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Hey,

 

So I'm assuming I'm among friends here, even some friends who were overweight before, or are overweight and struggling with it, or are even beating it. 

I'm sure there are people on here who have felt insecure about the way they look, too, so my question is, how do you guys deal with it? How do you embrace it? 

I've had family members and other people commenting on my looks for as long as I can remember. I used to be under 100 pounds, then got severely depressed and shot all the way up to 150-ish in four years, and my family has been commenting and calling me fat ever since. I've had total strangers tell me I'm ugly, and I've also had people tell me I'm one of the most beautiful people they know, but of course I think they're lying because they're my friends. I lost a lot of weight and gained a lot back, but I'm not nearly as heavy as I was in high school, so that's a plus. 

I always think that people are judging me on my appearance and especially my weight. I am scared to be noticed. I'm Miss Frumpy for a reason. Do I have to have a flat tummy again, dress up, and do my makeup every day to be worthy of notice? Somebody even told me once that I don't deserve an attractive partner until I do, and sometimes, with the whole prevalence of this "no fat chicks" mentality that a lot of guys seem to have, I feel like I wouldn't be able to get a partner regardless of whether or not I deserve one (Important note: dating is soooooo far from my main priority right now. The reason I mention this story is because it horrifies me that somebody felt that it was their place to say something like this, and that they felt totally comfortable doing it. It further confirms my belief that people see me and judge me for my weight, clothes, and on most days, complete lack of any makeup whatsoever, and that every time I was interested in somebody, my appearance was a huge factor in my rejection, as I have never not been rejected). 

Anyways, what do you guys tell yourselves to help you embrace who you are? I firmly believe that everyone deserves love and kindness, and yet I don't give myself any. How do you change a thought pattern that is so deeply ingrained? 

If any of you have stories that you want to share, especially if you think I could learn from them, I'd appreciate that so much. Of course, if you want to share so you have somebody else to cheer you on, I'm more than happy to do that, too. 

Thanks everyone,

Fia 

 

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People are so mean its ridiculous. Often i guess they don't realise what sort of damage they are doing with such comments (well, i hope they don't realise otherwise they are just nasty pieces of work). Comments that seem innocuous to some stick in the memory of others.
I still remember what was basically a throw-away comment by my nan one xmas that caused me to spend xmas day in my room on my own.

 

I've very much been where you are regarding body anxiety, its been a thing for me for pretty much 20 years, since i was a teen. I don't know whether i'll ever get over it but its definitely lessened as i've lost weight. It doesn't happen overnight but at least for me when i look/looked in the mirror i could say "not there yet, but getting there, go me".

 

I would surround yourself by your friends who say nice comments. YOu might not believe them but eventually something will rub off. Tell the people who you know that make nasty comments that you don't appreciate such comments and perhaps say that if they loved you they wouldn't say such things. Totally ignore strangers, who gives a toss what they think? Forget 'em (easier said than done i know).

 

As a person who used to dress in clothes that resembled a tent in order to "hide" my body i would absolutely advise against this. Its probably the worst thing you can do and may well be making you look bigger than you are. Get clothes that fit properly, they will slim out your profile. At first you might feel like any fat you have is showing left, right and centre and that everyone is looking. They aren't.
Stand up straight, head up. Act confident even if you aren't.

 

I don't know if any of that will help you, maybe, hopefully. Its a nasty place where you are now.
There are many, many guys out there who don't agree with the "no fat chicks", i guess i'm one. My girlfriend recently did a bout of facebook stalking on me as i'm still friends with a couple of exes and then turned to me and said "i dunno how to ask this, but do you, erm, like big girls?". That of course was followed by "is that why you like me?". I was in trouble without even saying anything in that convo.

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Well, it sounds like you've been around some pretty crappy people.  Can't imagine why so many would volunteer such harsh opinions.  Weight alone isn't what makes someone attractive; despite what the world may think, guys like skinny girls AND curvy girls AND even bigger girls.  Guys just like girls.  They can like guys too, but you know what I mean.

 

That said, everyone will judge - at least initially - on looks.  It's ingrained in our evolution: when we encounter something or someone new, we size them up.  We infer what and who they may be by what we observe.  Now, some people take these initial impressions as fact and make their final judgements right away.  That's wrong, and those kinds of people aren't worth your time anyway.

 

So I guess what I'd say is you have to be confident in who you are and the way you like to be.  Don't change what makes you happy, cuz that makes no sense.  That said, and I might get a lot of hate for saying this, impressions do count.  That doesn't mean you have to sexualize yourself or never go natural, of course.  Again, anyone who would only pay attention to you if you did isn't worth your time.  But dating - I know it's not your priority right now - is kinda like a job interview.  Even if you're not gonna wear a suit every day at work, sometimes you gotta prepare for the fact that people will always form initial impressions, and they'll use those impressions to guide their judgements.

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This is a tough battle and a personal one for me.  I have always struggled with self-esteem and have always been extra-hurt by negative comments about my body.  First thing I try to remember is that we are conditioned to put extra emphasis on the negatives experiences in our life, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias.  Because of this bias, it is ultra-difficult because it's like every insult or judgmental comment is registered with ten times more importance by your mind than any positive comment you might receive.  You have to consciously choose to increase the weight of those positive comments and experiences compared to negative ones, and that is very difficult to do if you're not even aware that imbalance is a natural thing that needs correction from time to time!

 

First things first is to ignore negative people and their comments.  Those comments come from a troubled, dark place in a person who obviously doesn't want to be alone in that bad space they are coming from.  Do not let them drag you down there with them.  Rise above it, they do not deserve your energy and are not entitled to it either.  Tell yourself this.  Your positive energy is finite, and it belongs to you.  They don't get to deplete it just because they are feeling like crap and want company.  Along with building up your forcefield against negative comments, one tactic psychologists use to help correct these self esteem problems from the inside is to help us learn to rewire our "Self-Talk" (I know this from experience of going to a psychologist and this is what was recommended to me).  To get you started, try this link: http://psychcentral.com/lib/challenging-negative-self-talk/0003196.  Beyond just deflecting negative jerks and their completely insignificant opinions, reprogramming your internal dialogue will help you end the beat-down you give yourself emotionally, which is generally inspired by the hurtful events experienced externally.  When I am feeling insecure, or anxious, I try to talk myself through it, and tell myself what a secure, non-anxious person would probably be thinking (which is likely nothing at all, oh what bliss that would be) and remind myself that I'm just as worthy as they are of walking down a street confidently, or asserting myself at work, or walking into a clothing store to try on clothes without feeling judged.  Your encouraging self-talk is very important to help calm the judgement-anxiety you may feel in uncomfortable situations.  Learn to love yourself for who you are and encourage yourself when others can't/won't/don't know how. And do surround yourself with those wonderful loving people who compliment you, fill you with confidence, bring you joy, and help you forget the fear and anxiety even for a little bit. Best of luck to you on your journey!

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It further confirms my belief that people see me and judge me for my weight, clothes, and on most days, complete lack of any makeup whatsoever, and that every time I was interested in somebody, my appearance was a huge factor in my rejection, as I have never not been rejected). 

 

I won't deny that there are totally shallow people out there and your appearance could have been a factor. Your self esteem and self confidence, or lack thereof, could be an issue too though. If you don't think you're worthy of love and attention, why should someone else? You may not realize it but maybe you're giving off those signals to people as well. 

 

If people are going to judge your clothes, give them something to judge. Stop being Miss Frumpy. Find a shirt you feel comfortable in even if it doesn't 100% hide everything you dislike. Buy every color they have. Wear it all the time. Same with makeup and/or nail polish. If you genuinely don't like it, that's fine, don't wear it. If you just avoid it because you think it will attract unwanted attention, try it anyway. Start small, see if you like it. I can't be bothered with the 27 products recommended by a magazine or makeup blog, but I wear eyeliner every day because I like the way it highlights my eyes and makes me look more awake; if I have a lazy day off I'll skip it and sometimes I look like a zombie, but I laugh at myself and can always put on the eyeliner if I want. Unless you pick crazy colors (can anybody pull off neon yellow nail polish?) or really overdo it, people probably won't notice. Just do it for you.

