Friend with low self-confidence

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Anonymous #1
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One of my friends really does have low self confidence. I know it hits us all at different times but this just seems more constant. It's mainly because we've started sixth form and she feels she's dumber than the rest of us (she's taking further maths so she's stressing more). We've tried convincing her that she really isn't dumb - and we're not lying she did really well in her GCSE's. Does anyone have any advice on how to help her??
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3ggfriedrice
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(Original post by Anonymous)
One of my friends really does have low self confidence. I know it hits us all at different times but this just seems more constant. It's mainly because we've started sixth form and she feels she's dumber than the rest of us (she's taking further maths so she's stressing more). We've tried convincing her that she really isn't dumb - and we're not lying she did really well in her GCSE's. Does anyone have any advice on how to help her??
I think you need a serious talk with her. A more stern tone will hopefully make her really reflect on her mindset. I think you should talk less about grades during conversations to make her feel you guys care more about other things and grades shouldn’t be the only thing stressing her out. Or, your friends can ask her for help with homework from any subjects they have in common so she can realise she has the knowledge and can help others with it. Obviously, be genuine about it.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Anonymous)
One of my friends really does have low self confidence. I know it hits us all at different times but this just seems more constant. It's mainly because we've started sixth form and she feels she's dumber than the rest of us (she's taking further maths so she's stressing more). We've tried convincing her that she really isn't dumb - and we're not lying she did really well in her GCSE's. Does anyone have any advice on how to help her??
Low self confidence happens all the time. I'm also in y12 now and the start to A-level has definitely been a challenge.

Something good might be to tell her that she shouldn't compare herself to others. Unless all of u are planing to do the same courses at uni then she has no reason to compare to u and ur friends.

She should take things one step at a time, take time to fully understand each topic from the very start of the year. Then she can do practice questions to solidify her understanding. I'm sure if she does this and starts getting the questions right she will start to be more confident and have a good strategy to overcome any other obstacles during the A-Level course.

Also remind her that no matter how smart you are this will always happen. At GCSE i had periods of feeling like I wasn't capable of getting the grades I wanted to achieve at GCSE but I used this method to come through it.
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NonIndigenous
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Maybe not dumb, just struggles concentrating or staying motivated? Or undermines her self-esteem and self-belief by comparing herself to others?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by NonIndigenous)
Maybe not dumb, just struggles concentrating or staying motivated? Or undermines her self-esteem and self-belief by comparing herself to others?
The second one definitely, I do different subjects to my friends' but theirs are very similar so ig she sees it as an easy comparison. She's really motivated, more than most of us which might be why she worries more.
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Old Skool Freak
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(Original post by Anonymous)
One of my friends really does have low self confidence. I know it hits us all at different times but this just seems more constant. It's mainly because we've started sixth form and she feels she's dumber than the rest of us (she's taking further maths so she's stressing more). We've tried convincing her that she really isn't dumb - and we're not lying she did really well in her GCSE's. Does anyone have any advice on how to help her??
I think the problem with one's self confidence is that it's a complex product of many different variables; with the main ones being:-

a) the life the person has lived;
b) the pressures / challenges facing them at present or in the future;
c) their innate personality type (e.g. are they someone who gets stressed / anxious easily (AKA 'Type "A" personality')

I'll try and explain it with an example of these two guys (both in their early 20's). Apologies about the detailed descriptions, but I want you to understand exactly what they're like:-

Mark:- Graduated from a "Good" University with a 2:1 in Banking and Finance (BSc); landed a fast-track graduate training programme with a well known High St Bank; Got his own flat in the town centre & drives a 2 year old Audi TT; Got a cool set of friends who he's formed an amateur 5-aside footy team; he's often described as good looking and he keeps himself in good shape by going to the gym twice a week (plus a 10K run on Sundays)... however he's still a very insecure and anxious person.

Dave:- Got expelled from school at age 15 and has no qualifications; He's never done a days work in his life and gets by on benefits (plus he sells a bit of weed to his mates); drives a 20 year old Ford Focus with no insurance / MOT; lives with his mum & siblings in a council house; he's 8 stone overweight, and is comically known as "That fat t**t" on his estate... despite all these short-comings, he still comes across as the most confident guy on the planet (cause he's a 'geezer' innit bruv)

Is it really so strange that Dave should be soo much more confident than Mark? You could argue that throughout his life Mark has had significantly higher standards set for him than Dave; so he's logically more likely to experience anxiety and uncertainty in his life.

I think if you want to help your friend out, you need to make sure you're asking the right questions. Instead of asking "How can we make her confident?", try asking "Why is she NOT confident?". I mean, was she bullied at school? Does she have strict / demanding parents? Did she get a bad grade for something she worked really hard for? These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourselves (and her) and then go from there.


Best of luck
Last edited by Old Skool Freak; 1 week ago
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t0897
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(Original post by Anonymous)
One of my friends really does have low self confidence. I know it hits us all at different times but this just seems more constant. It's mainly because we've started sixth form and she feels she's dumber than the rest of us (she's taking further maths so she's stressing more). We've tried convincing her that she really isn't dumb - and we're not lying she did really well in her GCSE's. Does anyone have any advice on how to help her??
you need to show her her worth isn't only in her grades or school, usually it's more to do with stress and being overwhelmed that you start doubting yourselves. So you guys should talk about fun friends or plan trips to outside to switch the conversation from your studies to more meaningful things.
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