I am 24 years old and till now I have not have any friend all my life. 99.9% of the people that I met and became acquainted WILL eventually (as we talk to each other a couple more times) pretend as if they do not know or see me coming, ignore me or even turn hostile towards me although I tried my best to be a nice person (I just realized two weeks ago that I am co-dependent and a committed people pleasure, very unassertive, and I think that is only one of the causes). Almost 100% (I am very sure) of the people that I met think that I am anybody and with low self-esteem and my relationship with others is very “fickle”. Although I am quite capable academically but there is always a constant hollowness in my outlook for life. They can treat me really nicely one day and very badly at another. That makes me confused and hesitant all the time. All OF THEM do this to me and that makes me believe that the root of the problem is probably mine. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP. I am going nowhere in all my relationships with others. I move from one church to the other because of all this.
In fact, this has been a problem ever since I was very little: I was and am always a subject of scorn, sarcasm, and just pure unreasonable dislike. PLEASE give me a reply or at least refer me to a counselor or psychiatrist in the San Francisco area. Thank you so much for being so kind. I really look forward hearing from you soon. Yours truly, Signed, Bill, age 24
Dear Bill: Thank you for your email. I can understand why you would be confused and hesitant with peoples inconsistent behavior towards you. It is very difficult to find real friends that will appreciate and love us for whom we are. There is hope however and I would like for you to consider the following:
1. Like attracts like. If you don’t like and respect yourself others will follow your lead. People sense when someone doesn’t feel good about themselves and react accordingly. When you learn to love and respect you then others will follow your lead.
2. The majority of our self-esteem is formed by age 8. If you didn’t have caretakers that had good self-esteem then they were not capable or able to give you positive self-esteem. They can’t give away what they didn’t have in the first place. We derive a lot of our self-esteem from the people
around us. If you have positive supportive people in your life it is easier to develop self-esteem. Negative people will bring you down. Misery loves company.
3. We create our own reality with our thoughts and words. Until you change your thoughts and words I am afraid you will continue to create this unsatisfying reality.
4. You are in control of your feelings and thoughts. You cannot control the feelings and thought of others. Be in charge of your thoughts and feelings and don’t allow other people to decide your self-worth. That needs to come from within.
Bill, there are several articles on our web site that I would like for you to read. Start with the self-esteem articles and then read Words Do Count . Please read the many articles we have posted that pertain to self-esteem and how to change.
Bill, you are on the right track in reaching out for some professional help. I wish I had a good referral for you in your area but I don’t. I would recommend you ask your family doctor for one or ask a minister at one of the churches for a referral. I wish you the very best. Please don’t hesitate to email again.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.