 

Distance yourself from the haters as much as you can. Stick with the supportive friends. There are plenty of us here who'll cheer you on when you need it. 

 

Set yourself some fitness goals that aren't related to weight loss and appearance. Whether it's running a mile without dying, doing 5 pushups, bench pressing your body weight, or even not drinking soda for 30 days, that progress is measurable. Your body will change as you get there but it's not your focus. As you reach those goals and set new ones, you'll build more confidence and feel proud of yourself. And those feelings translate to the rest of your daily life. 

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I completely relate to your story. When I was little, I was like in 4th grade, I was nearly obese and all the time my classmates were making fun of me. I was shy, obese, had ugly teeth, was foreign, a guy that didn't like to play soccer, so I was the target for all bullying. I was really insecure during that time and for a long time afterwards. My mom helped me lose weight (it's not only good for your image, it's also good for your health, but it has to be natural though, you cannot force yourself to look like someone who's completely different than you, easier said than done, it was one of my greates conflicts). I had periods of my life where I looked into the mirror and I hated myself. I think the biggest change for me included two things, graduating from school and signing up in a gym for the first time. As Dradis said, this idea of "not there, but getting there" changes everything. You feel like you are taking care of yourself. The only thing is that you have to do it every day. For me it is like this, because all those comments and all that judgement form a cloud of darkness in your head (no New Age stuff here, I'm talking metaphorically) that contains all the bad things people have said to you. Every once in a while, when you least expect it, it will come back and remind you these things and make you feel like.. you know.. but you have all the time to remind yourself that these things are not true, that you are yourself, that you are a great person. I have to do this every day, some days it's more difficult than others, but in the end I succeed. What was useful for me was to realize that what other people say is completely meaningless, even if they are family. When they say things that make you feel bad, they are just trying to make you fit into the idea they have of who you should be, not of who you are. It is their job to change their minds and see who you really are, you can help them, of course, but in the end it is their job. Your job is to really express who you are, to be entirely yourself and not the shadow of yourself.

I send you lots of hugs and I hope this situation improves and that you can defeat the darkness.

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I can totally relate.  It amazes and appalls me how cruel people can be about weight.  And, as overweight people, we tend to be just as hard and judgmental on ourselves as others are.  Which makes their barbs sting even more - 'cause we think they're right!  They (and we) are WRONG!

 

I come from a place of never meeting anyone's eyes.  I'd look down and away passing someone in the hall.  I wanted to apologize for subjecting them to the sight of me.  That was a kinda low point for me...  And it made me decide I wasn't going to put up with it anymore.  I forced myself to meet their eyes.  At first, I was kinda menacing, like I expected them to call me out for my effrontery.  Mostly they broke eye contact, looked down, and quickly moved away.  Later I learned that adding a smile made people smile back.  The important thing was keeping my head up.

 

I also started Tae Kwon Do.  I choose TKD on purpose because it is a very square to your partner, stand up, in your face kind of art.  I need to stand square to life and face it head on or it was going to roll over me.  Understand, though, this was not easy.  I sat in the parking lot for 1/2 an hour crying before I could work up the courage to walk in.  I never lost the weight, I was always self-conscious about it, but that did not mean I wasn't an awesome martial artist.

 

The third thing I did was look in the mirror everyday.  Then find something I liked about myself.  Often it was my eyes, they shone with intelligence and determination.  Gradually, I learned to like more and more of myself.

 

Today, I am still overweight, still struggling to eat right and exercise, and stay on track.  But, I believe in myself.  I am far more than how I look.  And people respond positively to the positive energy I give off.

