I’ll say it now: I have THE WORST self-confidence. Feeling good about myself is about as likely as me rocking up to a Beyoncé concert and being mistaken for Queen B. For the record, I’m male, white, and really really camp.
I am not Beyoncé.
It’s odd, to be honest, because often, my self-confidence (which all too often has an identity crisis, and morphs into self-loathing) comes out in uncontrolled, uncontrollable and frankly unexpected bursts. This morning is a prime example: I caught the train to school, because I’m ‘that kid’. Usually, I meet a friend on the train; he gets on at the next station, so I have a couple of minutes in which to ponder life. When he didn’t appear, I got out my phone, and tapped out a text message: ‘Hey, where are you? :)’.
this perfectly normal text, however, took me a full 6 minutes to send, because I spent 5:50 minutes thinking, ‘maybe he is avoiding me, because I’m annoying and useless and shitty’.
Eventually, I sent the text, and found that it was because his first train (he’s ‘THAT kid’, who gets two trains) was running late.
So, yeah… this morning wasn’t so great. But, whereas that kind of thing was commonplace just 6 months ago, it’s really rare now, and I know why.
Someone thinks something of me.
I’m not bing egotistical, or big-headed, or subtly romantic — nope, I’m being direct. This friend — the one I mentioned before –, has been fundamental in making me feel … good, yes good, about myself.
He is aware that I have no confidence, no self-worth, nothing like that. He knows it, and I know he knows it, and he knows that I know that he knows it.
The best part, though, is that he actively makes me feel good about myself. For example, if I say something self-criticising, he actually makes a point of telling me otherwise. For instance, this morning we were talking about the role that clothing plays in our perception of individuals.
L: ‘I just wear jeans and the like: no one takes me seriously anyway.’
Friend: ‘I do.’
It’s two words, yes, but they are two very important words. Those two words made me smile, and made a little bit of me — just a tiny little bit — feel like … like someone cared about me.
And then there are all the little things that, whether others realise it or not, make me feel gradually more valued and less useless:
Someone coming to see me at break, voluntarily, taking me by surprise
Someone wanting to sit next to me in a lesson, and actively engaging with me throughout said lesson
Someone just sending a text, to say hi.
Everything counts, and each time, I feel just one little bit more cared-for, and happy. Slowly, my confidence is building: not all-at-once, but slowly, gradually becoming something to not just possess, but to be rpoud of.
Never underestimate how much a small action can do for someone else. Maybe that friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while would really appreciate a text, even just saying hello. Who knows what it will do for them, and what it will do for you too — everyone matters.