Making friends is hard when you have low self-esteem and low self-conceptQ I can’t seem to fit in wherever I go. I have tried to make friends but people don’t seem to like me. I’ve never had any real friends, only classmates in school, but they didn’t invite me round to their houses or even to their birthday parties. I know that I’m ugly and a bit of a computer geek but I feel really lonely and wonder if it will always be like this. Life will be too painful without friends and I don’t know how long I can stand feeling so sad about it.

A Firstly let’s be sure that you are wanting to improve your life and not end it. If you are feeling so desperate that you are thinking of harming yourself in any way then please reach out and get professional help (your GP or local charities will be able to help you).

Secondly, assuming that you are still feeling optimistic about changing things for yourself, then let’s talk about how that can come about.

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Relationship problems, wanting to have a babyQ I had quite a good childhood – I was an only child who had plenty of stuff, nice holidays, pretty dresses and toys – but yet I still feel so sad inside.

I’ve been self-harming since my teens, have an eating disorder and I’ve even tried to kill myself in the past. My dad was a busy business man and we travelled around a lot and I went to several schools. My parents divorced and I lived with my mum from the age of 12. She was depressed and a heavy drinker.

I’m trying hard to make a go of my life, but I’m still single at 35. It’s becoming late for me to be a mother and I fear this will never happen now, but more than that I fear that I’d pass my own sadness and problems on to my child too. I hate my own company, and yet when I do get a man I change into this suspicious, scared and clingy little kid and I despise myself for being like that. It causes arguments and split-ups. I push people away because they can’t cope with me. I’m so sad underneath my smiley face. How can I find a happy relationship and have a baby with him?

A You’ve raise several points here – and my written response can’t cover them all fully – but I’ll share my main thoughts with you, and perhaps you can then decide if you’d like to get additional professional help to fill in the gaps.

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

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Low self-esteem

Q I feel ugly and fat. There’s nothing attractive about me and clothes always look shit on me too. I don’t want cuddles or sex with my boyfriend, and I’m always thinking that he could do better and find someone prettier, thinner and just nicer. I hate feeling like this but how do I stop it?

A Everyone has something attractive about them! Why should you be any different?

Seriously though… stop doing that to yourself. My guess is you wouldn’t speak to a child the way you speak to yourself… and there is a child deep inside you who hears and believes everything you say to her. Surely she deserves you to give her a break and stop making her feel so bad.

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