How to Be Confident in the Locker Room (Girls)

Three Parts:Growing More ConfidentDressing ConfidentlyFeeling Safe

Changing in the locker room can be a drag—but with confidence and a sense of humor, you won't even notice you're changing. Try to think of locker room time as semi-free time. You can chat with your friends or just have a minute to reflect on your day so far. You may feel nervous, but that's okay.

Part 1
Growing More Confident

  1. 1
    Remember that nobody has the right to make you uncomfortable. Like you, most lockermates are mostly trying to change as fast as they can without making eye contact with anyone. They aren't looking at you, and they don't think you're looking at them. However, you may run into some girls who stare, make comments, or do other things that make you uncomfortable.
    • Understand that if someone is making comments about your body or your clothes, they must have something going on. They are probably insecure about their own clothes or body, or maybe they're insecure about something else and this is the only area where they feel dominant.[1]
    • Don't let anyone bully or intimidate you in the locker room. If someone says something mean, report them.
    • If another girl is talking about you or other girls in a way that makes you uncomfortable, ask to be moved to a different part of the locker room.
  2. 2
    Take pride in your stuff. The locker room is a weird moment where you see a lot of other people's stuff. Some of the other girls may have fancy gym clothes or other costly equipment. If you notice yourself feeling self-conscious about your things being old or cheap, take a moment to give them some love.
    • Remind yourself where you got your things. If your parents bought them for you, give silent thanks for their hard work and love. If it's a hand me down, take pride in your family's thrift.
    • If you paid for them yourself, take a moment to feel proud of your ability to contribute.
    • If someone says something critical of your possessions, say "You know what? I like this. My mother bought it for me, and I love her. Plus, it gets the job done."
  3. 3
    Love your body. You're a human with a human body, and you have nothing to hide. With this in mind, you are going to look different from other girls who share the locker room. Everyone's body develops at different rates—you may look younger or older than other girls, or be bigger or smaller.
    • You'll keep changing as you grow. Don't think that this moment will last forever.
    • Some differences will remain, but you'll feel differently about them as you age.
    • For now, remind yourself that you are perfect, and anyone who tries to make you feel otherwise has a problem.
  4. 4
    Get a sense of humor. Dressing in a locker room is a total comedy situation. Everyone's shy and awkward. Stupid things can go wrong. It's undignified and silly. If something happens that embarrasses you, just roll your eyes and say "Only in the locker room."
  5. 5
    Try not to compare yourself to others. It's easy to feel like you have to compete with all the girls around you. You can get addicted to comparing your body to the bodies around you, tallying up your flaws and their flaws. Practice turning that critical voice off. When you look at another girl, try to appreciate her for herself. Instead of thinking "Well she has a crooked nose but her eyes are very dark and lovely," correct it to "She has dark eyes and they set off her very bright smile."[2]
    • Practice seeing something lovely about everyone you look at.
    • Remind yourself that everyone is beautiful.
    • Beauty standards are arbitrary and always changing. They have nothing to do with the beauty of an individual.
  6. 6
    Affirm yourself. Look in the mirror every time you enter the locker room and name one thing you love and that matters to you. Spend a moment primping after you get dressed so that you can see your own face. You might say silently "I have clearly spent a lot of time in the sun because I'm very active and I love being outside," or "My nose is just like my mother's nose; what a cute family nose."[3]
    • Remind yourself of your values. Look in the mirror when you get into the locker room and think of something that is important to you. Think "It's important to me that I get through the day without losing my temper, because I'm learning self-control," or "I'm a good friend and my friends are good to me."
  7. 7
    Ask yourself questions. If you are depressed, you may have a deep inner belief that you are ugly and worthless. A lot of people think this about themselves. When you believe this, positive self-talk doesn't really work.[4]
    • If you feel ugly and worthless, ask yourself questions instead of making positive statements. If you have a negative thought, ask it as a detailed question instead. Instead of saying "I look shabby," ask "Am I shabbily dressed?"
    • Then come up with a reasonable answer, the kind a friend might give you. You may answer "I am wearing an old shirt, but I look tidy altogether."
  8. 8
    Enjoy yourself. Locker room time is practically free time. It's a moment where you get to chat with your friends without a teacher frowning at you. You can catch up on the day, complain about homework, and make plans for after school.
    • If you get to keep your locker day to day, decorate it! Put up some magnets, posters or pictures.

