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Anyone Depressed About Looks?


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Heyy,

I've posted a topic similar to this before, but I wanted specifically to hear back from other people who are frustrated/depressed with their looks. I have always been single, never enjoyed a relationship, and honestly look at other relationships quite enviously. When it really hits me (how I am unattractive and no one ever really expresses interest in me), I find myself going into a deep depression and even occasionally have suicidal ideation (no, I have never attempted, it has just been feelings). Has anyone else felt like this? I wish I knew how to deal with being single, that would really help my life a lot. Thank you, hugs

Trabi

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Hi WhereismyTrabi,

I am single. I think more people are afraid of the "idea" of being single than being single. Society puts enormous pressure on people to be in relationships. It even starts in childhood when a mother goes away and asks her child: "Are you going to be alright all alone?' The mother is sending a message to the child that it isn't okay to be alone or that it is dangerous. Society builds on that. Being all alone is dangerous to a baby. And I think the memory of that "danger" stays with us forever. But being alone is not dangerous to an adult. Some people cannot stand being alone even for a second because they immediately panic and feel in danger.

I think you may be being hard on yourself about your looks.

Here is something to think about too. When we are alone we tend to see the rosy side of relationships. We see and remember couples holding hands and such things. We tend to forget that relationships also involve loneliness sometimes, the feeling of being misunderstood, unapprecatied, trapped and so on. We idealize relationships and under-appreciate being single.

How often have my coupled friends called me and said: "I am so bored." "I am so lonely." No one has a monopoly on joy or sadness, boredom or loneliness or anything.

Another thing about being alone is that you are not alone. What I mean is, when you are sitting at home on a Friday nights saying: "Wow, I am all alone tonight with no one to be with." Well, there are a million other people around the world sitting down saying exactly the same thing to themselves in China, Thailand, Africa, France and so on.

Depression can be the cause of your unhappiness. Medicine and talk therapies can be your life saver. If you feel really bad there are hotlines to call. You should call them because that is real a medical emergency.

You are beautiful person just the way you are. You don't have to earn your worth. In this, you are like a diamond. A diamond is always a diamond. Throw it in the mud and it is still a diamond. You are exactly like that, but you just don't see it now because you are feeling low. I am so sorry. It is good that you went on the Forum. That was great. Many people are here who sympathize and understand where you are coming from. I hope you will love yourself for the diamond that you are. Best wishes to you Trabi!!!

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Hi Ep1ctetus,

Thank you so much for your reply. You are very right in many ways, and I think you have a very interesting response. It is true that people are a diamond in their own way, and that somewhere, there is another lonely person just like yourself out in the world. Also as you said, people always look at the grass on the other side and comment on how green it is :)

My problem with dating (and by extension, my looks) is that I've never really dated another guy, so I have no other "grass" to compare a history with, and, I often tend to fall for people who don't fall for me. I never really get hit on when I go out to bars like other people do, and have always felt uncomfortable by trying to hit on either people. Idk. Thats the reason that I say I'm so frustrated at times with my looks and just with loneliness as well....I'm almost 27, and while that's not old, I'm ready to have some kind of a relationship that I've never had before. I feel like it's not too much to ask for :/ Or am I asking too much?

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Hi WhereismyTrabi,

Thanks for your kind words. About a relationship you say: "I feel like it's not too much to ask for. Or am I asking too much?"

I don't think you are asking too much.

I've been told that there is a difference between wanting something and needing it. It's hard to tell those apart. My problem was that I "needed" a relationship.

People need love but often only look for it outside. They sometimes forget that it is possible to tap into a great reservoir of love from within. In my case, I needed love from within to compensate for the lack of love I felt for myself. So I was "driven" to find a relationship. There was a sense of urgency about it; a sense of pressure. For me, at least, my need could be sensed by others somehow and drove them away. It was as if I was sending a message: "I'm nothing, please love me." I was advised to try to learn to love myself and that this would have a side effect of making me more attractive to others. Not that this would be inevitable.

I was advised to realistically face my need for love and then give myself all the love I needed from my inner being and inner resources. Sometimes one can be able to generate a great deal of love for others but not be able to generate much for oneself.

For example, if I would be with a friend, I would try to show them a great time and make our time together a great experience. But at home with myself it was like . . . a can of tuna fish eaten in front of the TV. So I was advised to start on the path of learning how to love myself, learning how to give myself everything I needed in the way of reassurance, comfort, enjoyment . . . learning how to be comfortable with myself, in my own skin.

