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AlexQuinn Offline
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Crippling Self-Esteem Issues - July 6th 2012, 02:37 AM

I don't know if this is the place for it, but here goes...

My best friend has enormous, almost crippling self esteem issues. *She doesn't think she's good at anything, she thinks she's ugly, dumb, that lots of people hate her, all that sort of stuff. *She's one of the nicest people I've ever met, and she really isn't dumb, etc. *It's the saddest thing in the world to watcher her have meltdowns about this. *I often try and cheer her up and tell her as she really is - a smart beautiful and incredibly nice human being.

But when I do, she gets really mad at me. By really mad I mean like scarily mad, but it all seems to be directed inward. *The result is often that she just stops talking to me for the day. *I always leave feeling awful for dealing it worse and kind of hurt by the things she says, and I'm pretty sure she leaves and spends the night being miserable, and probably crying about it, though she almost never tells me that. *She seems to get herself back under control the next time we meet though.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to help this instea of just making it worse? *Because this isn't working. *It always seems to be me arguing in support of her against herself - which I'm sure you can tell isn't good.

I've posted on this site before, but that was more me trying to figure myself out. *This time I'm fairly desperate for some sort of help because my friend really has a lot of potential and has a lot of life left to live. *I just want to help make her a little happier with herself. If you have any insight at all, or even just a comment, please feel free to post. I'm a little desperate for any kind of assistance here.

---------------------

Additional information: she's obviously a girl, I'm a guy. *We're both entering our senior year of highschool. *The problem of insecurity with her has been going on ever since I met her 5 years ago, but it seemed to get worse as time went on. *It was a gradual thing.


Stare not into the abyss, for the abyss stares also into you.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Eloquence that does not startle, I do not consider eloquence ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
   
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Re: Crippling Self-Esteem Issues - July 6th 2012, 03:34 AM

Hi Alex!

It's almost as though she is possessed by a 'demon' or something. Some THING that wants to make sure that she NEVER has a positive thought about herself. I've known people like this. I've BEEN people like this. [Enough to know what it's like - at least] My mom once told me that I had really beautiful looking eyes. I almost told her to F-Off! Looking back on that moment [And there were a few others with several different people - many years ago] I feel embarrassed. I presumed that what I thought of ME is what everyone ELSE is supposed to think of ME. I am 'shit' therefore you better support that belief - OR ELSE. If you dared to counter the negative thoughts and feelings I had about myself - I could only assume that YOU were making FUN of ME. A compliment made me mad. And it HURT my feelings! "Why would you say something like that? Just to remind me of the 'fact' that I'm the complete opposite'?! So you see - I have some understanding.

The fact that you posted a 'help me' message is a HUGE step in the right direction. And one that makes me think highly of you. Obviously you really care about this girl. And that's great. And you're right - what you have been doing is obviously not working. So no more compliments. It just triggers the walls - and the wrath. The next time your friend says something negative about herself say something to the effect of, "I guess you would know. I don't see it. But then again I'm looking from the outside IN." And leave it at that.

And do your best to adopt that attitude towards her. She is in such an awful place that all she needs from YOU is an ally. Not one who agrees with the awful things she says about herself. And not one who DISagrees. But someone who is somewhat indifferent. That will FEEL like an ally to her. The only message that you should be giving her is that you don't see it that way. But you're NOT telling her how you see it'. IF she want to know how YOU see it - let HER ask you. And if she does - just keep in painfully short and sweet. "You think you're ugly. I don't agree!" PERIOD. Something like that. I hope this makes sense.

That all said...... how someone ELSE feels about themselves is NOT our responsibility. No matter how much they might mean to us. So never allow her to abuse YOU. You matter TOO - don't forget. Helping someone is great. Feeling absolutely responsible for them is NOT great!

GBH - Craig!!
   
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Re: Crippling Self-Esteem Issues - July 6th 2012, 03:46 AM

And what do I do if she asks for specifics on what I think? Tell her in as short a manner as possible?

That advice was really, really helpful to read. That just explained a lot of what seems to be happening. Thank you so much.


Stare not into the abyss, for the abyss stares also into you.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Eloquence that does not startle, I do not consider eloquence ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
   
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Re: Crippling Self-Esteem Issues - July 6th 2012, 04:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexQuinn View Post
And what do I do if she asks for specifics on what I think? Tell her in as short a manner as possible?

That advice was really, really helpful to read. That just explained a lot of what seems to be happening. Thank you so much.
My pleasure Alex!!

YES!! If she asks for specifics - be as brief as possible. If you say anything at all. It's easy to TALK without actually SAYING something. Keep in mind that she is [On a subconscious level] seeking out affirmations of all of her awful feelings. In a sense - she is 'addicted to negativity'. And she's not alone. A LOT of us seek out things that confirm the negative. Your 'job [So to speak] as a friend will be to do your best NOT to feed her 'addiction'.

GBH - Craig!
   
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Re: Crippling Self-Esteem Issues - July 6th 2012, 04:18 AM

Thank you so much. This explains so much. I can't tell you what a relief this is.

We already had a meltdown today, that's what prompted me into coming on here, but the next time I'll try to do this. Thank you.


Stare not into the abyss, for the abyss stares also into you.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Eloquence that does not startle, I do not consider eloquence ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
   
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