Dear Dr. Dana,

I know being conscious of your physical appearance is only human. But I can’t take it anymore when people tease me about my size. I know I am fat but somehow, their words still hurt me.

Whenever people tease me, my confidence decreases. What should I do?

Lilian

Dear Lilian,

Your confidence or self-esteem should never be grounded solely or principally on the thoughts of others. This, however, is harder done than said. Because we belong to a family, study with classmates, or go out with friends, it is quite impossible to keep other’s views free from our thoughts.

However, we shouldn’t let their comments dictate how we perceive ourselves to be. Interaction is a two-way street. We can’t control what other people will say about us but we can control how we take whatever they say. If you show you’re affected by their comments then it’s quite probable they will continue. On the other hand, if you don’t pay attention to these comments then people will gradually shy away from expressing them.

One can’t really make others stop saying undesirable things but we can stop listening and stop getting affected.

Lilian, the best deterrent to losing confidence is to simply accept who you are (physically, emotionally, intellectually etc.) and be proud of it no matter what.

Confidence should not come from others, but from deep within yourself.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Dana R. Sesante