We all go through moments of uncertainty or doubt about ourselves. When you’re battling with self-esteem issues whether constantly or fleetingly, simple things such as going out, getting dressed and meeting new people become a whole new set of challenges.
Often, friends, family or strangers will try to help. They’ll say things that, however well meant, only serve to make the problem worse. Find yourself about to say these phrases? Please, don’t.
1. “There’s no need to be shy.”
We know there’s no need but we can’t help it. Sure, you’re only trying to reassure us but it only makes us feel even more conscious about being quiet. Cue: nervousness.
(Watch: Meaghan Ramsey talks to Mia Freedman about the effects of low self-esteem. Post continues after video.)
2. “She’s such a snob.”
We’re not ignoring or avoiding you because we think we’re better than you.
“I get this a lot because I’m only loud and confident when I’m comfortable but crippled by shyness and uncertainty in unfamiliar situations,” said a friend of mine, Rachel.
3. “Just be confident in yourself.”
What groundbreaking advice!
4. “Stop worrying about what other people think of you.”
Again, if it was that simple, we would have done it by know. (Post continues after gallery.)
5. “Forget [insert insecurity], you’re so [insert positive characteristic]!”
“When people try to build your confidence about whatever it is you’re self conscious about, they usually make it worse,” says Kate.
“During my ugly duckling teen years my mum was always like, ‘Oh, but you’re so INTERESTING-looking! You’re not a beach babe, but you’re still attractive! Like, classically attractive!’ Funnily enough that did not make me feel better.”
(But we do appreciate your heart being in the right place.)
6. “Just be yourself.”
*Heads over to the corner and eats and drinks by alone avoiding all human contact*
7. "Why are you so quiet?"
Where do you want us to start?
8. "Quieten down over there!"
...When we haven't said anything during a conversation. You're not funny.
9. "What's wrong?"
If we're being quiet or reserved, we know you're only concerned about us, but often we don't want to talk about it right now. Trust us, we'll talk when we feel like it.
Anything you think should be added to the list?