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How do you get out of not loving yourselve

(8 Posts)
Toomanyquestions Sat 16-Jul-11 18:56:04

I am a mum of two, recently separated (my choice). I have come to the conclusion that basically, it is probably difficult for me to love since I don't love myself enough. I am a successful profesionnal and I trust my capabilities at work, I also have confidence that I am an OK mum. But basically I find myself terribly ugly (which I am told is not true, and somehow I know it's not but..) and I find it difficult to understand that someone would want me (despite the fact that I have had several very "in love" partners in my life). I have been to councelling several times but this has helped me a lot but I have not been able to get rid of that "I don't love myself" ongoing feeling.

As any of you been in that position and how do you cope with it ?

notsogoldenoldie Sat 16-Jul-11 21:57:44

Has anything happened to make you feel this way about yourself? You seem to be able to recognise your achievements (good mum, good worker etc) but seem unable to see yourself as visually attractive. I'm a bit like you - in my case my view of myself was shaped when my mother criticised my looks as a young teenager - and the feeling has never quite gone away. I'm very confident in myself, though, i see myself as a high achiever and quite opinionated, but when it comes to appearance I'm so insecure i go to bed in my slap (just in case)!!! I never have my photo taken either.

Perhaps you need to look at yourself a bit more objectively? A trick that helps me is to sort of step outside of myself and look at myself as another person would. I look at my figure (not too bad, a bit chubby round the middle these days, but that can be sorted with a bit of work..) then my face ( ok features, a bit jowly now, but not too bad for my age..) etc. Dissecting other women's appearance in the same way also helps, as it makes you realise most people are simply NOT perfect.

I can't say I love myself, but at least I don't dislike myself too much!!

Perhaps you need to revisit that counselling, if you can afford it? It should help with any experiences in the past that may have contributed to your feeling the way you do.

Hope you get some good advice here. Good luck.

beatenbyayellowteacup Sat 16-Jul-11 22:50:59

Why are you not as good as anyone else? Everyone has their own ideas about what attractive is - there is no "one way" that everyone has to fit into to be valid. And attractiveness to any decent person is more about you as a whole package, not if you have the perfect tits for sex or whatever.

If your friend (or a stranger) told you that they saw themselves as ugly, despite being told otherwise by friends and lovers, what advice would you give them?

Toomanyquestions Sun 17-Jul-11 06:48:28

Many thanks for your comments. Notso.. thank you for your answer, it is probably quite a good tip. If I could trace it back to something it would help but I can't. That somehow does not stop me from functionning though.

I am noy into physical perfection at all, I actually beleive that the feeling is in my head regardless of what I look like. Stepping out as a stranger to look at myself is probably a very good advise. I Know that other people see me as successful, determined and rather good looking.. but I can't hear that last bit!

And beatenBy. is right it is also probably a case of overvaluing others.

beatenbyayellowteacup Sun 17-Jul-11 08:56:19

Why is being good looking something you can't accept? What is the worst that could happen if you are, in fact, stunning?!

Toomanyquestions Sat 06-Aug-11 12:49:23

Well, this is such such such a good question Beaten..
Well, Then I would be able to seduce men which in my strict catholic upbringing was a no go area. To be sexy and attractive was definitively not seen under a good eye by my mum. But I am 40 now..I can't beleive I am writing this!

RandomMess Sat 06-Aug-11 12:51:57

I loathe myself at times and it all stems from my childhood. I had/have very critical parents who commented lots of my looks and attributes. Even though I am aware of this it is still very hard to ignore/dispel/remove that inner voice that tells me that I'm unattractive and unlovable.

BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-11 13:16:13

I think it's very good actually that you've recognised this, and I think it's a good idea to spend some time trying to address it before even thinking about dating. If you have low self esteem the people you tend to attract aren't going to see you very nicely either!

You say that the thought of being so good-looking that you might seduce men is scary to you - what about the thought of being in between, not being ugly, not being stunning, just being ordinary. Men aren't going to see you and fall madly in love, but if someone likes your personality, who you get on with, who shares your sense of humour, who likes you for who you are, they are probably going to find you attractive physically as well. (This is going to sound awful but) I know that my DP is not conventionally "good looking", in fact, when we were just friends and didn't see each other in a romantic way, I would never have looked at him and thought "Phwoar!" but now, because I find his personality attractive and I know him, I think he's gorgeous. I love his smile, because it's kind, something I'd never particularly registered before. I love the way his eyes sparkle when he is feeling particularly devilish. His hair is terrible but I've started to think it's cute.

I think that someone who likes you just or mainly based on your looks is a bit shallow anyway, and should be disregarded. It's harder to be a woman who isn't particularly bothered about how attractive you are (and probably harder if you actually find it uncomfortable to be told you are attractive) because society places a high value on attractiveness and it's almost ingrained from a very young age that girls and women are pretty, that's their role, and they want to be told that they are beautiful, and any partner who loves you will want to tell you this naturally, because it's what they have been told all their lives: women value being told that they are pretty. Look at fairytales for example, any hollywood movie, the massive fashion and beauty industry, etc etc. But in a relationship it's nice to be told other reasons you are valued as well. DP tells me often that he thinks I'm a good mother, or says that he finds it sexy to see me working out some complicated maths equation, or compliments my cooking, or that he's glad we have the same sense of humour, or any number of other things. But he probably does tell me that he thinks I have a nice bum or something as well, and that doesn't bother me because I know he sees past that, but now that I've looked at it just now, I've realised he probably does say these things more than the others!

How long did you attend counselling for, and what type was it? You might find you do better with something like psychotherapy, which goes a bit deeper than "And how did you feel about that?" - but having said that, any kind of therapy can take several years to get to the heart of certain feelings, especially if they are quite hidden and buried underneath other things.

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