Before this time, my outlook was: a life of love in a relationship or a life of lovelessness alone. I was told this is a false dichotomy. I was told to love myself and give myself every bit of love I needed, to hold nothing back from myself. In love, would I take someone to Hawaii. OK, take yourself to Hawaii. All this sounded very strange at the time. But I found it very helpful later.

If you love yourself, really love yourself, someone will always love you. Let me say that this DOES NOT MEAN that one shouldn't pursue friendships and romantic relationships. I'm not saying that. Those are wonderful. But those are not essential to having a life of love. A person can also give love even if they are alone. A person can volunteer for various causes, like for me, helping wounded animals. And usually one will meet people at these places and friendships and relationships can bloom.

The difficulty of all this is that we have been brought up, programmed to fear being alone, to see it as strange, unhealthy. So we can punish ourselves for not living up to society's image of how we should be.

I will tell you a little story of what happened to me. I was quietly desperate for a relationship and I went to see someone for counseling. The doctor told me something shocking. He said: Here's what I want you to do. I want you to NOT enter into a relationship for 30 days, not even try. I was so surprised. For 30 days I want to you try to discover yourself, the beauty and dignity and inner strength of yourself. I want you to try and shower yourself with love. Be super good to yourself for those 30 days, as good as you would be to someone you were madly in love with. Learn than no one knows you as well as you do. Know one knows what you need more than you do. No one can give you what you need more than you can. Don't think of the 30 days as 30 days of lovelessness. Think of it as 30 days of life full of love. This helped me a lot. After learning to appreciate myself I found I could go in search of relationships without the burden of anxiety and desperations. I could be accepted or rejected by others and know that I would always be my own best friend no matter what.

Now maybe my words here do not apply to you at all. Truly I do not know you. But I hope you find something of use in the words, or someone else's words on this Forum. Please forgive me if I have misunderstood you or not been helpful. I send you my best wishes WhereismyTrabi!!!!

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Hi Ep1ctetus,

Thank you so much for your reply. You are very right in many ways, and I think you have a very interesting response. It is true that people are a diamond in their own way, and that somewhere, there is another lonely person just like yourself out in the world. Also as you said, people always look at the grass on the other side and comment on how green it is :)

My problem with dating (and by extension, my looks) is that I've never really dated another guy, so I have no other "grass" to compare a history with, and, I often tend to fall for people who don't fall for me. I never really get hit on when I go out to bars like other people do, and have always felt uncomfortable by trying to hit on either people. Idk. Thats the reason that I say I'm so frustrated at times with my looks and just with loneliness as well....I'm almost 27, and while that's not old, I'm ready to have some kind of a relationship that I've never had before. I feel like it's not too much to ask for :/ Or am I asking too much?

Hey WhereismyTrabi, you aren't asking too much at all. I myself am a 21 y/o male and I too have never seriously dated besides having a non-serious relationship with a girl in high school, so I am pretty much in the same situation as you are in... While I can't give any real advice since I haven't gotten past that hurdle yet, I can say that there is definitely someone out there who would enjoy being with you. The only problem is just finding that person..

I know that society to an extent can be focused on looks, but I don't think you should concern yourself with that... I think people who are real and down-to-earth are much more attractive than people who have good looks and seem to have it all.

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Heyy,

I've posted a topic similar to this before, but I wanted specifically to hear back from other people who are frustrated/depressed with their looks. I have always been single, never enjoyed a relationship, and honestly look at other relationships quite enviously. When it really hits me (how I am unattractive and no one ever really expresses interest in me), I find myself going into a deep depression and even occasionally have suicidal ideation (no, I have never attempted, it has just been feelings). Has anyone else felt like this? I wish I knew how to deal with being single, that would really help my life a lot. Thank you, hugs

Trabi

You know what?? I feel the same way!! I feel like you just read my mind and my all my thoughts in it.

I always tell myself that if I don't get married by the time I am 40 I will commit suicide.

Even though people tell me I am a pretty attractive woman, I have issues with my image. I have low self esteem and I don't really know how to deal with being single either. This is something I have been meaning to work on in therapy but have not gotten around to it yet. :verysad3:

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I need to get time to read this, but basically yes, I understand 100%. I know I'm not bad looking, but compared to other guys I'm no thin muscular babe. I think it comes down to this, at 20-30, we're never going to look more sexy in our lives than now, and we're not ugly. I see all sorts of people in relationships, so even though it's hard for me to believe in my looks, I know logically that it's not about looks.

I think it comes down a sense of rejection, and trying to work out why. Perhaps it's more to do with out confidence than to do with looks. In my case, it's about the fear of taking risks and trying to know how to appropriately hit on someone else without feeling the pain of being smacked down. I think the avoidance of me trying leads me to look for other reasons as to my lack of success, but really I think there's only one main source of the problem: Confidence.

Some may disagree with me, but faking confidence actually does seem to work to some degree. I used to reveal a lot of myself when meeting guys, but I am much more cautious now. In some ways that is hindering me, but in other ways it's teaching me how to find the right balance. It's about exploring, testing, trying and failing and succeeding in constructive ways.

Test yourself and be ready for a range of responses from others, some good and some bad. There will always be people who are attracted to you, but it's hard to know where to go to find them.

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Leaflet you really hit the nail on the head with everything you said.. Looks aren't the issue at all; it's having poor self-esteem or confidence. To the OP, I don't know if you are in therapy, but if you aren't you should consider trying it... I don't think you would get advice for how to pickup guys, but the therapist would be able to help you improve your self-esteem. I don't know if you had bad past experiences that caused you to to have low self-esteem, but if you do it would be a good idea to bring them up and deal with them.

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I've been traveling a bit, so it has taken me some time to respond, but I'm back!

There is a great quote from the book, "Invisible Monsters", that says "The one you love and the one who loves you are never the same [person]". I really like that quote, because for me, that basically typifies my life.

Always Alone- you are exactly right that I need to find a good psychologist, and I'm definitely working on that at the moment. It's a bit complicated, because I live in Germany, and the system there can take a bit of time before you find an open spot with a psychologist. Also, since English is my first language, and German is my second, I will have to try extra hard at discussing deep level feelings in a foreign language, but I can make that work.

Epicetus- I think the advice that you have described is great. I have been thinking about the idea of self love in my head (and have for a few years), but at this moment in time, I have a really hard time carrying that out. I know that for the way I work, it is best when I talk with a counselor and I feel all of the emotional support from them, and THEN I'm able to go out and have more ''oomph' to tackle these challenges. I really do appreciate your advice, and I think that is very true, I'm just having difficulty actually doing it.

To be honest, I feel pretty much hopeless on the 'partner front' because i've had basically no experience, and there's certainly nothing on the horizon there. It seems to be an unending emotional rollercoaster of loneliness. That is probably the main reason I've come here to hear about other's experiences, and perhaps how some of our experiences in loneliness are similar (and hopefully not to commiserate!).

I can't remember where I read this, but I heard somewhere that dwelling on certain feelings (such as depression, loneliness, etc) and their causes can often cause these feelings to be prolonged rather than diminish them. I suppose it depends on whether the discussion of problems is directed in a positive and edifying way, rather than negatively.

Do you guys have any specific experiences or things that make you feel lonely? I don't want to recreate these feelings for people and cause them to flare up, but I would love to hear of others experiences. Hugs,

Trabi

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  • 1 month later...

It sounds a difficult time for you. I have had a think about what may be useful for you from what I read in the posts and things you can do:

1) I think that you may have this assumption:

‘If I am good looking then I will be in a relationship.’

Maybe do a survey by looking at gay couples and see how you rate their looks.

2) Think about what you want in a partner? What qualities? After it is difficult to search for someone when you don’t know what you are looking for!

3) Where are you going to find a partner? Particularly with the qualities you are looking for?

A bar, club, online dating, running club, gym, through other gay friends, etc.

4) What is stopping you from asking them out? Likely to be Anxiety! Well there is good news and bad news. The best way of dealing with anxiety is to expose your self to the fear event, which would be asking someone out. You will feel anxious but that is good. The key is to repeat this over and over by asking many men. Your anxiety after each expose should eventually go down so your not anxious to the level you were. You also increase the likelihood of finding someone.

5) Try to be more compassionate to yourself- A good technique is to think about what a friend would say. A friend probably wouldn’t say your ugly and stay indoors.

6) You can’t predict the future! No one can! So we cannot be certain that you will be partnerless forever. Just because this has been your life in the past doesn’t mean it will be the future. Though, please note if you lock yourself in a dark room for a lifetime the probably is high. :)

7) You feel that you need prior experience to be in relationships. It is not job! :) If someone likes you, I doubt they will reject you for this fact and who knows they may not have experiences in relationships before.

8) Find a good psychologist.

You can think through this over and over but unless you get out there firstly you will not find someone and secondly you cannot challenge your assumptions about yours looks. If you are finding implementing this difficult then seek a psychologist to looking at the blocks to change.

It sounds like loneliness is problem and you really like to feel that you are not alone. In hearing about other people’s stories maybe soothing to feel your not alone, it will not help your primary problem of finding someone.

I would recommend finding a cognitive behavioral therapy self-help on social anxiety (and maybe low self-esteem) as it fits well with the problem.

I hope this is helpful and is not unwanted inference.

Good luck!

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