 

Believe in yourself.  Meet people's eyes (it makes them realize you are a person - or maybe it's Sight, and once they See me they don't dare say anything bad... hmm... eh, either way), and smile.  

 

Far more than your appearance, people respond to your energy.

(Thank you.  Without your post, I wouldn't have thought all that through.  And it really helped me with where I am right now.  Thank you!)

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There's a really excellent book that covers a lot of useful human-performance tools for people with anxiety, self-esteem, and other related things -- The Warrior Mindset by Loren Christensen and LTC Dave Grossman (USA, Ret). Granted, the primary and intended audience is law enforcement and military folks, but the principles and precepts can be used and adapted to the civilian sector as well. :positive:

Insert witty & pithy saying here.

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I've been told some shitty things about my looks so many times. Greatest when they choose to do it when I was at my worst for my depression. My freakin neighbor suggest I get plastic surgery for my whole body to attach a guy. I think that's one of the reasons why I struggled so much with my weight over the years.

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I'm a poster boy for severe, seemingly-hopeless insecurity. I've allowed people to treat me like crap all my life because something deep inside me is telling me that I deserve it. And my delusional mind seems to be too sly for me to outsmart. The best way I've coped so far is narration and description under the guise of self-depreciating humor. From a utilitarian point of view, at least someone derives some happiness out of my pain. But if anyone has anything better, keep me posted. I am definitely interested.

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Trolling.  Particularly under the thinly veiled guise of "being helpful".  In very, very rare occasions, someone is legitimately trying to be, in their mind, helpful - in an exceedingly unproductive and dysfunctional way.

 

I crib a page from the Stoics' philosophy - you will never be able to control someone's opinion of you.  We're all exposed to it, but women moreso than men - you will always be too: fat, thin, short, tall, pretty, ugly, smart, dumb, whatever.  It is infuriating that we, as a species, have arrived at a point where we feel the need - and believe ourselves to be justified - in telling someone else that they should measure up to a standard.  Not just any standard, but our individualized, personal standard.  One person will tell you that you're too fat.  The next person will complain you're too thin.  Based on what?  Their opinion?

 

What you can control is your reaction to it.  Take a breath.  I picture myself stepping sideways, or stepping outside of my body and looking at the comments as objectively as I can.  I look, critically, at what is being said, and who is saying it.  And in the interest of impartiality, I look at myself.  did I shower this morning?  Ok, maybe the criticism has merit.  Is this person complaining about the shape of my nose?  And I care about your opinion why?  

 

Framing and context are similar techniques where you take someone's criticism and evaluate it objectively, in addition evaluating the context in which it exists - someone tells me I'm ugly.  Well, I'm not Brad Pitt - I don't meet a commonly held standard in attractiveness and I don't meet your standards of physical beauty.  Ok, cool.  Oh, you expected me to actually care about your opinion?  Nope sorry - you just aren't important to me in any meaningful way.  Random stranger on the street?  You thought you were trying to be helpful?  Or just mean?  Either way, why should I care about your opinion?  

 

Imagine someone stopping you and telling you the sky is purple.  Filling with pink hippos.  Have they done anything meaningful, except waste your time?  Unsolicited opinions from extremely irrelevant people are exactly the same thing.

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The biggest thing I've come to realize and anyone has to realize is that this happens to everyone, and I agree, it's ridiculous. The best piece of advice I ever really got was, 'nobody really cares that much about you!' Sounds brutal, but rather means the opposite. Instead, it's supposed to mean that everyone is so focused on themselves, that it really doesn't matter what you do, or anything else. Even if they make comments, people are petty and looking for gross conversation. The next minute, they're not even thinking about it anymore. Or, they're still thinking about it in terms of how it applies to themselves.

 

When I was in a healthy weight range, and even almost under, it was the people who were overweight criticizing me. The opposite was true when I became a bit overweight. It's a trend I noticed not to be hypocritical, but instead I've noticed it and strongly think that most people say those things based on their own insecurities. It's important to remind yourself of that every. single. day.

