E M O T I O N S:

Basket Case

Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once?
I am one of those melodramatic fools,
Neurotic to the bone,
No doubt about it.
--Green Day

Nobody likes me.

Sometimes we wonder if anyone likes us. In fact, we're sure they don't. We wish we could be "out there" more, like audition for the school play or go out for a team or run for school elections. But we're so afraid we won't be any good or that other people will wish we hadn't showed up we figure, why bother? We even fantasize about calling someone and asking them if they want to do something with us but in the fantasy they always say, "No way!" So what's the point?

There's a part of me that's cool. Somewhere!

Sometimes it feels like we are really two people wrapped up in one. Like there's this really cool version of ourselves with lots of friends who knows just what to say to make everyone laugh. But that person is hidden underneath this shy, boring, totally uncool person everyone sees all the time. We feel completely trapped in the prison of our own self-doubts. We want to burst out and really start enjoying life, but the prison walls are so thick we just can't.

These are feelings of insecurity. Everyone has them at one time or another, especially when they are in a new situation.

What do you do?

A good way to escape from the insecurity trap is first to figure out what you're good at. You know, the things about yourself you like.

  1. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. (Go ahead, get one. We'll wait.)

  2. On one side of the paper write down a few of your positive qualities.

    (Don't say: "I don't have any!" 'Cause everybody has some good qualities.)

    It could be something like: "I'm smart." or "I always finish what I start." or "I'm a good listener." Whatever. Just start writing down some of your strengths.

  3. When you're done listing your strengths, write down a few things about yourself that get in the way of your having a good day. (Think this part will take forever? No problem. We're not in a hurry.)

    A weakness could be something like: "I'm a sloppy eater." or "I have a weird laugh." or "I'm shy." It could be anything, as long as you believe it gets in your way of being happy.

  4. Make sure you keep both lists the same size, so if you think of 5 weaknesses you have to come up with 5 strengths.

  5. When you're finished with your lists, look them over. Think about how you can use your strengths more than you already do.

  6. Accept your weaknesses. (That doesn't mean you shouldn't work on them, but for now, just accept that these weaknesses are a part of who you are.)

  7. Now you can work with your weaknesses, one at a time, so that they will not get in your way of being the person you want to be.

If you need more specific help,
write to Hey Terra!


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