Low Self-Esteem So It's Hard to Make Friends

Published: December 12, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Hi teen health fx. I'm a 14 year old guy and I've just moved into this new school this year i have a good amount of friends but the only problem is that they tease me a lot like for instant call me ugly or retarded and I guess this is normal teen stuff because besides them teasing me they are really nice and will even buy me stuff from a store if I don't have enough money I feel like I take their teasing a little to seriously I am no stranger to being teased and was teased all of middle school and a little bit of elementary only the last year of elementary I in general like to be by myself cause I feel like I'm a loser sometimes I talk to myself and mimick people teasing myself for example if someone called me retarded that day I would mimick them saying that to me and repeat it to myself out loud and I would repeat people in the past who made fun of me I am aware that I am talking to myself and is this normal? Any advice what should I do and I'm pretty sure I have really Low self esteem I know that I'm ugly to and it is hard to make friends

Signed: Low Self-Esteem So It's Hard to Make Friends

Dear Low Self-Esteem So It's Hard to Make Friends,

The people who are going to be true, genuine friends are going to be the people who like you for the type of person you are, not what you look like or what is on the surface. However, since you mentioned having low self-esteem it might be very difficult for you to imagine that anyone would like you for the person you are. If you see yourself in a negative way and make derogatory comments about yourself, it might give other people license to do the same. That said, TeenHealthFX recommends the following:

  • Schedule an appointment with a reputable therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist. These types of social situations with teen peers can be complicated, so it would be most helpful for you to have someone you can discuss things with. A therapist can provide you with the support and guidance you need to start to feel better about yourself and form meaningful friendships.
  • Stop saying negative or insulting things about yourself. The more you do this, the more it makes other people think they can do it as well.
  • Think about what your interests are and join groups that revolve around those interests. For example, if you like to swim join the swim team or take group swim lessons. By surrounding yourself with people who have common interests, it will more easily pave the way for friendships.
  • Focus your attention and energy on things you like to do and things that make you feel good about yourself. The better you feel about you, the more confident you will be interacting with others.


If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX