something wrong with personality? -isabelle

I'm just going to go straight into this. I am a generally happy person, with a few people. but sometimes with people, (boys more often, girls too but not as much), I am very closed off I guess? Whenever they try to talk to me, I try to be happy and just not mean but I am suddenly this weird person who virtually laughs at nothing and is very rude. I do this with people that are louder than me, and I don't know why. Help? This happens with my softball team and people that I actually want to talk to a lot, and it is honestly so frustrating. I also am not myself, even with my true friends. I don't know what's happening. I am always hiding this part of me, and that part of me that is always hiding, is probably the part that causes me to be rude and basically emotionless with certain people. I absolutely hate those things, and when I try to be myself it just never ever works out, and I always feel so disgusted with myself when this happens. I hate it. Can you please tell me what you think might be my problem?

Ben's answer:
This sounds like an issue of low self-esteem. It's about confidence and self-worth. If you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable around people you don't know well, or around boys, you lose your authentic nature and start acting in ways that feel fake to yourself, because you are hiding your discomfort. This can happen even around good friends, it's not unusual. If you want to become more comfortable and confident and genuine, then start by choosing one person in your life that you trust more than anyone else and open up to them more than you ever have. Work up to it gradually. Test the waters. Practice being your whole self with them. Talk about your fears and insecurities. If you do this with a trustworthy person that really cares about you, then this will strengthen your relationship, hopefully they will be more open in return and you will build confidence and learn that your real self is worthy of love and acceptance.

Then find another person you trust, and so on until you begin to realize that you can be real with people and still be ok. Trusting people takes practice. Don't trust blindly. Some people are not to be trusted and really can be harmful and betray your trust. So go slow and use your intuition. You can't grow without taking risks. Once you've gotten used to being more open, you will learn to know yourself and love yourself more and more, and you will feel increasingly more free and at ease around people.

Wishing you the best,

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