 

At one point in my life I let it get to me bad enough that I successfully dropped a bunch of weight -- till the point where I was just underweight. And, I don't have a naturally slim build, so I was genuinely unhealthy. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food, wasn't eating enough, and was over exercising, just to please others. I was very unhealthy, very unhappy, and honestly...don't think I looked that great. (I was very skinny fat from such a bad diet!) My self confidence didn't increase, but rather dropped to an all time low. What's sickening is a lot of people, including my own mother kept congratulating me. They saw I was eating hardly anything and then continued to encourage me.The view on what looks good and what 'health' is is so skewed in this society.

 

I finally got my act together, and in the process put on weight. I ended up having a lot more energy, a lot more strength, a lot less pain (mentally and physically), and a lot more confidence. I get less out-of-the-box compliments now being a 'normal weight' -- and it took me going through that to say f*** it, I don't need the compliments! I get no negative attention though, and can live out my life happily and full of energy. I need to still sometimes remind myself it's worth it, and every once in awhile I fake it till I make it to regain my confidence.

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I pull out my amazing crab moves. I attempt to work through it. Basically fake it until I make it.

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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.†

~Paulo Coelho

 

I'm a level 3 moon elf, who's an druid assassin.

 

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People in a general point of view are just mean. 

I understand what you're saying though because I too was in your shoes not too long ago. When I was overweight, I felt like everyone was judging me. So much in fact that I titled myself "the fat guy in the group" because every group had one somewhere, right?! It's unfortunate because I've personally been dealing with that from people for so long that it still lingers with me after losing the weight. What makes me feel better is that I take a look at who I am and know that I never became one of those people. And never will. And whenever I see ANYONE at all either in a similar situation, or fixing to unfortunately become a victim in a negative situation for no reason (bullies, jerks, people just thinking they're cool because they pick on someone, or think they are the smartest $h!t on the planet), I always help build their personal morale up and spirit through encouragement. That makes me feel amazing because that is what I wish happened for me just once. I figure others might want someone to do the same for them if they felt overwhelmed.

Be who you want to be as a person. F*** what the haters want.

This is going to sound completely insane, but there are moments where I am grateful for being picked on all those years. Why? Because it helped me develop a mastery at staying optimistic even during chaotic times. To just look at problems going on with or around me, and be able to keep a calm mindset and work through it. I had to work through school all while being teased, and you know what? That is actually now a life skill that could generate a great work ethic. It's a great mindset I created from it! And I'm not saying to keep enduring it at all, all I am saying is that good will always come from anything.
 

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"Anyways, what do you guys tell yourselves to help you embrace who you are? I firmly believe that everyone deserves love and kindness, and yet I don't give myself any. How do you change a thought pattern that is so deeply ingrained?"

I believe in loving the body you have now, in a realistic way. I did about a four year blog project where I posted a photo a day. It was mostly focused on clothing, because I don't care much for makeup. But it gave me a much more a) neutral and B) realistic view of a) my body and B) what looks flattering on me. I learned what hemlines work for me, what colors, what length hair. Left to myself I'd rock a Mohawk and lime green daily, which is cool for some folks but didn't suit how I wanted to feel. I desired normal, put together, classy, appropriate. Like I said, it took about 4 years.

Then and now I believe in filling my mind with the thoughts I want to have. I follow a ton of "inspiring" feeds on Facebook. Rebel Circus is a great one for "eff the haters" kind of attitude. If you change your inputs, it changes your output.

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Hey,

 

So I'm assuming I'm among friends here, even some friends who were overweight before, or are overweight and struggling with it, or are even beating it. 

I'm sure there are people on here who have felt insecure about the way they look, too, so my question is, how do you guys deal with it? How do you embrace it? 

I've had family members and other people commenting on my looks for as long as I can remember. I used to be under 100 pounds, then got severely depressed and shot all the way up to 150-ish in four years, and my family has been commenting and calling me fat ever since. I've had total strangers tell me I'm ugly, and I've also had people tell me I'm one of the most beautiful people they know, but of course I think they're lying because they're my friends. I lost a lot of weight and gained a lot back, but I'm not nearly as heavy as I was in high school, so that's a plus. 

I always think that people are judging me on my appearance and especially my weight. I am scared to be noticed. I'm Miss Frumpy for a reason. Do I have to have a flat tummy again, dress up, and do my makeup every day to be worthy of notice? Somebody even told me once that I don't deserve an attractive partner until I do, and sometimes, with the whole prevalence of this "no fat chicks" mentality that a lot of guys seem to have, I feel like I wouldn't be able to get a partner regardless of whether or not I deserve one (Important note: dating is soooooo far from my main priority right now. The reason I mention this story is because it horrifies me that somebody felt that it was their place to say something like this, and that they felt totally comfortable doing it. It further confirms my belief that people see me and judge me for my weight, clothes, and on most days, complete lack of any makeup whatsoever, and that every time I was interested in somebody, my appearance was a huge factor in my rejection, as I have never not been rejected). 

Anyways, what do you guys tell yourselves to help you embrace who you are? I firmly believe that everyone deserves love and kindness, and yet I don't give myself any. How do you change a thought pattern that is so deeply ingrained? 

If any of you have stories that you want to share, especially if you think I could learn from them, I'd appreciate that so much. Of course, if you want to share so you have somebody else to cheer you on, I'm more than happy to do that, too. 

Thanks everyone,

Fia 

 

 

 

First thing I always tell myself is that I am an amazing person. I know I am, I am not perfect, I struggle with body image issues and depression from time to time. That is a life long process of managing. The one thing I have always done is to lean on those who love me and know me best. If someone in your family calls you "fat" then they need to go screw, no one who loves you should identify you with your faults. I also look at myself with some perspective that I am  good in some ways and bad in others. I always look to work on my faults and glorify my successes. It will get better. Keep working out, eating well, and challenge yourself to do things that you've never done. I started taking Zumba and kick boxing classes and they help give me a great deal of confidence. A few months ago I would have never even thought if doing that and now I do it twice a week. When you step outside yourself and challenge yourself you are able to explore things about your personality that you may not have realized about yourself. Also if you feel like going to someone neutral maybe some therapy would help. It's not something to be ashamed of to seek help. I've done it and it helped me a lot.

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1. I've had people criticize me because I wasn't curvy enough. (In college I was still a stick.) 

2. When I finally put on curves I've had people criticize me for having too many curves. I also started having to deal with cat-calls.

3. When I then got involved in kickboxing and leaned out I had people criticize me for not having enough curves, for being strong (wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley!), and for changing ("If you lose any more weight we're not going to be able to recognize you!") 

 

So really, at this point, I wonder why I put any faith in other people's opinions of me at all. I enjoy having the strength to be someone my friends call in a move. I enjoy my curves but also the places where muscle definition shows through. I'm attractive to some people and not to others and that's okay. 

"The Force give me the patience to hold my tongue when I can't change something, the courage to kick @$$ when I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. "

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People have an incredible capacity to be really, really mean.

 

Everyone has their flaws - literally, everyone - and you'd be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't suffer from insecurity from time to time, even those you think are utterly stunning. I've been called all sorts (ugly, skinny, flat-chested, spotty, pale, "monkey girl" - to name a few), for all kinds of reasons. Some of them thought saying it was funny, or might impress their friends. I've been insulted by my own friends under the pretence of "banter" (I reaaaaally hate banter). It's easier said than done, but you have to take it with a pinch of salt, and instead of listening to the insults, pay more attention to the compliments. I bet you get those, too.

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The most important thing is that you remember how amazing you are.

I used to hate myself, every single part of my body and my personality. I used to be so over-confident because it was the only way I could hide how insecure I really was. And then one day, that fake confidence became real confidence. A friend recently said to me 'you've got to back yourself because no-one else will do it for you' and it's so true. You have to believe in yourself, even if that belief is a front at first; soon, it'll be real. 'Fake it til you make it' has never been truer than when applied to self-confidence. It's a circle (but the opposite of a vicious one); faking confidence will attract people to you, and having people around you who like and respect you will give you real confidence.

And never forget, if someone says something you don't like, tell them. They'll never learn to stop being dickheads if no-one calls them out on it.

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Instead of focusing on the negatives...

The silver bullet cure is quite simple. It can't come from within. Loved ones can shoot BB's and pellets, which helps certainly. But...

Absolutely nothing compares to someone's (that you find very attractive) first impression of you being a blatantly obvious "you are hot". It is a moment you can't control, it just happens.

If you work hard toward this moment occurring, eventually it will.

Part of self confidence (or lack thereof) comes from your effort. If you work as hard as you can and keep at it a long time, there is no little voice telling you that you could have tried better, you can at least fake confidence. If you want to look different and know you can achieve it, yet put forth little to no effort toward that end, you will be rewarded with a little voice that tells you that you are a worthless failure. You are your own harshest critic.

My wife and I have both had our silver bullet moments.

Mine - We were at a pool one day, just leaving (tho I was shirtless), I was lagging behind. A cute lifeguard was walking in as I was walking out. Her eyes made a slow sly scan over my chest, abs, then back up to my eyes, where I got a blushing smile. That single moment was enough to crush all my insecurities.

My wife was firmly convinced that no man but me found her attractive. After a while it just floored me that she still thought like this. My wife has an absolutely killer backside that I always see other guys starting at (I really get a kick out of it), she works hard on it and it shows. Of course she didn't believe me. So I sent her a photo + text of a guy that was following her (not in a creepy way), eyes planted firmly on her rear, one day at Target. She saw the guy pass her and then saw him behind her again later on (I imagine she found him quite cute, he was definitely the type she finds attractive, I don't know what kind of eye contact they had but there was probably some). Ever since that day she carries herself a bit different, has no qualms with wearing her Lulumons in public, and is much more receptive to (and enjoys) any smacks/grabs/comments I have for her.

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currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
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For any of you out there that might find this the least bit helpful:

 

I'm 25 years old and I've never been very into makeup. 95% of the time I don't wear it, whether at home or work or school or out to dinner. The other 5% is reserved for those times where I just feel like dressing up for myself or obviously most important: Halloween. That's also the only time I ever wear dresses/skirts. I was more on the chubby side throughout grade school, and I wore ugly baggy clothes and had very poor self-esteem. However, there are two things that affect my story in a slightly different way than many of you: I'm asexual and I was never bullied by peers or strangers.

 

1. As an asexual, having no interest in attracting a romantic partner, I've always been pretty averse to that ~icky~ sexual and romantic side of things so I learned pretty early to make myself fairly unapproachable. Even though I have a lot more confidence now, people don't come out of the blue to strike up a conversation or hit on me or anything like that, and that's the way I like it. But, there is a marked difference in how people do act around me when I open up to it.

 

2. The majority of my issues with confidence, the negative things I heard, the constant criticism, and the bad habits came from my home life. I became the fighter in my family, and I developed a thick skin and I've heard a few different people say their first impression is "you seem like you would cut me if I messed with you**" or some variation of it ( ** I wouldn't, really! ). As I grew older and began to work with more animals I've realized that that's mostly due to a lack of outward fear. Thus, most people and animals alike don't try me as an easy target.

 

Anyway, back to the important parts. I'm going to add another vote to the fake it or make it bit, because it really can help. You don't have to stand in front of the mirror every day and tell yourself how amazing you are if that doesn't work for you (or if it does, great), but you should try to focus on the things that you like about yourself, even if others don't. It's like dogs: some people like chihuahuas, others like german shepherds. And don't just focus on the physical appearance, but skills and personality traits you like, too. One thing that can really, really help is if you find a job, or start volunteering somewhere, or doing something in a group setting, doing something you're good at. Especially great if it's something that also incorporates skills you need to improve at. If you build confidence in that, saying "wow, I just did really awesome at these" or "I'm really getting the hang of this" can boost your overall confidence. I got thrown into a managerial position at my former job after both of my supervisors quit and I was the only one left (we had a summer crew but winter months were fairly dead), and through that I really grew as a person and learned to speak up about things and be more assertive.