Part 2
Dressing Confidently

  1. 1
    Dress discretely. If you'd like to avoid the awkwardness of being seen in your underwear, drape a towel or a hoodie over your shoulders as you change. You can shuffle your clothing on underneath it. Another option is to put a billowy dress or skirt on first, and do the rest of your changing underneath it.[5]
    • You may find that dressing this way makes you feel more self-conscious. In that case, just change quickly and don't worry about being seen.
    • Try starting with this method and gradually weaning yourself off it as you grow more confident.
  2. 2
    Wear underwear that covers you. If you are shy about your body, pick underwear that covers you. Make sure it fits properly, without squeezing or rolling.
    • If you don't yet wear bras, you might like a training bra, sports bra, or undershirt.[6]
    • Consider underwear that covers more, like boyshorts.
    • Go for stylish underwear that makes you feel "dressed" even when you're not! Consider underwear with your favorite cartoon characters, or in fun patterns. If your underwear is awesome, you may feel more confident.
  3. 3
    Keep track of your period. If you get your period, keep a calendar or an app that reminds you when it's coming. That way, you won't worry about getting it unexpectedly. When your period is approaching, wear underwear that hides blood, such as black underwear or underwear with a dark pattern.[7]
    • You can buy underwear with built in pads that absorb your period from brands such as Thinx or Luna.
    • Consider using tampons or a menstrual cup instead of pads if you're worried about pads showing.
  4. 4
    Bring a swimsuit. If you have to shower after gym, see if you can bring a swimsuit to shower in. Just make sure you have a place to hang it out to dry, or a plastic bag to keep it in so it doesn't get your other things wet.
  5. 5
    Wear whatever you want. Ultimately, nobody should be looking at you in the locker room. If somebody is, they are probably dealing with issues that have nothing to do with you. Wear clothing that helps you feel happy and comfortable.

Part 3
Feeling Safe

  1. 1
    Get a locker next to friends. If you're changing with people you feel comfortable around, you'll feel more confident. If you have the chance to choose your own changing space, ask your friends to set up near you.
  2. 2
    Make friends with the girls nearby. If you don't get to choose your own locker, just make friends with the girls next to you! Say hello, make eye contact, and smile when they come up.[8] That way, you'll create a friendly environment where you have to change.
    • Initiate conversation while everyone is still clothed! They may be shy about talking while dressing.
    • Once you know each other better, you can chat while you change.
  3. 3
    Calm down. If you get nervous in the locker room, calm yourself down. Do this by paying attention to your breathing. Take a slow deep breath. Check in with your body: how are your hands? Your arms? What position are they in? Relax them. Try wiggling each finger slowly, once each.[9]
    • Say how you feel silently to yourself: "I am nervous because I have to change in the locker room."
    • Accept that you feel nervous.
    • Try taking a deep breath and then counting down from 10 to 0.
    • Think your own name and give yourself a command. Say "Devon, you're nervous, but you're fine. Put your dang shorts on."
  4. 4
    Change at the same time as others do. You may feel more confident if everyone is changing at the same time. Remind yourself: "We're all doing the same thing." You can be confident that you aren't standing out if you're doing the same embarrassing thing everyone else is doing.
  5. 5
    Get permission to change separately. In some circumstances, it's worth asking for permission to change privately. Talk to your parents about getting permission to change in a private room in these cases.
    • If you have PTSD from a related traumatic experience.
    • If you are being badly bullied by one or more of your classmates.
    • If you have a physical difference that you really want to keep private, such as a difference of sex development or gender expression.
    • If there is someone you feel uncomfortable around who changes in the locker room.[10]
  6. 6
    Report misbehavior. If another student behaves badly with you in the locker room—if they stare, or make comments, or take your things—report them to your gym teacher immediately.
    • If anyone touches you or makes a comment about your body, your sexual orientation, or your sexual activity while you're changing, that's sexual harassment.[11]
    • If they continue to harass you, ask that their locker be moved to another side of the locker room.
    • Report to the principal if the harassment continues or if your gym teacher is not helpful.

Article Info

Categories: Building and Maintaining Self Confidence