A 15-year-old letter writer feels that she’s wasted her life because she doesn’t have close friendships.
Our elder has some strategies to start boosting her self-worth.
Hi, sorry for the inflammatory title but I wanted to communicate how much these thoughts have been affecting me. I’m jealous of other girls because of their close friendships and I haven’t had those experiences at all. I feel upset that they are so loved and wanted and I’m not. I reinforce these feelings by looking at their social media and upsetting myself, because I do not go out often and I feel shame and anger at myself because I’ve wasted my life. I know I’m only 15, but I’ll never get these years back. All of these girls are from school, and I leave that school this year to go to college. I have an opportunity to have healthier behaviors, but how do I unlock these feelings? For context I’ve felt like this for around four years. Thank you very much for reading.
I think the expression “Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt, among others said this) is particularly apt to ponder in view of your letter: “Jealousy of other girls is killing me.”
Try to believe that you are good enough. It sounds like you might lack some self-confidence and self-worth. This is not at all uncommon for a teen (especially a girl). I think the other girls’ possess a low level of confidence and self-esteem issues, too. It’s hard (impossible) to be a teen and be in complete control of it all. Some people just do a better job of coming across as confident and having it all together. Inside they may be experiencing some of the very insecurities you describe. Keep that in mind.
Hear me when I say that you are loved. You are wanted. Everyone deserves love and affection and to be included. You are no different. How do you think you can be your best in the situations you describe? Here are some ideas:
- Be a friend. Place yourself in situations where you can meet new people (school activities/volunteering). When you meet someone new, ask her questions about herself (What does she like to do? Hobbies? Strengths? How many siblings does she have? What is she majoring in? What’s the most fun thing she’s done this week?). Showing interest in someone else always plays favorably with that person.
- Try to stop feeling that you’ve wasted years. You are 15 years old. So much growth and change within your mind and in your body has occurred these past years. It’s natural. You are bound to have some triumphs and regrets in those formative years.
- Remember that growth comes from making mistakes. It’s when we change our actions and reactions as a result of our failures that true improvement occurs.
- You have a great opportunity to put into practice what I’ve suggested, since you are going to college soon. You have the power to control your own emotions. You have the power to react favorably to something like social media posts or you can react with envy. Your jealousy doesn’t do one positive thing for your psyche. Keep this in mind.
- Rejoice in other people’s successes. Don’t compare yourself to them. Be happy when good comes to others. It’s far more likely to come your direction when your mindset is generous and positive.
- You deserve to be a good friend and have good friends. Put yourself out there, reach out to others, they’ll respond in kind.
- Love yourself first. You are a wonderfully unique person capable of fantastic things. Who wouldn’t want to know you better?
- Love others and treat them kindly. Another expression I’m fond of: “There is no greater wisdom than kindness.”
- You can get over your jealousy. I’m certain you can. Think of it as a burden. You don’t need it – it’s heavy and harmful to your emotional wellbeing. Living without it is so much more fulfilling. Doors will open.
Good luck to you in college. I wish you a happy/guilt-free/jealousy-free 2023!
Article #: 493073