Tye Tribbett opens up about his struggle with low self-esteem
Article By Priscilla Dennis // EEW Magazine
Stellar Award-winning gospel recording artist and pastor, Tye Tribett, may be quite confident now, but it wasn’t always that way.
In a transparent social media post, the pastor of Live Church Orlando said he was “always laughed at, always teased, and bullied,” leading to low self-esteem.
The “Stand Out” songwriter, who just turned 43, shared a throwback photograph of himself during an awkward phase, describing the psychological and emotional anguish he endured as the “punchline of all the ‘cool kids’’ jokes.”
According to Tribbett, he was teased for not being able to close his mouth due to having big teeth, as well as his complexion. He was often told by other children that he was too dark-skinned. Some of the offensive nicknames attached to him as a child were: darkie, blacky, buck tooth beaver, bug’s bunny, ugly duckling, ugly bunny, and black attack.
“You name it, they said it,” Tribbett remembered, revealing his bullies’ heartless mocking and name-calling.
“I suffered with incredibly low self-esteem, which, of course, led to approval-addiction and people-pleasing! Girls didn’t like me and guys loved to clown me. Not to mention I was a Church boy. Wearing suits and ties almost every day up until my junior year was hilariously ridiculous to them,” he explained.
Being a social outcast was admittedly rough on Tribbett’s psyche, but soon, he wrote that he found a companion in “black and white friends”—a metaphor for keys on the keyboard.
Initially, when he put his newly discovered gift on display, Tribbett said, “They still would never celebrate or compliment me at first, but at least, for a little while when I played, the noise was silenced. The jokes were still, and it seemed like at that moment, I was at least understood.”
Though he reminisced and opened up about that sad time in his life, the prolific musician and visionary wanted to make something perfectly clear: “This is not a sob story or pity party by far. This is a story of the ‘Don’t Matters!’”
He elaborated and explained, “Fast forward to today and I realize that what they said don’t matter. What they thought don’t matter. What they feel about me don’t matter. And it took this long to realize, it never did. God’s hand is on my life and it’s always been.”
Tribbett, who preaches the word of God and touches the hearts of people around the world with his songs, has come to a powerful conclusion about God. He said, “His favor, His grace, His approval, His love, is the only thing that matters, and that has ever mattered.”
Going forward, the minister, husband, and father said he vows “not to be augmented, maneuvered, moved, irritated, or even remotely bothered by things that simply don’t matter.”
To those that are still struggling in this area, Tribbett directed these words: “If you are a young person, or older person for that matter, who is submerged in the pool of the ‘don’t matters,’ today, Jesus wants to be your lifeguard, and rescue you with His security, identity, acceptance, freedom, and endless love.”
He added, “People will always have things to say—true or false! But thank God it’ll never change how the One who matters views you!”