serious question. how does someone build up their confidence and love how to love themselves?

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    Apr 11, 2013 4:47 AM GMT
    i'm sure there's some people in here that can relate or were once in that place where they hated themselves whether it was their face, their bodies, their personalities and etc. they had people that were around them that teased them, made fun of them or made them become insecure about certain aspects of themselves.

    it's that i just don't know how to be confident with myself and be able to take a compliment or believe that i'm worthy of good things or am capable of doing good things or being a good person. i've had this problem for years and i would say that it came from constantly being belittle and made fun of by the people around me where i started to doubt myself and boom, that doubt became a demon of its own where i'll literally say negative things about myself and i'll believe them too.

    how to build self esteem up to a healthy level? you know, where you can not let people's criticisms but not to the point where someone is a narcissist where they're like "look @ me. i'm the shit. you have to love me." i feel that it's getting to the point where my self hatred is eating me alive and it's becoming a problem where i get jealous and upset with other people because they're getting or have things that i feel i lack. advice?
  • BmwKid92

    Posts: 1097

    Apr 11, 2013 4:49 AM GMT
    Lifes too short man, hit the gym and do what you love, nothing but positive comes out of it.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Apr 11, 2013 4:51 AM GMT
    Do what you think is right, and respect yourself for it. The rest follows.
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    Apr 11, 2013 4:54 AM GMT


    "i've had this problem for years and i would say that it came from constantly being belittle and made fun of by the people around me where i started to doubt myself and boom, that doubt became a demon of its own where i'll literally say negative things about myself and i'll believe them too. "

    Perhaps somewhere along the way you decided they were right, and they aren't. icon_wink.gif

    They never were.
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    Apr 11, 2013 4:57 AM GMT
    Love yourself, you are worthy of love.
    If you have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say "I love you" to that image staring back at you, then do it. and don't look away cuz he's all you have in the end.
    Be grateful for who you are and where you are today, because where you are right now is exactly where you should be.
    You have friends and supporters along the way, don't ever forget that.
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    Apr 11, 2013 5:15 AM GMT
    You know when I was younger, I had MAJOR confidence issues. I had glasses, braces, bad skin, horrible hair cut. Out of all the gay boys in my high school that were out (only 5 including me) I was by far the ugliest out of them all. My friends, If I were to call them that, constantly made fun of me, and always now and then told me how ugly I was (of course, in a playing manner, so I thought) and when you constantly hear, "your ugly" not only from your enemies but from your friends, you start to believe it. I had no personality, it was very meek, and non existent, I'd rather blend in with the crowds like a hallow carcass in the hall way, and that's how I pretty much lived my whole entire life.

    It wasn't until I got out of high school was when I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself how ugly I was, I finally broke, tears, everything, I was on the floor just full of self hate. It was that realization that I can't sink any lower then the state I'm at, when you reach that point, where you truly hit rock bottom, honestly there is no place but to go up from there. I realized had to do something about myself. Other wise I would probably have ended up killing myself due to all the self hatred I held inside.

    I bought a journal, because I knew, just by getting a good enough body, that wont solve my problems, and that my biggest obstacles, at that time I didn't realize was my psyche; Walls and internal barriers, that blocked self progression. But wrote in it, almost every day, and wrote how I was feeling. As stupid as it sounds, it's a good way to analyze your emotional strength and see your own faults and weaknesses as you go back a week, or a month and you see if you are going up hill or down hill just on all the pages you write, you see a pattern. Back then I didn't have real friends or real jocks to go to, so the best person I had to rely on was myself, somewhere deep down I knew my subconscious was guiding me, and I needed an outlet to that source, the journal I found out was my answer.

    I also joined a gym, because I hated how my body was proportioned, I was skinny and hated it, so I did something about it. I dedicated myself to the gym hired a personal trainer, even though I tapped out into my savings just to do it. I wanted it so bad, I didn't care the cost.

    I ate healthier, thus fixing my skin issues. I got a stylish hair cut, and finally got rid of the glasses, and the braces came off the next year. After that year my body finally filled in. and once the braces were off and I got my contacts and put them in It was like I was a whole new person. I haven't cried since the last time I was on the floor hating myself, but these tears that fell, as I stared back at this person, were tears of joy.

    I do believe that god, and I know I might get shit for saying that but, I truly do believe that we are given obstacles for a reason. "The brick walls that are in our way are not there to keep us out, but to show us, how much we want it." - Randy Pausch, professor who did his last lecture.
  • jtz03932

    Posts: 200

    Apr 11, 2013 4:27 PM GMT
    k1ng saidLifes too short man, hit the gym and do what you love, nothing but positive comes out of it.


    This is one of the worst advice that you should not give to anyone. Sure, we can promote a healthy lifestyle, but forcing oneself to "hit the gym" does not fit into "being yourself". I thought life has to be about choices... if one person chooses to improve his quality of life by altering his physical appearance to be happier then so be it... but there are things in life that you cannot change.

    No matter how hard you try to be "better" you are going to be rejected one way or another. That is the way it is in the gay community. Personally, just distract yourself and find other hobbies. Your straight friends accept you more than most people in the gay community cares about you, that's my opinion.
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    Apr 11, 2013 4:33 PM GMT
    for some people it just doesn't go away, the extreme self criticism becomes a part of life.
    like all things though you eventually get used to it being there, I say it silently to myself and it's so automatic that I forget I do it sometimes.
    probably a shitty answer but I'm not telling anyone to follow suit, it's just what I do.
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    Apr 11, 2013 4:55 PM GMT
    scaredmidget saidi'm sure there's some people in here that can relate or were once in that place where they hated themselves whether it was their face, their bodies, their personalities and etc. they had people that were around them that teased them, made fun of them or made them become insecure about certain aspects of themselves.

    it's that i just don't know how to be confident with myself and be able to take a compliment or believe that i'm worthy of good things or am capable of doing good things or being a good person. i've had this problem for years and i would say that it came from constantly being belittle and made fun of by the people around me where i started to doubt myself and boom, that doubt became a demon of its own where i'll literally say negative things about myself and i'll believe them too.

    how to build self esteem up to a healthy level? you know, where you can not let people's criticisms but not to the point where someone is a narcissist where they're like "look @ me. i'm the shit. you have to love me." i feel that it's getting to the point where my self hatred is eating me alive and it's becoming a problem where i get jealous and upset with other people because they're getting or have things that i feel i lack. advice?

    It takes a long time. You just have to train yourself to think differently. It's kind of like unbrainwashing yourself because you were probably told that you're a piece of shit from a very young age and you eventually started to believe that subconsciously. I also think saying "hit the gym" is bad advice to give to him as well. It could eventually lead to you having an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder because you're already unhappy with yourself and your self-esteem is probably going to start to be based on how you look. I had a friend that had self-esteem issues (probably due to bullying) in elementary school and high school and now his self-esteem is based on how much muscle he has. It's pretty sad. My advice to you is to train yourself to think differently. This doesn't happen overnight so don't expect sudden changes right away. Everyone has some good qualities so use your good qualities to your advantage and be happy with them. Helping other people is another way that can help you feel better about yourself. You can go to bed at night thinking about all of the people you helped instead of going to bed thinking that your good for nothing.
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    Apr 11, 2013 5:07 PM GMT
    A very serious question indeed, and I am sorry that you are going through this.

    Confidence, self esteem, and self love have so many parts to it that I'll try to address all of them from a place that makes sense to me.

    Building self esteem primarily comes from being esteemed by others and those feelings becoming internalized. Having someone that you respect in your life think highly of you, acknowledge what value you innately have, guides you, in a way, to knowing what you are worth. Caring parents, trusting friends, loving teachers, and even shrinks can better help you see yourself. Once you can see what you are worth, and see that it is valuable, then you can love yourself.

    Loving yourself means acting compassionately and gently with yourself and not putting yourself in unsafe situations. Loving yourself means walking away from unhealthy relationships that devalue or ridicule you. To me, a big part of self love is the ability to not only set that boundary, but hold it. Being able to say, "no" in your life to persons and situations that harm you is the seat of self-love, and it is also a beautiful step towards confidence.

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Apr 11, 2013 5:29 PM GMT
    I've had to deal with a lot of negative self-image and self-esteem issues. A lot of it came from my family and the shit-for-brains kids I grew up around. By the time I was in my 20s I was a total mess, closed down, withdrawn, depressed, anxious, insecure and acting out in self-destructive ways. I had no idea how attractive, intelligent, insightful, creative (and so on) that I was. I don't mention them to boast but to point out I didn't know I had those qualities even though they were always there.

    For me it took years of therapy, moving to a new place geographically and beginning to make friends who could *see me* and reflect back what they saw. I also had to learn to set boundaries, which, in my case, meant having very little to do with my family of origin. Without that I seriously doubt I would have lived past age 30.

    Emotional wounding is as real as physical wounding. The scars are just as real and potentially debilitating but "invisible" to those who don't have eyes to see them. Some people, often with truly serious issues they don't know shit about, can be extremely crewel. They get away with it because it isn't physical.

    Emotional violence (bullying, put-downs, and worse, giving someone the explicit or implicit message that they aren't worth anything and will never amount to anything and are unworthy of love and acceptance) is real violence that does great harm. But our society has only begun to see this and most people still don't. I see it all around me, especially in the gay community, not because we're gay necessarily but often because we've all been subjected to it and are expected to 'just get over it'. That attitude is callous, ignorant and self-damaging.

    What to do? Very difficult to say. I can tell you it *is* possible to get through it. If therapy is an option for you, I recommend it. But in any case you have to start by recognizing when you're injuring yourself from within and actively, mentally, learning to just let the negative thoughts go. Of course it isn't like a light switch you can just turn off. It takes practice and patience, and you won't always succeed but with time the 'demon' has less power. Its like changing any habit, you have to substitute a positive one for a negative one. Not easy but doable, especially with support and help.

    The other important thing is learning to set boundaries. If *anyone* puts you down, tell them to fuck off. No one needs that shit and especially from people who say they 'love' you.

    You can always private me if you want to discuss this further.

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    Apr 11, 2013 5:42 PM GMT
    It was pretty simple for me, but it just took a really long time. I had to be ready and out of all other exhaustible options.

    After sitting through decades of pain and self-pity, I realized that low self-esteem was just a softer way of saying that I had a huge ego. I chose to cling to anything that made me different or feel special, good or bad. The arrogance of self-criticism.

    Slowly I started saying 'thank you' ... A lot and a little more. Then...

    Fun becomes fun, love becomes love, life becomes worth living-- and we become grateful.
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    Apr 11, 2013 5:56 PM GMT
    for me a very important moment in my life was when my business partner double crossed me financially. You're very much being tested that way, and I decided that instead of seeking vengeance or revenge, the best thing was to swallow my pride, move on and keep working....and that paid off well!
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Apr 11, 2013 5:58 PM GMT
    tazzari saidDo what you think is right, and respect yourself for it. The rest follows.


    also stand up for what you believe in, and take it a day at a time.

    "fake it until you make it" works for some people, but not everyone
  • BmwKid92

    Posts: 1097

    Apr 14, 2013 3:39 AM GMT
    jtz you said distract yourself and find hobbies, and I said going to the gym. do you not see the contradiction to everything you said? AND YOU CAN CHANGE ANYTHING, AND EVERYTHING. get on my level

    and addy suck dick.
  • jtz03932

    Posts: 200

    Apr 14, 2013 8:35 PM GMT
    k1ng saidjtz you said distract yourself and find hobbies, and I said going to the gym. do you not see the contradiction to everything you said? AND YOU CAN CHANGE ANYTHING, AND EVERYTHING. get on my level

    and addy suck dick.


    Going to the gym is not a hobby for everyone moron. It's friggin expensive and not everyone has the time. You can't change your dick size and your face... Unless u want to decapitate them.
  • BmwKid92

    Posts: 1097

    Apr 15, 2013 4:27 AM GMT
    What is it?? a career? its a hobby fool and how is 10-30$ a month expensive kid? and time????? 1 hour a day
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    Apr 15, 2013 4:47 AM GMT
    That sucks and I do know what you're going through.

    7 years of my life I wont get back because of severe social anxiety and generalized anxiety which stemmed from low self esteem. So even if someone gave me a compliment, I would write it off as them just being nice because they felt sorry for me. I had no friends growing up and I knew for a fact everyone else thought of me as some loser who probably does jack shit all day.

    So literally everywhere I went these thoughts clouded by judgement. It is literally DEBILITATING. I started getting counseling and they put me on paxil and klonopin, so far it's working great and I could give two fucks about what the next person thinks. That in my opinion is true confidence.

    My advice is so accept who you are and realize it's not fair to compare yourself to everyone else. I would also start working out, it doesn't have to be anything serious. You'll be amazed at how much your confidence approves after working out.
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    Apr 15, 2013 5:25 AM GMT
    itsonme41 saidThat sucks and I do know what you're going through.

    7 years of my life I wont get back because of severe social anxiety and generalized anxiety which stemmed from low self esteem. So even if someone gave me a compliment, I would write it off as them just being nice because they felt sorry for me. I had no friends growing up and I knew for a fact everyone else thought of me as some loser who probably does jack shit all day.

    So literally everywhere I went these thoughts clouded by judgement. It is literally DEBILITATING. I started getting counseling and they put me on paxil and klonopin, so far it's working great and I could give two fucks about what the next person thinks. That in my opinion is true confidence.

    My advice is so accept who you are and realize it's not fair to compare yourself to everyone else. I would also start working out, it doesn't have to be anything serious. You'll be amazed at how much your confidence approves after working out.


    tell me about it. never realized how bad of a disorder anxiety is.

    i dunno if you experienced the same thing but did you notice how much control you realized you had over your life when your anxiety was put under control? icon_cry.gif that's one thing that they don't say about the medication. it's overwhelming having that much freedom only to find out that you have to do everything else such as being confident and dealing with life.

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    Apr 15, 2013 5:27 AM GMT
    jr17 said
    It takes a long time. You just have to train yourself to think differently. It's kind of like unbrainwashing yourself because you were probably told that you're a piece of shit from a very young age and you eventually started to believe that subconsciously. I also think saying "hit the gym" is bad advice to give to him as well. It could eventually lead to you having an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder because you're already unhappy with yourself and your self-esteem is probably going to start to be based on how you look. I had a friend that had self-esteem issues (probably due to bullying) in elementary school and high school and now his self-esteem is based on how much muscle he has. It's pretty sad. My advice to you is to train yourself to think differently. This doesn't happen overnight so don't expect sudden changes right away. Everyone has some good qualities so use your good qualities to your advantage and be happy with them. Helping other people is another way that can help you feel better about yourself. You can go to bed at night thinking about all of the people you helped instead of going to bed thinking that your good for nothing.


    This is true. A lot of negative self-image issues are perpetuated my a running stream of negativity in your thoughts ("I'm no good," "I'm unattractive," etc) that may be so common you don't even notice them. Therapists have exercises and techniques that can help you slowly change that.

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    Apr 15, 2013 5:49 AM GMT
    tazzari saidDo what you think is right, and respect yourself for it. The rest follows.


    I would like to expand on that advice a bit, but I want to warn you. What I have to say may seem harsh if you are in a fragile state of mind. Please don't read any further until you are feeling up to it.

    I cannot agree with those who say we all deserve to love and respect ourselves. Some of us don't. (I'm sure we can all think of clear examples from history.) Respect must be earned, even our own self-respect. Are you doing what you think is right? It's a tough question to ask yourself, but that's the key to getting out of the hole you're in right now. If there are things you don't like about yourself, and you have the power to do so, change them.

    (As a first step, may I suggest you participate actively in the threads you start? You will get more out of them if you do. I see you are starting to.)

    This issue is not distinct from your clinical depression. You were given some good advice in that thread, and you should work on the physical aspects of your mental health before tackling self-esteem issues, in my opinion.
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Apr 15, 2013 6:20 AM GMT
    jtz03932 said
    No matter how hard you try to be "better" you are going to be rejected one way or another. That is the way it is in the gay community. Personally, just distract yourself and find other hobbies. Your straight friends accept you more than most people in the gay community cares about you, that's my opinion.


    Going on my quote board.
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    Apr 15, 2013 7:19 AM GMT
    Don't know if this will help, but I finally gave into and accepted all my deficits and realized that life will not be perfect or anything near it, and once I did that, it was very liberating.

    I gave up on sex realizing that no one I find remotely attractive would want to hit me up for it. I tended to, in the past, attract men who were highly dysfunctional.

    Once I accepted life as it is and not what I wanted it to be, I was able to move a few steps forward and feel more comfortable, relaxed and content and I stopped caring about my insecurities, deficits, etc. I feel liberated and can move on to more important aspects of my life.

    The most important lesson I learned through all of this is to stop caring about what other people think of you. Essentially, it should not be and is not any of your business. What other people think of you is their problem and you should not make it your problem.

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    Apr 15, 2013 7:38 AM GMT
    I tried to remain positive when times are tough. I tend to remind myself that I had a unique life experiences comparing to most people, and don't compare myself or be super jealous of other people. I don't date drug addicts, slutty guys or dudes who attract a lot of drama in their life. I tend to just do my own thing, hang out, visit art museums, making some new friends through online/other people. I keep an open mind of finding a *right guy, I fell in love before so I will know it for sure when I experience love again. I accept that life is not perfect, I am not perfect, I'll try to make the situation as best as I can. Hope this helps.


  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Apr 15, 2013 8:30 AM GMT
    meninlove said

    "i've had this problem for years and i would say that it came from constantly being belittle and made fun of by the people around me where i started to doubt myself and boom, that doubt became a demon of its own where i'll literally say negative things about myself and i'll believe them too. "

    Perhaps somewhere along the way you decided they were right, and they aren't. icon_wink.gif

    They never were.


    Sounds sooo familiar

    BUT, as Doug says - those other people...those voices in the head are not rigjt. The problem is NOT listening to them, stopping believing them. That's the hard part...

    That needs you to love yourself and "want to fix this": get some CBT, learn how to love yourself and look at yourself in a new way. Just goign to the gym to get ripped won't deal with those pernicious little voices.....

    Needs to be a whole person approach.

    And yeah....I know this is a tad ironic coming from me - I know the theory, just need to sort the practice lol. You'll get there