Q: Hi Sara, I have been doing pretty well lately, but I seriously do not know how to build the confidence to ignore hateful things said to me . My friend verbally attacked me tonight for really no reason. She pointed out my flaws and said RUDE things. I didn’t fight back. Instead I made it more of a joke than taking her seriously. But inside it was really truly bothering me. How can I build that bubble around me, to ignore what others think?

A: I’m sorry to hear that your friend was rude to you. It’s not okay for someone to be disrespectful and call you hurtful names.

During my teen years and even after I was finished school, I knew I needed to find a way to stop taking disrespectful remarks and actions personally. I was becoming unhappy with who I was and with my physical appearance. I started to find myself worrying about what others thought of me all the time.

People will always have opinions – some good – some bad. Some that we will agree with – others we won’t. Even though we know all this, how do we go about not allowing those negative opinions to tear us down?

I love the saying, ‘I’m rubber, your glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!’  There is some truth to this quote. I believe that what other people say and do says WAY more about them and their character than it will ever say about the person they are talking about.

When someone is disrespectful it says a lot about their character. When someone is respectful it also says a lot about their character. I have found that people who choose to put others down, are in pain themselves. However, it doesn’t make it okay for people to hurt others because they are hurting.

There is another quote that I want to share with you – ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ – Eleanor Roosevelt

People can say and do things to us, but we are the ones that have the final say in what we choose to believe about ourselves and our lives = UPower!

I wrote the song ‘Doesn’t Mean Much’ because I wanted to remind myself that I have the final say in what I choose to believe about my life and myself. People will have their opinions, but they don’t mean anything until you say that they do. You have the final say in what you choose to believe about yourself regardless of others opinions.

‘So you think you’re great and I’m not. You think that you’ve got something and I’ve got nothing. Well that’s your opinion And it doesn’t mean much not ‘til I say it does.’ – lyrics from Doesn’t Mean Much


In order to help build confidence and self respect –  so that negative opinions that others may say don’t become what you believe about yourself – write out the Wonderful things that you want to believe about You. I call these UPower thoughts.



I Choose to Accept myself just the way I am!

I Choose to Love the skin I am in!

I Choose to Love and Appreciate my style!

I Choose to Respect myself and others!

Put these UPower thoughts everywhere you can see them – your mirror, your locker, your binder, your sock drawer etc. Keep repeating them to yourself. This is something that I still do.

Anytime a negative thought/worry enters your brain replace it with your UPowering thought!

Even if you don’t believe it right now – keep with it – keep choosing YOU!Keep repeating these new UPower thoughts over and over (I know I do). Make it a habit so that these UPower thoughts become your belief about yourself.

Reminding yourself that you are Important, Unique and Awesome, especially when you feel as though your Uniqueness is being challenged, is SO IMPORTANT. This will help you create your bubble of self respect and self worth!!

Choosing to love who you are is one of the best choices that you can make!!

‘It is AWESOME when other people believe in us! But it is ESSENTIAL that we choose to believe in us!’


Until next time…

This has been ‘my voice’ but I respect this is your life – this is ‘your choice’.


P.S. If you are faced with a circumstance where you need help, one of the best UPower choices you can make is to Reach Out to your parents/adults, teachers, principals, counsellors, friends or to get the support you deserve. Keep reaching out until someone listens.


We can’t always control the circumstances in our lives but we always have the Power to Choose our Choices – this is where our power lies. This is what I call our UPower.

Build Confident, Resilient Young People

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free, exclusive 10 page UPower mini journal.

I am a...

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Free Copy Of The UPower Map Instructions


Enter your email below for instant access and to be added to the UPower biweekly newsletter on building emotional intelligence skills in youth.

I am a...

Success! Check Your Email For Your Download.