What's something about yourself that you had to face?
We tell our self stories of who we are to build a narrative, motivate us, make us feel good, etc. What's something you learned about yourself that didn't sit well with you once you realized it? How'd you react to the feeling/behavior?
I'm not sure if this is my imposter syndrome/anxiety speaking, but I've had to face some not nice things about myself that I personally think I have strong data for. I don't think it's weak to admit an insecurity or flaw. I have flaws, I'm allowed to vocalize them. I think, maybe, I can also vocalize how in over my head I am to try and "fix" or improve it. I think facing my own music is a way I can take my behaviors into consideration when I approach specific situations.
For example, I'm a pot head, I know I have trouble with my marijuana usage/depend on it to get out of my low moods; so, when I'm ready to quit or slow down, maybe it isn't best to drive that route home where that dispensary is/ try to avoid looking at that billboard (among many other things I can do to get to the root cause of the low moods).
I have other flaws that are related and unrelated. What I'm saying is that I know myself, I'm not invincible just because I'm aware of my short-comings. I try my best to consider my short-comings while approaching specific situations. But they are short-comings nonetheless; something that will always need to be considered, maybe to varying degrees depending on my experience with it.
I have a chronic illness for which there is no known cure, only treatments. While it is not fatal, my ability to do normal day to day activities has dwindled into almost nothing to the point where I can't be sure I could even take care of myself if it came to that. I will likely never again be able to do what I was able to even 5-10 years ago let alone longer. (In my late 40s.)
To say that it has been a struggle to accept this is an understatement. It's such a horrible process to have your body fail you.
That's me, I'm daily (mj) user! I'll get there when I get there tbh. It's unfortunately still providing me with mood regulation and getting me through some unconscious emotional pain. But the deeper I move said pain (and I mean really reconcile with it), the easier it is to put it down. I'll catch up soon.
And good for you! I'm happy for you.
I used to be a daily user as well. I’ve transitioned to having fairly small amounts twice a month. That’s a quantity that doesn’t seem to interfere with my mood or life negatively so I see no reason to cut back further.
Once I realized that daily use was messing with my mood (intense feelings of sadness the morning afterwards) and keeping me locked up in my apartment instead of living my life it wasn’t long until I’d fixed the problem.
Thanks! And I think it'll be sooner than later. Today, the person who wounded me when I was a child apologized for hurting me. I cried tears of joy, a weight lifted off my chest, and, somehow, I felt like I got my self-respect back.
I considered myself to be a faithful person, and whatever I did was always justified somehow. This was partly a consequence of multiple untreated manic episodes, but mental health is an explanation, not an excuse. And I wasn't exactly taught to respect relationships by my parents as well. Again, not an excuse.
"She deserved it for being such a bitch", "it wasn't cheating cause she cheated first", "it wasn't cheating because things were going really bad anyway", "we broke up the day/week before", "kissing is not really cheating", "dating or hitting on her friend right after we broke up is technically okay". Nah, I was cheating alright. And when I wasn't, I was at the very least extremely disrespectful and/or inconsiderate to their feelings. That was a tough pill to swallow.
This is something I don't talk about much, but I suffered some childhood trauma. It was a very complicated situation, I suffered regular physical and emotional abuse as a teen and I was deeply and dangerously suicidal. I had three younger siblings whom I took care of in the moment as well.
But I "made it". It was like in late high school I just stopped having feelings altogether - I compartmentalized, or dissociated, or something - I became like a machine. I got away from my abuser. I graduated high school and then university, debt-free through a combination of luck and hard work. I got a solid job. I came out, I started dating and developing a social life, I even reconciled with my parents (who were not my abusers to be clear - although they were themselves troubled). I went to therapy and I've managed a lot of my anxiety and depression and learned how to feel happy again, sometimes. Really, I'm a success story. I am very proud of myself (and still am!).
