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Inspiration

Q&A: What To Do When You Feel Like A Social Outcast

isolated girl

Question:

I consider myself socially awkward. I don’t have any close friends and I feel like an outcast. This is the story of my life and I don’t know what to do.

Answer:

My heart goes out to you because it seems like you’re really feeling some pain right now. It can’t be easy feeling this way! As I read your letter, I’m noticing two things. First, it seems like you may struggle a little with self-esteem. Second, it sounds like you don’t feel like you fit in with other people. So, let’s take a few moments to explore both of these issues.

SELF-ESTEEM:

It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you make a conscious decision to build your self-esteem. Remember, when you love yourself and place a high value on who you are, you’ll begin to act in a way that will draw positive people and experiences into your life. Here are some tips to help you improve your self-esteem:

Prayer should ALWAYS be at the top of the list. Ask God to show you how to better love, like, and respect yourself.

Remind yourself DAILY that you’re a part of the royal priesthood. This alone makes you very special! Recite scripture throughout the day to remind you of your value! A good one to use is this:“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14).

Spend time enhancing your skills and doing things that you’re good at. God has given you gifts and talents for a reason! Not only will you please God by using your gifts, but you’ll be improving your confidence at the same time!

Make changes in areas that you’d like to improve. We’re ALL works in progress because NO ONE has it totally together yet. Decide what you’d like to enhance about yourself and develop a plan of action to do it. However, don’t forget to love yourself as you are. You’ll get to where you want to be, but appreciate yourself along the journey.

Don’t allow other people’s negativity to affect you. God makes everyone differently and sets each of us apart for our own special purpose.

BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS:

Friendships are very important to most people, which makes sense because God created us to enjoy interacting with others. It’s healthy to want to have friendships, so here are a few tips that might help in this area:

Again, prayer should be essential in your life. Ask God to reveal ways to develop healthy friendships. Also, ask The Holy Spirit to increase your boldness so that you can overcome any shyness.

Participate in group activities that you enjoy. The more that you’re around like-minded people, the more that you’ll naturally begin to build friendships.

Make it a specific goal to interact with more people. If you’re on the shy side, you could start by just saying “hello” to people who seem interesting. Then gradually begin to introduce yourself to new people who share similar interests. The more that you practice this behavior, the more quickly you’ll develop the skill of meeting new people. Eventually, this task will become second nature to you and soon you’ll be making new friends.

Don’t take on other people’s problems! If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, for whatever reason, remind yourself that it’s THEIR loss, NOT yours. Remember, even Jesus Himself and His disciples were rejected by some people. Many times people are struggling with their own issues and end up projecting those issues onto you and others. Don’t allow THEIR problems to affect who YOU are as a person. No matter what–remember your value!

Are there any other suggestions?

Written by Aysha Ives

TAGS: , , , ,

Image: iStockphoto | Thinkstock

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COMMENTS 23

  1. Jesusfreak1415

    Posted by Jesusfreak1415 on October 1, 2014 at 19:22

    Thank you so much for this article. Honestly, I would consider myself a social outcast. I’m not particularly comfortable around people and I’m terrible at making friends. I’m homeschooled too so that doesnt help much. And my parents are really tight with money right now so i can’t play sports or do any clubs because they are unable to pay admission fees or for gas to fuel the car to take me places. So I’m kinda in hole right now. But this article really cheered me up. I’m going to try and put into action the ideas here that I am capable of doing, so thank you very much. :)

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by adedarko on December 12, 2012 at 04:07

    listen to music that emphasise your self worth and know you are a queen you’re Gods child and to people who emphasise how wonderful you are and appreciate you, ignore people who put you down, abuse or betray you , move away from them as they are causing your low self esteem mentality. just simle and appreciate all God has goven you.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by RyleighGiraffeFarar on May 12, 2012 at 18:54

    What if you’re just plain out WEIRD? And that’s your personality? How do you change your personality? I’ve been trying, real hard, but… can’t. :(

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by adedarko on December 12, 2012 at 04:04

      be yoursleve and let God be your best friend and ignore people who bring you down and just be happy and do what you like and people will just be attracted to you, it worked for me, stop trying you’ll only bring idiots into your life, people who think they can use you because you need them.

