Dear Hope: Self- Esteem and the Truth
Dear Hope: Dear Hope,
You just did a post on “Mean Girls”, and I wanted to ask more advice of you. I’m a teacher’s pet, and I only have one or two friends. I get called ugly and fat several times a week, along with other things I’m not even allowed to repeat. And I’m sure it goes on behind my back, too, but I’ve tried not to get into that. Not that those statements aren’t true, but it’s not helping my already-at-an-all-time-low self esteem. I rarely ever talk to anyone in class. Half the time, I just sit there and look around the room. My friends are great, and I appreciate their encouragement on this, but it’s not working. I know for a fact that I’m not beautiful or any of that. I’m tired of having things sugarcoated for me. After all of the torment I’ve gotten since, well, fourth grade, I start to believe things people say. I don’t confront them because I don’t want to cause more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, anything I say won’t help. They’d all just deny it if I reported them, and that’d get me nowhere. Believe me, I’ve tried. I don’t really know what I’m asking, but I’m open to any advice you have other than what I’m used to getting:
-“Tell an authority. It’ll make everything better.”
-“You ARE beautiful.”
-“You need to tell someone.”
-“Ignore them. They’re just jerks.”
Like I said, I’m very used to sugarcoating. If I could get the brutal truth, I’d appreciate that. Thanks!
I’m sorry to hear that you are being called names. That is never acceptable and no one should have to deal with that. I understand that you want the truth. You have asked me not to sugarcoat it and I won’t. I believe you are strong. Stronger than you realize. Reaching out and asking for advice takes a great deal of courage. Also, the fact that you have dealt with this and never give up shows strength.
The brutal truth is you cannot control how other people act. You can only control you. You need to work on building up your self-esteem. It is much easier to ignore them and to feel beautiful when you believe you are worth it. I believe it and you should too. I’m not sugar-coating. It is true.
You need to be confident in who you are. Make a list of the things you like about yourself. Read them often for reminders of how great you are. You have friends that support you, let them.
Most times people say mean things to get attention or to feel better about themselves. They know it bothers you so you become the target. What makes the things they say true? No one gave them the authority on you. Their words do not have power over you.
Start working on your confidence and self-esteem.
You need to tell someone if they are bullying you. Go to someone you trust. Maybe a teacher, a parent, or a counselor. They can help you decide how to handle it and what the next step is. Even if they deny it, the school will know to keep an eye on them.
Check out this post: My Top Ten Tips For Better Body Image
Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.