Dear Dish-It: I Have Low Self-Esteem

Dear Dish-It,

I have low self-esteem and my classmates’ teasing doesn’t help. I know I'm not ugly, but no one ever asks me to dance at dances, even though everyone else has been slow- dancing with each other for a few years. What should I do?

No Confidence

Dear No Confidence,

It may sound a little cheesy, but feeling good about who you are - that is, having a healthy amount of self-esteem and self-confidence - is one of those things that will help make your life happier and more successful. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities goes a long way whether you're facing a tough decision, adapting to a new situation or standing up against peer pressure. Here are some tips on how to build your self-esteem.

1. Take a deep breath.

Staying relaxed and being laid-back in general can help you see the bigger picture and not sweat the small stuff so much. It's also a good frame of mind to be in when you're taking a close look at the things you're not so good at.

2. Take inventory of your strengths.

Everybody's good at something, and many people are good at quite a few things. Even if you don't have a talent or strength that you're aware of, you probably have some interests you can develop into strengths. Make a list of a few things you're good at and a few things you're interested in and would like to be better at. Share this list with your parents, an aunt or uncle, or a teacher you like and trust. They can probably help you find other things you're good at, too, and help you come up with a plan for developing other skills and interests.

3. Realize your limits.

Nobody's perfect - not even close. It may not always seem this way, but it's true. So if you weren't born a good singer, a super athlete or an "A" student, that's OK. You have a personality and a perspective on the world that's all your own and completely valuable - even if you suck at basketball, have a big nose or look terrible in leggings.

4. Stop putting yourself down. Now!

One of the biggest things that keeps people from achieving their goals - and feeling good about themselves - is negative self-talk. In other words, telling yourself that you're a loser or a failure puts a big damper on your ability to get what you want and be who you want. If you don't do well at a particular project or task, it doesn't mean that you never will. Perhaps you weren't prepared or the time simply wasn't right. It doesn't mean that you're a lousy human being or that you'll never succeed. It's OK to be upset for a bit when things don't go your way, but after a little while, let it go and move on. You'll be that much closer to achieving what you want if you do.

5. Celebrate progress and small victories.

Did you pass your driver's test or give a killer speech despite feeling nervous? Give credit where credit's due: You did it, and you rule! And guess what? You can tackle bigger, harder projects, too.

6. Pat yourself on the back every day.

Find a few small things that you did well each day. Whether it's waking up on time, smiling at the dorky hall monitor or sending a card to your grandmother, a lot of good can be accomplished in one day - and it's something to take pride in.

So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex, how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to Dish-It here. Send all of your questions to But 'member, if ya hang out in Chat with other Kidzworld members who know ya by your 'username', ya might wanna use a secret nickname when ya write in. That way no one'll ever know it's you. And, just in case ya don't know, Dish-It gets a lotta letters everyday, and she can't answer 'em all. So keep checkin' the column cuz she's prob'ly answerin' somethin' very similar to your question while you're out doin' somethin' else. K? And Thanks! Ya keep her outta trouble. Oh! And if ya've got words of wisdom you wanna share, we'll dish 'em up, too.

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
reply about 18 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
reply about 18 hours
EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
reply about 18 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
reply about 19 hours
Okay I have school today and my hair is not sitting how I want it to. But my mum says it is sitting fine WHEN ITS NOT! SHE IS NOT LISTENING what do i do?
reply about 20 hours

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