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by joyfulllarissa on May 9, 2012 at 10:03

    Since I got fully into God when I was 13, I have drifted away from a lot of friends… being lonely stinks, especially when you are an extrovert. I’m bold, and I talked to people and made plans with them, and acted like people should pay attention to me… and listened to them, but a lot of people that are “Christians”, are not really. It’s discouraging… and makes me want to give up. One thing I don’t do though is limit friendship by a persons age. Be friendly to everyone; some of my best true friends are “old”… like my parents age!

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by CaseyLeeDreamer on January 8, 2012 at 16:19

    THIS. HELPS. ALOT.
    My best friend just got into a relationship. When we’re alone, I’m her best friend. But whne we’re around her bf, that’s immediately all she cares about. I automatically become a third wheel. One time, we were all together with two other people at a fast food place (they’re dating also) and I barely talked. I didn’t want to say it out loud, so i texted my best friend “feel a bit left out haha”. And knowing how she gets around her boyfriend, all she did was yell across the table “THEN TALK!” then immediately continued talking to her boyfriend. I talked to her about it on the phone and she told me she was really sorry. But I still feel a bit left out. I’ve always been the VERY different one. But after talking to my youth leader, and reading this article, I now know what to do. Thank you soo much!

  6. Emily H.

    Posted by Emily H. on December 6, 2011 at 19:56

    I struggle with this a lot. I think I try to fix myself and not let God fix me. Thanks for the article!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by emilybrub74 on January 3, 2012 at 14:43

      I relate to this so much- the article caught my eye and I have been struggling- from alone at lunch to balling my eyes out to my mom about how lonely I am and how my friends have either randomly decided to move on or they’ve become too-cool-for-me and left. I have had some bad luck with friendships- they tend to be one-sided with me pulling all the weight. I want to target what the problem is-
      1)for some reason I attract people who are needy- I am really generous and am the counselor/shoulder to cry on friend. These people are only in it to get out from it- why would I expect them to ask how I am doing every once in a while? or call to hang out? etc. When I called for friends to hang out, a lot of the times they said they couldn’t for no reason- well, that is because they were probably in a good mood and had no reason to spend time with me then. There were lots of turndowns- this leads to #3…
      2)I don’t place much value on friendship- being lonely for a long time with no good friends lead to me being satisfied with solitude. #3, again, is the result:
      3)I am not motivated to call up friends in my free-time because i am tired of being rejected, i think reading a book is a better use of time—> no momentum in the development of the friendship

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by adedarko on December 12, 2012 at 04:01

        I am just like you, but i learnt to ignore the people who just use me and focus and making friends being me on my terms and friends who give.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by redsem52 on November 30, 2011 at 15:05

    So true to anyone who feels unimportant and therefor socially awkward. When you pray, and show God you love Him, however it may be, it gives you a boldness and a love for other people. When you spen time loving God in your own way, His love rubs off on you.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kathrie on November 29, 2011 at 16:13

    I am the same way. All my life I’ve been so shy I couldn’t do anything without someone standing next to me, speaking for me. I still get like that sometimes. Most of the time I just walk around school with my head down (without even realizing it), hoping to be as invisible as possible. I can’t even raise my hand in class because I am always imagining worst case scenarios. I just can’t trust myself or other people But after reconnecting with God after YEARS of not speaking to even Him, I’ve felt a lot better. I’m still so shy I could pee my pants if I’m stuck in a crowd too big but at least now I can look at people’s faces when they talk to me. Slowly, I have been getting braver and braver. I still doubt myself but I know if I keep pushing myself to speak, one day I won’t have a problem. I know it is extremely hard to start and to learn how to love yourself but I know that if you pray to God for encouragement, courage, and love everything will be okay, I PROMISE. And another thing: Look at everyone around you. Are they really much different then you? Sometimes when I look at people I see popular girls who laugh with beautiful people but when I look at them at a different time, sometimes I can see them with the same problems I have. Girl, stop looking around for someone who looks like you. You will not find anyone. There is only one you. You are original and you can never be replaced. That makes you special and cool. You will find friends :) You are only a social outcast if you let yourself be one.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by musicalMiranda5 on November 26, 2011 at 19:28

