I’m sorry that you are feeling humiliated by this experience. It may be that the girl slapped you because she did not take your behavior of hitting her on the leg as playful and she was striking back. In the future, it may be best to keep hands off and just let her know that you are worried that she might hurt herself. I’m not saying that what she did was ok or justified, but she may have just reacted without thinking, not realizing you were trying to help.
Nonetheless, even though you felt humiliated by the experience, I doubt it really caught that many people’s attention and even if it did, they will move on and forget about it. I’m more concerned that you feel so uncomfortable around others and yet care so much what they think of you. What really matters is how you feel about yourself. If you like yourself, others will like you too.
In order to build up your confidence socially, it may be important to slowly work on making new friends and specifically seek out those whom you have things in common with, be it school subjects, hobbies, or even just a similar sense of humor. You don’t have to have a lot of friends, just focus on having a few good ones. This will go a long way in helping you feel comfortable.
It may also be beneficial for you to speak with your school counselor, a therapist or perhaps even a trusted teacher or other respected adult. Getting an adult perspective at this difficult time of your life might help you make progress faster. Furthermore, you can do some reading on self-esteem and assertiveness. There are many good workbooks available, as well as some helpful online resources.
You began the process of sticking up for yourself by writing in and reaching out. Keep up the good work!
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts