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HomeAnswersPsychiatryextreme sensitivity to criticismHow can I boost my daughter's confidence?

My daughter is hypersensitive to insult and criticism. How to make her feel confident?

My daughter is hypersensitive to insult and criticism. How to make her feel confident?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 13, 2018
Reviewed AtJanuary 29, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

My daughter is 13 years old. For the medical record, she is yet to experience menarche. She is intelligent, cheerful, very creative, bubbly and incredibly empathetic child. I believe she is the best thing ever happened to us. I have a concern about her. She is very sensitive and cries at the first instance of disappointment. Even as a baby, she has always been a cry baby and I thought this would change as she grows. Now that she is in her teens, she is becoming hypersensitive to criticisms, insults and even when her friends make fun of her. She yearns for attention. She is slightly on the plumper side, so she is very conscious when someone comments about her body and cries for hours, especially when her friends or boys do it. She has also got on to the habit of blaming others for every failure of hers. Initially, I attributed the entire thing to hormonal changes and adolescence. But, this is affecting her too much. I cannot see her losing confidence. My fear is if she continues like this, she might lose confidence and added to it, might never be an independent and confident woman. I have seen this trait of being hypersensitive to anything in my mother. Initially, I thought she had taken it from my mom. But now, I feel I have to step in and change course for her good. I am spending more time with her. She is pretty open to me to the extent even about the boy who has a crush on her or even her physical changes, despite me being her father. I am trying to find a way to make her more confident, take comments or bullying or criticism in the correct perspective, to make her bold to face the world all alone. Can you please help me?

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

She is at a tender age and in 15 to 25 years of age fixation of traits of personality occurs. Though any individual start developing specific features since birth, reshaping occurs whenever needed. Learning by doing, modeling, copying others, etc., also determine the development of a particular behavior. The traits or personality cannot be changed with any medicines. Behavior modification or cognitive therapy can help to modify the behavior. Reinforcement both positive and negative is very important considering her present situation. Avoid or pay no attention to her crying or over-sensitive nature. This negative reinforcement will help to reduce her sensitivity to criticism. Positive reinforcement or rewards for her good behavior will help to increase better functioning. Modeling can also be tried but in a balanced manner. You can give her an example of some peer, who is functioning good. She will develop the motivation to follow. Whenever she feels bad about her presentation, you talk with her in detail. You explain to her that appearance has no roles if you are good at heart. Also, at the same time motivate her for exercise to lose weight if needed. All these things can be tried for her. Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnui

Psychiatry

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