    I feel the same way when I’m around the girls at my school! They’re nice to me, but I never feel like I fit in with them because most of my life I’ve hung out with guys! I’m glad that I still have my guy friends cause they’re great and now I have a couple good gal friends but it’s still difficult when you don’t fit in well :/

  10. Posted by on November 22, 2011 at 21:14

    i have lots of friends, different genders & grades, but i feel socially awkward in some way because ive never had a boyfriend. i know this isnt the most important thing in the world but there are many girls at my school(somtimes younger than me) who have made out with guys and have had lots of boyfriends. AND IM NOT EVEN 15 YET! its crazy-sounding but i just feel awkward cuz some of my friends say its really wierd that ive never had a bf. im pretty and beautiful in my own way but i just dont know what to do! is this really God’s plan for me?!

  11. Paris

    Posted by Paris on November 15, 2011 at 18:32

    I used to feel that way,but since I’ve grown in my relationship with Christ,I am not so akward anymore.

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sweetchild on November 13, 2011 at 13:20

    This is also the story of my life. I have never been able to fit in, have many friends, I am quiet, and I am always left-out. I will try to follow the advice of this article.

    Thank you

  13. Posted by on November 13, 2011 at 07:28

    Totally can relate! I’ve struggled with severe social anxiety my whole life. It’s made making friends extremely difficult.

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by onedirection4ever on November 13, 2011 at 06:49

    Girls, my advice is just to be yourself! And others will love you too! I know what it’s like to be a social outcast. I’ve always felt like one. But, I learned that if I just TRY to make friends and to BE a good friend, usually you will discover that you have more friends then you think! ;)’

    Being bullied sucks. I’ve been bullied so I know, but just keep leaning on Jesus!

  15. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 18:12

    I used to feel like I didn’t have a “best friend.” Because all my “best friends” had someone else who was their “best friend”, and I was just someone else that they talked to at school. But I kept hanging out with them and with time we grew closer and closer. So to you I would suggest not only making new friends, but trying to become closer to the friends you already have. Like the saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver, the other gold.” You can do this by spending quality time with them. Invite a friend to go do something fun, like go to the movies or go skating. And don’t think of yourself as “awkward” but think of yourself as unique. Embrace your personality and others will start to love it too! Seriously, being different is awesome!

  16. JessicaLS

    Posted by JessicaLS on November 12, 2011 at 10:35

    Thank you so much for this Aysha! I actually was praying earlier today telling God how unimportant and worthless I was. I was begging God to help me…because I feel like I don’t fit in anywhere, with people younger, older or my same age. I feel like no one truly likes me. I feel like the gift God has given me, may not be good enough to do anything with. And, I know that’s wrong to think…because I’m, bringing God down when I say His gift to me isn’t good enough. But, I thank you so much for this! I will definitely remember this! :)

  17. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 08:18

    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed! :)

  18. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 04:01

    I totally relate to this…I’m always feeling like an outsider in my friends circle…which makes me sad sometimes…I need time to trust someone fully and open up…

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by adedarko on December 12, 2012 at 04:22

      ditch them and find people who really and fully appreicate you and want you in thier inner circle, get to know God more and you’ll see from his love, you only need people who will build you up.

  19. Posted by on November 12, 2011 at 00:35

    I’ve been struggling with this since I moved to a new state 3 years ago. I had always been a little bit shy, but when I moved I suddenly lost all self-confidence. I try to build it back up, and it works for a little bit, but then it just falls back down. I really don’t know what to do anymore. I still keep trying, but it’s hard when every attempt ends up failing me in the end.