But the last couple years have been... very hard, and I'm feeling negative emotions in ways that I haven't really felt in a long time. I always thought that I was good in stressful situations as a result of being in a stressful situation from, oh, ages 13 through 25. That I was reliable and strong. But this prolonged pandemic and the deaths I have dealt with in the last two years have truly tested me. I am not confident I can continue to function and I can't "turn it off" like I did before. I am finding myself growing much, much more sensitive to emotion - both good and bad - as I get older.
And... I dreamed about my abuse again. A few times. Violent, visceral dreams that left me waking up shaking and sobbing.
So I guess what I've come to face is that these things are probably going to stick with me forever. It's not "over" and might not ever be. Sometimes trauma is just trauma: it isn't something I needed to go through for some purpose and I was strong despite it, not because of it. Sometimes I will need help and support again. I am still making peace with it, and it's a struggle.
Sometimes trauma will resurface when we're at a safe point in our lives. Like if our basic needs are met our brains will say okay sounds like a good time to open up this crap and sort it out. Also seasons or anniversaries may trigger these things. I hope you are able to continue moving forward and making progress no matter how small it seems, it's worth it.
I've recently had the realization that I've been incredible arrogant. I made judgements about people's intelligence and if I didn't think they were as smart as me I valued them less as a person. I didn't used to be this way, and I've discovered that it goes back to me being bitter about my parents. They put me down a lot, and I decided it was because they weren't smart enough to see my talents and value. Of course this was an excuse. Plenty of people that are of average or even below average intelligence value their kids and don't put them down all the time.
Because I blamed their lack of inelegance I began to resent anyone else who I thought also lacked intelligence. I'm working on all of this now, but it was pretty hard to realize how awful I've been to people the last few years.
I'm super judgmental. I don't mean to be. I had a friend group growing up where a bulk of our talking with each other was dishing on other people. I catch myself making value judgments all the time and I can't help but cringe after the fact.
For example, one day during a work meeting the topic of a CA restaurant chain called In-N-Out came up. I think its a fine place to get a burger but there is almost always a really long line to go through the drive-thru. I am someone who is pretty intolerant of waiting in line. I said something along the lines of, "Yeah In-N-Out is good but I really don't understand the people who wait in line for an hour to get an okay burger. No fast food chain is worth sitting in the drive-thru for an hour." This touched a nerve with a coworker who said, "My son has Celiac and it's the ONLY place he can get a lettuce wrapped burger."
Okay, so my bad. But unfortunately, this is something I will constantly do. Where I make a judgment on others and feel free to voice that judgment to others who may or may not be the people I am talking about. It is hard because often, I don't realize what I am doing until after the words come out. Another perspective was also tossed my way when I was listening to a Dharma talk and the speaker was talking about how being judgmental is a form of conceitedness as you have to be basing the judgments that you are making on your own individual experiences that are tied to your ego.
So now I just work on staying quiet and trying to be humble. I hate that my default behavior is like this and that I have to work so hard to be a nicer, better person but the alternative is to be a loud mouth asshole. I often think about the David Foster Wallace commencement speech, This Is Water, to try to bring me back down to reality. It makes it doubly tough to get online and be bombarded with everyone being super judgmental about everyone else. And then I find myself being judgmental of the judgmental people. Life can be tough and strange.
Hey there fellow judgmental person. Personally I think I judge others because of how much I judge myself. It’s my default mode of operation when I’m feeling anxious or uncomfortable - which is pretty often.
While I recognize it’s a problem I don’t beat myself up about it. I’m slowly getting better and it’s pretty rare that I notice I pass judgement verbally in a way that upsets someone. Like your comment about In-N-Out - 99% of the time the listener’s response will be either to agree with you (a lot of people think popular things are overrated) or to filter out the comment entirely because of it’s not constructive.
The most important thing to do is to start by putting up a barrier around verbalizing judgements of things most people will be offended by. Religion, sex, appearance, etc. It’s hard to fundamentally change how you interact with the world but it’s much easier to just make sure you’re doing less harm.
I am sometimes able to use self judgments constructively. Occasionally if I’m not in the mood to exercise I successfully use the determination that a version of me that is a couch potato is worth less than a fit self to get moving. This isn’t an ideal scenario because I’m still left with a brain that judges others for doing less than I do in this one area of life. But I don’t know if becoming fully content with what I see as lesser versions of myself is worth the trade off of spared mental energy judging others.
I’ve been like this so long that I actually appreciate some vocalized judgments of myself that others share. It not only aligns the world with my inner voice but it can also spur action when action truly needs to be taken. I wish more people were like me so that I didn’t need to become more adaptive to their needs. But the reality is my best self is one that is flexible in that way.
Ironically the most common advice I hear about being less judgmental about yourself is to realize that no one else is judging you. Most people don’t give a shit about you. But I know for a fact that strangers are judging strangers. I’m one of those people. I’m not at all sure how abnormal I am. I could absolutely believe I’m in a solid 30% of the population that’s just a functioning judgmental asshole.
Just popping in with a link to a relevant Ted Lasso scene: "Be curious, not judgmental"
I'm horribly lazy. I've always been like this. I'll always do the absolute bare minimum to get by, I'll never apply a lot of effort to almost anything, I'll procrastinate responsibilities till the absolute last minute, and sometimes just kind of ignore them and hope they'll go away. Despite this, somehow, I've been able to do decently well, so it's created sort of a feedback loop of "Well, I applied 15% effort in this situation and it was good enough and they said I did a good job, so how about I apply 10% instead". Obviously that won't end well.
I think I have ADHD, and I'm on medication for it, but that's not really even the root of it I don't think. I just consciously avoid things that I don't want to do, despite how trivially easy many of them are. Folding my laundry, filling out paperwork for work, mailing off my taxes. For some reason, I don't have any trouble keeping up a gym routine, but that's like the only thing. I'm widely known as a pretty lazy guy by everyone I know. I'd like to change, but I don't really know how to be honest. I'm in my mid 30s and it's been like this my entire life.
I do have ADHD and what you describe fits with my experience.
I've felt the same way about myself with the laziness thing, especially at work. What I've come to realize is two things:
I work in bursts. I may slack off 3 days a week but I make up for it the other two days
If the people at work are happy with your productivity it is unlikely that you are actually lazy. I think for some people we feel like we are lazy compared to our own potential, but relative to the rest of the world we are perfectly normal.
Procrastination and poor time management aren't the same thing as laziness, and it is pretty common for people to view the symptoms of ADHD as lazy when really it's an impairment to executive function. You should consider looking into diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. That doesn't have to be medication, there are other treatments as well.
It occurred to me recently, in my mid 40s, to my utter shock that I was a raging alcoholic throughout my teens and 20s. I can't believe it never really occurred to me previously, but there it is, plain as day
That I’m ugly and nothing can change that :(
I felt the same way you do for over half my life. I was objectively worse-looking than my friends, and I saw it manifest in the way people treated me. It really bugged me, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I just accepted it and grew a bit…callous? When dating.
I gave up on dating for a year to work on myself, and that was when I met my now-wife. She started our relationship by telling me about how she admired my personality. Ultimately it was my personality which brought us together, and it was my personality which, to her, made me hot.
Since then, I’ve run into multiple people who knew me during the time I thought myself unattractive who had crushes on me. I’m nothing to look at, but that’s not the only aspect of attraction. Strangers would treat my friends better, but those who knew me valued me for reasons beyond looks.
All I’m saying is: you’re probably more attractive than you think, and you might even have an admirer or two who value you for something more than your face.
I know I’m my own worst critic but it’s so hard to believe that I could be attractive, no matter how much effort I may put into it. Also, I could be wrong here, but it seems like often times the idea of dating someone you don’t find attractive because of their personality seems to only apply to women towards men they date, I’ve never heard a guy say he thought a girl was unattractive but dated her anyway cause he liked her for who she was. I just hope I can find a genuine relationship like the one you have found one day.
Let me tell you about my wife. We were in overlapping social circles, and I'd never really thought anything about her. She was nice, but not gorgeous. Just another person around. It wasn't until we fell to talking when we were going through eerily similar breakups that I got to know her, and our relationship started based on our shared beliefs and desires regarding what a relationship should look like. Our families have always said that it was weirdly unromantic, but we've been happily married for more than a decade. I fell in love with her because she was solid, not because she was pretty.
There are absolutely men and nonbinary masc-aligned individuals out there who think and date in this way. The world is an exceptionally large place, and the reality is that your perception of it is not shared with everyone else. Even the things that you might think make you unattractive, could be precisely the things others find attractive. This is something that queer people by definition have to learn because the majority of people are not queer. Many are often afraid of approaching dating at all because of this smaller field of potential dates - how can I find someone who finds me attractive when I already know that 90% of people will write me off for my identity? And yet... when they do get to dating, they find plenty of people who do find them attractive.
It's fucking scary to think about the possible rejection and it's tough to deal with a playing field through which you don't have the same odds as others. It's absolutely a struggle I deal with, as I feel similarly about myself. How can anyone find me attractive is a question I used to openly ask, until enough people told me that it hurt them to hear me ask it. I had never even considered that by stating something like that openly as a way to address my own insecurity was actually hurting them because I was invalidating their perception of me! It was a long and difficult learning process to start incorporating a set of checks and balances to unlearn my own biases and to provide a more-inclusive view of the world which allowed for others to see things differently, but it made a world of difference in my own self-image and gave me some tools to better recognize these biases and counter them.
The idea that questioning why someone would be attracted to you could upset them is a perspective that I never considered, and I thank you for bringing that to my attention. I think sometimes I get hung up on the fact that I don’t seem to fit the standard of “conventional” attractiveness so I feel like no one would want me, even though rationally speaking I know that not everyone has the same type.
Yeah, it never occurred to me either until multiple people complained at me repeatedly denying when they called me cute 😂 I still don't get it, but I respect them as individuals and thus respect their opinion even if it makes no sense to me.
We need to normalize complimenting each other on our attractiveness in a non-creepy way because the media and the rest of the world shove this idea down our throats that attractive fits a very specific set of features. It's hard to unravel all these internalizations we get consciously and subconsciously. In my experience most people have a much wider net for what they find attractive, and attraction is incredibly amorphous. I've personally found it very useful to spend some time talking with people on the asexual spectrum (especially demi people)- often times they describe attraction using very different words than people who are not captured in this spectrum and it really helped to broaden my idea of how people think about attraction.
From my sample size of 1 (myself) I can confirm that I definitely became attracted to women who I initially didn’t notice after I got to know them.
I don't know you, so maybe you really are butt ugly. However, in my experience, 99% of people who think they're extremely ugly are really just average. Some of them look good, and some are actually quite beautiful. There's usually some kind of self esteem issue or body dysmorphia going on. Besides, "ugly" is highly subjective. What is ugly for some is pleasing to others. Maybe you just need better clothes, a new attitude, and improved self care as well.
It just sucks when you’re a woman because your looks are what’s deemed as “most important” by society. I feel like I dress pretty nice but that doesn’t change my face sadly. I used to not care that much but a lot of my friends look a lot better than me so once I saw how much different they get treated it kinda started to bother me. I know that’s a very childish way of thinking and I shouldn’t compare myself to others but it’s hard to break out of that toxic mentality.
That is rough. I can't say I know how you feel, but I have been in similar situations, in which people were clearly more accepted due to their physical presentation. For me, a male, these happen very sporadically. It is regretful that this is a part of your daily routine.
Once in college, a recruiter for a project told me to my face that they chose my classmate because he looked more "mature". He had a beard and looked much older and masculine. I can't grow facial hair and always look much younger than I really am -- I was actually older than him! I'm certain it helped that he was very handsome and white. Great dude, actually. But the situation was a little fucked up.
Years ago, I took my white friend as an assistant for a job and the client only addressed him, as if he was the boss.
In another job, my female colleagues decided to rank the men in the office by masculinity. I was not well ranked. And oh, they did that in front of me! I am masculine in whatever way I choose to be masculine, so fuck off!
I don't have a nice conclusion for that, maybe "yeah people are assholes. And you are not alone". Also, I'm pretty sure that you're gorgeous. You won't be able to convince me otherwise!
Lol I appreciate the compliment! But yeah as a woman I’ve been considered more masculine than other women, especially when I was younger, and it really bothers me now. Often times people would say that I “wasn’t like other girls” and at first I saw it as a good thing but I realize it’s just another way of putting down other women. I don’t like getting treated like “one of the guys” but it always happens to me, as I get older I seem to be perceived as more feminine though. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a masculine woman, that’s just not how I want people to see me.
Yeah, again, I have no words of wisdom. I'd just like to say I have dated some fairly "masculine" women and it was, let's say, very fun all around, if you get my gist :P
There's a saying in my language that I'll try to translate here: "for every slipper there's a foot that fit in it". Or, in short: "there's a foot for every slipper".
I don't agree that it's childish. I think it's reasonable to be upset that society treats you unfairly because of your appearance. I'm so sorry that's been your experience, and I hope you're able to find a community and group of friends that supports you and doesn' t judge you. It won't solve all your problems, but it has helped me at least some.
Well it isn’t my friends that treat me bad, they are actually quite supportive. It’s just that I see how they get treated better than me when we are out together and I’m thought of as the “ugly friend” by other people so it makes me self conscious. Thank you for the kind words :)
I hesitate to say this because there are plenty of reasons this advice might not be useful. The real solution is to find out how to love yourself and your appearance. But if you’re able to - becoming noticeably fit and/or muscular will make anyone look great. It’s really empowering to see your body slowly match your idealized mental image.
For many people it seems that’s not a sustainable way to get yourself exercising. But while you’re still in the mindset that you’re not in the body you want you can execute on the agency you have.
I appreciate the help, but I already workout a lot cause it’s one of my hobbies. It’s a hard process but I truly do need to learn to love myself. It won’t make me more attractive, but it will definitely help my mental state.
Then you're probably in a much higher percentile than you think. In most parts of the developed world being in shape puts you at a huge aesthetic competitive advantage.
I'm in the same camp of always being labelled "The Ugly One" among my female friends and sisters. It sucks haha and there's only so many ways to slice genetics.
There are tricks around it though. A British actress (i forget who) once told a story about how it was a pain that casting directors weren't giving her work since she wasn't pretty enough; what got her through it was something she overheard one of them say:
"It's true, she's not pretty - but she is sexy"
And with that mentality, here is some of the more successful things ive tried to bridge the gap:
Exercise is a legit thing but one thing i always used to forget was posture. Even if just for the first 15 mins meeting someone, if my posture wasn't a slouch, it came off better. Plus boobs (and backside) look better (and aren't as heavy or in the way) with good posture.
We can't win with visuals but there are 4 other senses (most of which count for more). BO is a killer and even if none of you smell, if you look like you're the freshest person in the room, it makes a difference. I do above average, "next to godliness" level hygeine.
On the topic of scents - a light complimentary scent does as much as a pretty face can. I'll say it again: LIGHT, COMPLIMENTARY scent haha. You'll know you've found the one because people will legitimately compliment you when you wear it - sometimes indirectly - "I'll sit next to you", "Did you do something new?” That day they'll be extra friendly/kind (i.e. the way the beautiful population live). If you get no compliments (they'll never say you smell) that means too heavy, or wrong scent for that crowd.
Note how I say scent, not necessarily fragrance. Sometimes it's just your diet, your detergent or shampoo, or the smell of your room/bag/handkerchief. A human's visual center may be more advanced, but scents hit subconsciously and are tied closer to memory. You only need to smell good once in the right situation to get them to remember you positively the rest of the year (ditto for bad smells).
Edit to add: It also helps when I ground myself and think of it as "well, if i'm the ugly friend, my friends must all be ridiculously gorgeous" and sometimes that's the better compliment.
Hallelujah, I'll second this albeit as a gay man.
Some people have pleasant scents that say, "come closer" and draw you in and invite you to linger for hours.
Annnd some people have scents that are literally repulsive, making it physically difficult to stay next to them for a long time.
This is all independent of visuals.
100% agree, exactly in that order.
Another great thing about scents is they aren't really tied to specific genders in people's subconscious minds (even if marketing says otherwise). I've gotten compliments wearing a woody "men's" musk on a cold day and one of the guys at work always smells great because his aftershave mixes well with his girlfriend's floral perfume.
Indeed! I very much love complex gender-ambiguous or gender-mixed scents. Recently I’ve been loving Marc-Antoine Barrois’ Ganymede, which has been described as “having a drink at a bar in Blade Runner.”
Hint hint to anyone reading this
It’s very apropos that I am seeing this right now after I woke up at 3 AM with existential dread.
I’m stressed right now and part of it was triggered by some gospel hymns that got stuck in my head. They made me remember my childhood in the church and it made me think that now as an adult there is so much comfort to be able to just give up all your worries to God and not have to think about things.
And then it got me to thinking that this is a fundamental contradiction in my personality. I am not a religious person; organized religion frankly disgusts me. And it occurred to me that there are layers of this that I had not really explored. The more I thought about it the more anxiety it caused me. And so I thought to myself; if I were to completely examine all of my contradictions, I would destroy myself. I could not possibly take all the pain and stress it causes.
I realized that this experience is likely universal. All of the people I have ever disagreed with has these same contradictions inside themselves, but had chosen the other side of it. And now I am stuck with a thought: how can we ever agree on important things if someone’s personality is dependent on these contradictions that they cannot examine?
We may never completely agree - even with ourselves. That's the scary, beautiful, wondrous part of people being more than just a bunch of logic.
Hope you don't give up on analysing the contradictions though. I think that's where all the juicy self-reflection begins - just try to go gentle on yourself and don't take em on all at once. :)
I’m really not that different from Donald Trump. I don’t have the endowment or connections, but the way I relate to the world is not that different, and probably for the same reason-a highly dysfunctional upbringing. There are many details I’m leaving out, but the reason I’m facing up to it is that it threatens to cost me my two most valuable relationships.
Bitter, bitter pill, but at least I’m starting to see.
I have a tendency to entrench myself in self-righteousness. I realized that when I got in an argument with my mom, she went to talk about it to me the next day, and I realized I was keeping my same argument as the night before, but i was just being an asshole, and broke down on the spot. Since then (like two months ago), I've been trying to do less of that. I used to think I always reasoned everything through and that was why I held certain opinions, but apparently that's often not quite the case.
I learned I have a tendency towards heavy drinking during the pandemic when I was clearing a handle in two weeks, then a week, regularly. I put a stop on that real quick, but occasionally "experiment" by buying a bottle, thinking "I'll do better" and clearing it in five to seven days. My last stumble was two weeks ago, and they seem to be less frequent. I've decided not to quit drinking completely, but I'm being careful about what and when (no hard liquor at home, I always moderate in public anyway).
I have a LOT of trust issues. Not just relationship related, it even effects my work and leads to paranoia thinking that others view my work poorly. Just starting therapy for it now, hopeful this can be addressed and resolved.
I was a heavy drinker in my 20's. I went to rehab at 25 and haven't had a drink since then, which has been over 15 years. I've never really had the temptation to drink again. My life was such a train-wreck at the time that simply eliminating alcohol got me back on the tracks. I hesitate to classify myself as an alcoholic. I did AA for a few years, and while I enjoyed the people and helping others, I never felt that I had the same difficulty quitting that others did. When it all boiled down the difficulty I had to face was that I was a mid-20s manchild. I had never grown up, never had to be responsible, never felt the consequences of my actions. Turning my critical eye on myself instead of others helped me to finally grow up and be a productive member of society.