I’ m lonely on the inside and outside. Any of my clumsy attempts to start conversation will be laughed at, so they should be stopped now. I’m not funny or interesting enough, I want to call myself ‘an open book’ but that’s just because there’s nothing exciting about me I could hide. I don’t have any talent or occupation I could justify my loneliness with. Every day a voice inside me tells me not to approach people, because I’m not wanted there and they’ll be better off without me. I pity myself and it makes me pathetic. Saying that I’m pathetic out loud only makes me more pathetic. I’m utterly childish, vapid and dull, but every time I try to improve, I feel like I’m losing my old self and it pushes me back. I feel myself old, ‘out of trend’ and so, so boring. Do I need to do something about it? Or maybe most people feel the same, and then I’m just making drama? *Sorry for being wordy.

A. I am very sorry that you feel this way about yourself. If I were your therapist, I would ask about what proof you have for all of the negative things you believe about yourself. There is a high likelihood that you have no proof. In fact, there probably exists a great deal of evidence to the contrary.

People often think untrue things about themselves because of problems like depression. Depression can trick the mind into believing unflattering things, that are not true. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings.

Sometimes negative thoughts arise when our parents or caregivers haven’t shown us enough love. If a person doesn’t feel loved, they might think it is because they were not worthy of being loved. When parents are not loving or affectionate, it’s often because they have psychological problems of their own that make it difficult for them to express love and affection. Eventually, children in these circumstances have to realize that they are lovable and valuable, even if their parents didn’t show them love. That can be a difficult lesson to learn but one that is necessary in order to be happy in our own lives.

You are an ideal candidate for counseling. It would help you to replace false ideas with the truth. Once this occurs, more positive and healthy emotional reactions will follow. A therapist will also assist you in having better relationships with your peers. Ask your parents to assist you in finding a good therapist in your community. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle