Growing up is a time of discovery and it’s easy to find yourself in situations where you think, ‘No one cares if I’m here or not’, or ‘No one is interested in me.’ However, feeling unloved and unwanted has more to do with how you perceive the world than how others see you – which is great news, because it means you have all the power.
Right now, you’ve probably got really low self-esteem, which means you:
- Focus on all the things you don’t like about yourself.
- Constantly compare yourself to other people.
- Think ‘I shouldn’t have done that’, or ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’.
- Have trouble standing up for yourself.
This might sound strange at first, but you need to be attractive to yourself to be attractive to others. I’m not saying you have to adore yourself (that’s just narcissism) but you do have to like yourself a little bit, at least.
You can only attract others if you are secure in yourself
If you know you’re an insecure person (and people with low self-esteem usually are), it doesn’t make sense to wander around ‘hoping’ that others will like you, and feeling crap when they don’t. It’s not their job to like you, it’s your job!
We can’t make anyone else like us, and we have to learn to accept that not everyone will. The only thing we can do is to learn to like ourselves, and we do that by being the best person we can be. It also means that we don’t settle for being mistreated by anyone, especially not ourselves.
What can you do?
• Write down three good things about yourself. Try to make them practical things like, ‘I am a great listener’ or ‘I can draw well’ rather than airy-fairy ones like ‘I am lovable’ or ‘I am loved’. Do this every day.
• Imagine that you have been asked to create a show reel of the happiest and most positive moments from your life. Spend 5 minutes every morning selecting the scenes you would include.
• Do something that you are good at, or that makes you feel happy and relaxed.
• If none of these help, you might be depressed. One of the signs of depression is thinking we are worthless and not finding joy in anything.
Please confide in someone you trust or call or chat online with a trained youth counsellor at eheadspace (1800 650 890). They know what depression is all about.