Ask Dr. Christina: Will I Ever Be Noticed?

Dear Dr. Christina,

I am writing this to you because I feel so bad about myself. I am in high school. I’ve been told that it is supposed to be the best time of your life, but I feel like I have no friends. I feel invisible. I tried to make small talk, but even then people don’t notice me. I try to wave, say hi and talk with the popular kids but they just ignore me. The high school jocks don’t even give me a second look. I wear glasses and unfortunately my teeth are crooked. I have a Bugs Bunny overbite so I have to wear braces. I don’t like them but my parents said I just have to wear them for a few years. I do make good grades in class, but that doesn’t win me any popularity contests. The only time I can get someone to talk to me is when my classmates ask me for help with their homework. I am so lonely. The question I want to ask is do you think that this is how my life will always be, and will someone ever notice me? I tried talking to my mom, but she seems to always be worrying about something else. She tells me she is too busy to listen. All I really want is to have friends who like me and care about me.


Dear G,

I would like to thank you so much for connecting with me, and I would like to share with you that when I was in high school, I felt the same way you do. I want you to know that you are not alone and that there are many of us who have felt invisible in high school, just like you do now. High school years can be quite disenchanting. I do not want you to think that it is going to be like that for the rest of your life. It is sometimes hard to realize that eventually the people you will meet will not be so caught up in themselves. These new people will also want to get to know you, and, as a result, you will find the ones who will like you and care about you because of who you are.

The fact that you make good grades in school and continue to stay in school means that you are going in the right direction for your future. I do not want you to judge yourself by your classmates. Not belonging to a clique of girls and boys doesn’t mean you are missing out on anything. As a matter of fact, in some ways they may be doing you a big favor so that you do not learn or pick up some bad habits. I know it seems kind of neat to be popular and to be part of a clique of so-called friends, but the popularity doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be a genuine person or that it will bring you happiness.

Sometimes it’s best to really look at your classmates and find those that feel the same way you do or who seem to have similar beliefs. Believe me, there are plenty of people out there, and many of them can make the best friends.

I know it may sound great to be in a clique, but then again it may not be what you think it is. I know that this may be hard for you to consider or understand, but I do know that you were smart enough to contact me. That tells me that you are smart enough to realize later on in life that even though you are wearing braces now, you will probably have one of the prettiest smiles compared to any of your classmates. The fact that you are wearing glasses now does not mean that you will be wearing glasses later on in life. Maybe you can ask your mom at some point if you can get some contact lenses.

I know you want your answer now, but please do not make any judgments about how you are going to look in the future or, for that matter, if you are going to have friends.

Look for people in your various classes in your school or perhaps in other schools in your community. Sometimes that can be pretty neat because then you may have the chance to go to dances or do other activities not only in your school but as well as in other schools. This will give you a greater opportunity to meet more people and find friends of your own. Get to know people in the libraries, bookstores, speech classes, social clubs or anything that you like to do and that you have a passion for. See if you can find others who have mutual interests and seek them out as friends. I think if you start looking around your community, you will find people who are not as materialistic and/or more interested in you, unlike those you mentioned in your class. For example, when I was younger, I chose to have several boyfriends from different schools so that I could go to all of the dances and football games at various times. It sure made me feel great, and I had the chance to spend time getting to know different people.

I know you think you are doing something wrong but perhaps it is the other way around. Perhaps your classmates are doing something that just doesn’t fit with who you really are. If you keep up with your beliefs of who you are and what you love, perhaps you will find that those classmates whom you don’t click with are not the people you truly want to spend your time with. As you continue to grow up, you may find this to be as true, as we all do as we get older. I know your feelings may be hurt by actions of your classmates, but if you could bear with me here – these are not about you. It is sometimes hard to figure out what society wants and what is truly popular, but the reality is it is you who is beautiful. The fact that you are smart sometimes makes people jealous. As you grow older, you will discover that intelligence can be quite attractive to the right person.

Try again to talk to your mom. If she is not available to you, perhaps you can talk with a school counselor or teacher you like and trust so that you can get these feelings out. This will also give you someone to talk to in and around your school so you won’t feel so alone there.

I would like you every morning to write down and say to yourself 5 positive things about yourself. After you have written them down, say them to yourself in front of a mirror so you are looking yourself in the eye.

You first must believe in yourself and appreciate your own positive traits. When you do, those same traits will often become visible and apparent to others. I truly want you to believe what you have written because what you believe, you will be. What you are is what others will see.

I know you can do this, and remember: you are the BEST.

May you find some fantastic friends who will realize how special you are,

Dr. Christina

  • Posted By: doctorc
  • Tags: activites alone appreciate ask dr. christina belief braces class classes classmates clique community friends glasses high school invisible judgement lonely popularity positive traits puberty school self-conscious
  • Comments: 0

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