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feel so bad about myself..

for almost ever my dad has been picking on me and calling me names about how i look, it has now made me really self conscious and i have low self esteeem and whenever i am out i feel so embarrassed about myself, i used to cry a lot because of the way he would make me feel so bad, how do i get more confidence and things?
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Sam

Hi there, 

Thank you for your letter I’m very glad that you decided to get in touch. It sounds like you’re having a really tough time with your dad at the moment. I want you to know that what he is doing is wrong. It’s never okay for anyone to say mean things to another person, pick on them or call them names, it’s called Emotional abuse.

You’ve told me that you used to cry a lot because of the way your dad would make you feel. It sounds like his opinion matters to you and I wonder if you have ever told him how much his words have been affecting you. You might want to consider letting him know how things are for you or telling an adult that you trust who could help you to talk to your dad about what he is doing.

It seems as though listening to negative things for such a long time has made it hard for you to feel good about yourself. Sometimes when someone says the same nasty thing to you over and over, after time you can start to believe what the other person is saying is true.

You’ve told me that you are self conscious and embarrassed about yourself. It sounds like you spend a lot of time thinking about how you look. It’s important to remember that all of us are different and that’s what makes the world a diverse and interesting place.

You’ve asked me how you can get more confidence and it seems as though you would like to build up your self-esteem. Sometimes joining hobby groups or doing things you enjoy or feel good at can help someone to feel better about themselves. It’s also a way of meeting new like minded people who you feel comfortable around. There are some tips in Explore about Building confidence and self-esteem.

ChildLine counsellors are always there to support young people with the way they are feeling and to talk about ideas around what they might like to do next. You can talk to a counsellor by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat (a bit like instant messenger) or by calling 0800 1111 (this is a free number even from a mobile and it won’t show up on your bill).

Take care,

Sam

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