Ask The Expert: I’m embarrassed to talk to friends about my low self-esteem. How should I bring this up with those around me?
The most important thing to know and understand is that you are not alone. According to an independent study, 71% of acne scar suffers feel their acne scars negatively affect their self-confidence.1 Even if your friends aren’t talking about it, they very well may be struggling with the same self-esteem and confidence issues you are feeling. To combat any embarrassment you may feel, start by talking about self-esteem with friends or family, since they likely know how it feels to be in your shoes.
It’s important to open up to individuals you trust and make you feel safe. While it could be a close friend, many people feel most comfortable opening up about self-esteem issues with members of a self-esteem support group, rather than individuals in their personal lives. Support groups are a very popular method for coping with a variety of issues including self-esteem, as they can be inexpensive and highly effective. Groups are usually small, allowing everyone the opportunity to speak and share their feelings. Simply hearing that your peers are going through the same things you are is often beneficial and helps alleviate feelings of isolation.
If this seems like the right option for you, look for a self-esteem support group in your area. If ever in doubt, consult a trusted advisor—be it a doctor, teacher or close companion—for recommendations or referrals to groups in your area. If you are a student, your school likely has a peer counselor or network of peer support groups already in place.
Another important aspect is to be sure you’re in an environment in which you feel comfortable. Public spaces are typically not ideal for discussing personal matters, as this could cause you to feel more anxious or self-conscious. Your home is often the place you feel safest and most at ease, so try opening the discussion with a close friend there. If you choose a support group, the meetings will also likely be held in a safe and private environment.
It may seem daunting to broach a discussion of low self-esteem or confidence with your peers, but just remember that the person or people you are talking to likely have the same feelings as you, or have experienced something similar in the past. Because most people have suffered from a lack of confidence or low self-esteem at some point in their life and they can empathize with your feelings. Keeping it inside will not help—and may even lead to depression. Finding just one person to talk to will make a world of difference. As social creatures, human beings need to talk to one another about our thoughts and feelings in order to be happy. Don’t wait—take the first step, and get on the right path to elevating your self-esteem and confidence.
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