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A Perfectionist’s Scars of Bullying

04 January, 2023
Q As-Salamu Alaykum. I'm feeling depressed. I attend an international high school in Indonesia. I'm not a very social person; I found it really hard to make friendships or trust anyone. At first, I thought it's OK to be all alone because it's definitely going to make it easier for me to focus on my studies. I am a perfectionist and an individualist. I'm always afraid that I'm working hard only to satisfy my own ego and my targets like getting the best job, going abroad, or earning lots of money (as my parents, too, expect me to do). I am afraid that all my prayers, my Qur’an recitation and everything I do are not sincerely done out of my heart for the sake of Allah. The other problem is that I am a victim of bullying because I am very unsociable and my grades are better than theirs. I also cannot express my feelings and thoughts as clear as my friends do. I've been trying to make my classmates think that I'm different from what they think about me by giving them presents, smiling a lot, helping them study science, or even helping them have a better understanding of Islam. But it’s useless. Now, even my teachers have started to engage in gossiping about me, and they don't really trust me anymore. Plz help!



As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

You have presented a lot of issues. It seems you have an immense amount of pressure dealing with parental expectations, school, and your own selfhood.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to address them at length in my response but will provide some general advice.

Consult with a school counselor about all the matters you described. If you do not have a school counselor, then seek an outside counselor.

Your parents should be concerned about your matters and think beyond just your academic performance.

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Consistently go to them for support and help. Keep explaining to them how you feel and that they should not see you only as an academic investment.

Speak to extended family members like aunts and uncles as well.

Generally, the family has your best interest at heart and will get involved if you remind them of the severity of your negative experiences.

Research online for tips to deal with bullying. There are many articles which address bullying as it is also an issue in the Unites States.

Try these as a start:

Regardless of how bad you feel, keep practicing your relationship with God.

Things may not be easy now, but with time, they always get easier!

Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (94:6)

Consider going to another school if your issues persist.

Sometimes, circumstances will not change until you change your atmosphere.

Finally, remember that your life is not only defined by academic scores and education.

You also have to remember to get good scores with God above all else.

You are here to serve God and everything else is a means to do that.

May Allah (swt) help you,


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

About Karim Serageldin
Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: or