December 21, 2018 EVERYONE COMPARES ME TO MY BFF! Dear Nikki, My body’s okay, but I don’t like how it looks. I know I’m not THAT fat, but my best friend is thin, flexible and everybody admires her and I’m just hidden. Nobody cares about me. I’m useless at everything. So basically: • I’m unhappy about my body. • I’m not talented at sports or anything else. • My friend is talented at sports, so either I’m compared to her or ignored. I think my future is not looking very good. Please help! BFF Envy Hi BFF Envy, Okay, let’s start with a group hug for you, and anyone else who feels compared to a friend, sibling, or anyone else. I actually had more letters than usual this week about feeling compared to someone who seems good at everything, so it must be going around! Let’s face it—It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people who excel in certain areas, like sports, academics, singing or whatever. Some people find their thing early, and that’s cool. But it’s not true for most people. I mean, take me and my friends. Brandon kind of found his thing right away – he’s amazing at photography! But it took a while for me since I had to try a little bit of everything – ice skating, playing in a band, advice columns—before I realized my true talent was art. As for Chloe and Zoey, they have LOTS of talent, but they don’t have any ONE thing they’re super good at (besides being my BFFs!). Honestly, most people don’t! Most people don’t find something they’re truly passionate about until a lot later in life. These years are for trying all sorts of things and figuring out not just what you’re good at, but what you LOVE doing. And even if it seems like she’s great at everything, I guarantee there are things your friend may not be so great at. She might even compare herself to YOU and think you’re better at something than she is! It sounds like you need a confidence boost. You are your own harshest critic. I REFUSE to believe you’re useless at everything! Maybe you’re a great listener. Maybe you’re great with little kids. Imagine if one of your friends told you they feel like they’re useless at everything. What would you say to them? Try to treat yourself with the same kindness you treat your BFFs with. Here’s what I want you to do – go to the link I’m about to give you and print out this worksheet. (Or just copy down the questions – it’s not a lot of writing.) Fill these questions in every day for a week. Do it for a few weeks, if it feels like it’s helping. Here’s the link: https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/self-esteem-journal.pdf I know you’re feeling down on yourself, but this has nothing to do with your future. Your body and athletic ability are only going to matter if your goal for the future is to be an Olympic gymnast, prima ballerina or something. Besides, there are TONS of other things you could be good at that don’t involve sports! Here’s what WILL matter to your future: Developing a healthy self-image! If you can build some confidence and love for yourself, there’ll be no stopping you! 🙂 Do you ever feel compared to a friend, classmate or sibling? How do you handle it? How do you boost your confidence when you’re feeling down? Tell us in the comments!