instead of making friends with them and getting to know them personally? If yes, even though you think that you don’t have an attitude, your classmates will certainly think that you have one.
Focus on making friends with those classmates with whom you spend most of your time. Let them see the real you: Bring out your inner beauty with a smile and warmth, and let your performance be about building relationships based on love, trust, kindness and helpfulness. As E. Lockhart says: “If you have friends who actually like you, you are popular enough!”
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.