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To Sam

shyness and self confidence

hello well im in year 8 and i am very low in my self confidence i have a lot of friends but i am still very shy i am low in my self confidence as i dont talk much and i am being left out at school i dont know if my confidence level is low  beacause i didnt have a very good time in primary girls left me out all the time so i was by myself most the time i dont find myself very attractive and i just wish i could build my confidence level up a bit i wish i was outgoing and get invited to partys more i just want to be a bit less shy i feel like if i keep being shy my friends might just ditch me.
Ask Sam


Hello there,

Thank you for your letter. I’m really glad you decided to write about what things are like for you at the moment.

You’ve told me that even though you have a lot of friends, you’re still very shy and feel low in your self-confidence. I can hear that you’re wondering if your difficult experience at primary school has caused you to feel less confident now. I do get lots of letters from young people who tell me their confidence has been knocked by going through a difficult experience.

It sounds like building your self-confidence is something very important for you and there are lots of different ways to do this. It might be good to have a think about what sorts of things you’d particularly like to feel more confident about. You could start by writing a list of things that you (or other people) already like about yourself. If someone pays you a compliment, or if you do something you feel pleased about, write it all down. It will help you start to be kinder to yourself instead of being hard on yourself all the time. Sometimes pretending you are more confident than you are can also help you start to feel braver inside. If you practice holding your head up, smiling and saying ‘hello’ to people, you might find that over time, acting more confidently starts to come naturally.

There’s a section on the ChildLine website about building confidence and self-esteem which you might find useful. The message boards are also a great way of getting support and advice from other young people who might be feeling a similar way. YoungMinds have also got some great tips on how to believe in youself.

I know you mentioned you feel if you keep being shy then your friends might ditch you. I want to let you know that lots of people feel shy and that you deserve to feel accepted and included in things. I’m wondering if any of your friends know how you’re feeling and if perhaps there is one friend you would feel comfortable talking to. Being shy can come with lots of positive qualities, such as being a good listener, and being thoughtful and observant. When feeling low, it can be good to remind ourselves about all the good qualities we have to offer someone in a friendship.

I’m wondering how you would feel about talking directly to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 (free from any phone), 1-2-1 online chat (like instant messanger), or by sending an email.

It takes a lot of courage to write and I think you’ve been really brave.

Good luck!

Take care,


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