Alex's Answer

I have low self-esteem and think I attract toxic friends; can you give me advice?

Your Question

I have a very low self-esteem, I was bullied a lot in primary school, I have a friend whose parents had a bad marriage, hit me and bullied me as  a result my friends at school make fun of me sometimes too, I think I attract toxic friends and I have no self esteem and I feel that I am a stupid person who sucks at school and can even fight even though I’ m strong and feel that makes me a coward. 

Answer

Hi there, you are very welcome to Ask Alex. 

Thank you for contacting us. We understand that it’s not always easy to share how we’re feeling, or what’s going on for us, but we also know how important it is to talk about it. 

You mentioned you have very low self-esteem which you suspect is the result of being bullied, and you also fear you may attract toxic friends. 

Bullying is never okay. Whether you or someone you know is being bullied, it is wrong. Every child and every young person has the right to be safe, to feel happy and to be treated with respect.  

Bullying can mean different things to different people and it can also look different according to the situation and people involved. Sometimes people bully others because they are facing hard times themselves. It sounds like your friend was going through a hard time with their parents’ bad marriage, however, whatever the reason, it is not acceptable to bully or hit others and it is important for you to know that it is not your fault. You might find these articles about bullying helpful: https://www.childline.ie/what-to-do-if-someone-bullies-you-at-school/,https://www.childline.ie/5-great-tips-on-how-to-avoid-being-affected-by-bullying/ and https://www.childline.ie/what-to-do-if-youre-being-cyberbullied/. 

You mentioned also that you feel you attract toxic friends. Remember, you have the right to make friends who appreciate, value and respect you for who you are and who treat you with the kindness you deserve. This article has some useful tips for developing healthy relationships: https://www.childline.ie/how-to-build-healthy-friendships-and-relationships/  

In relation to experiencing low self-esteem, you have a right to feel good about yourself. The following articles might also be useful in dealing with that: https://www.childline.ie/how-to-deal-with-low-self-esteem/ and https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/raise-low-self-esteem/.  

You might also find it helpful to talk to a trusted adult such as a teacher, a family member or possibly someone else in your life that you have chatted with in the past, who  may have helped you make sense of and manage your feelings and experiences.

Remember, Childline is always here to listen and support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 or chat to us on our instant messaging service on https://www.childline.ie/. 

Our Childline service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we are always here to listen to you about whatever is going on for you.  

Hopefully this reply will be helpful to you and please know you are welcome to contact us again if you need to talk. 

Take care.  

Alex. 

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