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Teen Dating Issues/Should I invite her with me?

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Question
I really don't know what's wrong with me but I don't have any self confidence. I look in the mirror and don't really like what I see. I mean I've been hit on plenty of times by both women and men (even though I'm not gay) and get complimented every now and again but I still have shyness and low self esteem, even a time a beautiful women told me she loved my face i couldn't believe it because she was kind of drunk. What can I do to overcome this?

Answer
It sounds like you need to find meaning in your life, something you can truly feel proud of.  It will take the focus off of those surface characteristics, like looks, and put the focus on life meaning, what you are doing to contribute to a better world, your gifts.

I'd like to suggest that you spend some time volunteering with children, preferably children in crisis.  For example, if you live near a hospital, find out what it takes to become a volunteer there in the children's ward or the cancer ward.  If you go to church, volunteer to work with kids there.  Or volunteer at an elementary school.

Working with children is a huge reality check.  They rarely judge, and they are so fragile.  It makes a person, such as yourself, realize that there is a difference between "purity of heart" and an adult, whose outlook is based more on social expectations than on a pure heart.

Don't judge others.  Try to look at every person as though that person is you.  When you stop judging others, you feel better about yourself, and others feel better about you.

And if you are with people who judge others constantly, you have two choices.  One, explain to them that you don't want to engage in that kind of behavior.  Blame it on New Years and say it's your resolution.  Truth is, when you socialize with people who outwardly judge others and say hurtful, negative things all the time, you start to feel judged yourself.  Or TWO, find more positive, supportive people to hang out with and leave those behind who have damaged your self-esteem.

It may help a little to do a quick self-check: breath, deodorant, hair, style, nails, skin, etc.  These are all things that make a lasting impression on girls.  These things are easier to assess than personality-based characteristics, so...

Lastly, ask someone for help with those things you can't really assess on your own.  Find someone you can trust, preferably a girl, and just confide in her.  Tell her that you are having trouble with your confidence and ask her for an honest assessment of YOU.  How do you come across?  Is there something she thinks you should work on?  Sometimes it's something as simple as, "You need to look people in the eye when you talk to them or listen to them."  I once had to tell a boy I was dating that the cigarettes on his breath nauseated me.  It wasn't easy, but kissing him or being in the car with him was even harder, so if we were going to have a chance, he had to fix that one, little thing.  If it comes down to it, ask your parents if your health insurance will pay for a few visits to a counselor (therapist).  These guys are GREAT at helping you identify areas in your life that might need a little tweaking to help you feel more at ease around others.

My own 16 year old son has Aspergers, which is a social disorder (probably a little more extreme than what you are experiencing).  These are all things we work on daily, and he probably will the rest of his life.  YOU, however, just need to get over a little confidence hump, and I think you will find that you fit in better than you think.

Good luck!!

Suzi  

Teen Dating Issues

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Suzi Zimmerman

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I am a teacher and I write books on teen dating, self-esteem, and values. I can answer questions on making healthy choices, self-improvement, liking yourself, relationships and friendships, goal-setting, values, and how to handle making difficult choices.

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Today 1 in 5 sexually active people has HPV (linked to cancer and genital warts) and 1 in 4 has Herpes. 90% of girls who do NOT use condoms become pregnant each year, and AIDS cases are on the rise. Those who do not have sex will not have to deal with these issues, nor will 99% of those who use condoms correctly and consistently. In short, abstain from sex or use condoms - and use them correctly. Parents of adolescent and teen girls should research Gardasil, a vaccine against many forms of HPV. You may not think your daughter will be sexually active, but this will also offer her certain health protection in the event of rape - or should she become sexually active.

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