Help! I’m too nervous to speak in front of my classmates. What should I do?


Dear Friend,

I was bullied in Primary Four, and I have been shy at school ever since. I became an overthinker. Because of this, I lack the confidence to talk in front of my classmates. I want to be confident in myself, but every time I speak in front of my classmates, I feel like something is wrong and that they will laugh at me. Even if they don’t, I still think I did a horrible job. What can I do to boost my confidence?

Sincerely, Anxious



Dear Anxious,

We are glad that you are reaching out for help. It seems that you are dealing with anxiety and that it is affecting your everyday life, especially your communication with your fellow classmates. It is possible that your apprehension and overthinking affect your confidence in public speaking.

Based on the information provided, it appears that you may show some characteristics of social anxiety. People experiencing social anxiety may be afraid of taking part in social situations where others could scrutinise them.

These situations may include conversations, meeting new people, and being observed while eating or performing in front of others, such as acting on stage. In addition, individuals feel like they are constantly in the spotlight, worrying that any mistakes or flaws, even if they do not exist, will be noticed and negatively judged by others.

They may also anticipate embarrassing events happening to them. As a result, people with social anxiety tend to avoid social situations or endure them with anxiety or even fear.

If you are experiencing any of these characteristics and they affect your everyday life or learning, please talk to your parents or mental health professionals, such as a school social worker or counsellor, to identify the possible causes of the mental distress you are facing.

They could teach you coping skills to ease your overthinking and anxiety about public speaking, as well as management skills to reduce stress and ways to build confidence.

In the meantime, you can help yourself relieve stress by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including keeping a consistent sleep schedule, practising deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness, and staying socially engaged with friends and family.

Lastly, you mentioned that you were bullied in the past - we hope you told your parents about it. If not, we suggest you do so. If you don’t address negative experiences like this and leave them unresolved, it could have an adverse effect on your mental health.

Hope that helps, Friend of a Friend


Source: Young Post