 

Another really important point I want to make is about family. A lot of people will say that you have to love your family because they're your blood. That's not true. If your blood is abusing you, whether it be physically or psychologically, if they're pulling you down, if they're making you feel bad about yourself and unloved and neglected, you do not have to call them family. And you do not have to appease them. The people you call family should be people you choose to surround yourself with because they love you, support you, and help you be your better self. Even if you're still living with, or close to, your relatives, you don't have treat them like family. It may be hard to cut them out of your life, and it may hurt, but every inch of distance you can get will be worth it.

 

And this last bit goes for not just family, but anyone you encounter: see them for who they are, not who you think they should be.

 

ETA: One thing that will also really help if it applies: stop explaining yourself. When you want to do, say, or write something, and you're about to preface with an explanation of WHY you're doing/saying it (which counts as a sort of pre-apology), stop yourself. It will get easier in time, and if you stop apologizing for every little thing (even without actually apologizing) you will gain more confidence to do or say things in the future.

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Level 0 Vampire
 
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Honestly as much as we all hate to say it, its all mental. People are horrible. I've been teased cause I talk differently or from another state. Some teases from some people meant as joke, but I too been both end of the stick. Heck I'm going to be

24 most of my friends are married or getting, I too feel like the fat friend. But I know some people have it worse than me. I have good n bad days.

Guess what I'm saying is enjoy every day as best as you can. We only got so much time on living, remember those people are nothing. Your not alone. Easier said than done. Its a challenge, even knowing all this, I still think low. But its life

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Not sure if you got over it already. I feel like being overweight is somewhat in the bad case because people assume you can change it but won't. It's a terrible assumption.

 

I had some struggles before about being short and Asian guy-- bad combo... and I ranted here a lot that there is no romance novel in the world that includes me as a desirable partner option. However, this is how I dealt with it recently, and how I stayed pretty secure about my own skin.

 

1. Focus on what you can't change, and make it a good thing.

 

   So what? I'm short. I consume less resources, use less fabric, eat less food. I will survive longer with certain food ration. It's also easy for me to move anywhere, take planes and buses without knee problems, and people trust me.

 

   I am Asian, and people assume I'm a nerd? Good. They'd listen to me more for nerdy advice. If a girl thinks less of me because she thinks Asians aren't real men, she probably has some emotional baggage I probably don't want to open anyway. That helps me filter out racists and closed mind people I might hit on. I don't want to marry an Adolfia. There are also ladies who just aren't attracted to Asian men for no reason (I blame the media.) Meh, that can't be helped.

  

I only want 1 Yes. 2,000 nos are fine by me in dating.

 

2. Change what you can

   Asians are to effiminate? 200 chin ups coming up. Being short is ugly? Dress right. Invest more on fashion that makes you look sleek and interesting. Short people aren't attractive because they can't protect anyone? Muay Thai to the max.

 

3. Find people who support you

   People suck. But once in a while you meet amazing people, and you just keep being that person and being with them.

 

Hope this help.

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You all are so supportive and are giving great advice.

I was always a big kid (Giving my father had me down shoes at 10 years old big) and because of that I got made fun of especially by my friends in middle school 

I'd let them do that because I was so sure I could never find any other people that would bother to hang out with me. My confidence was in the gutter, except for when 

I was on the football field...

I was tough then, confident, not to sound violent but breaking through the line and sacking the QB or getting a great block made me feel unstoppable (not to brag but I kinda was) but even still, I wasn't in the popular crowd and felt shunned all through high school and even years after. 

Then one day feeling particularly down on myself I started thinking about those old days on the football field, how confident I felt, how even if I got stopped on one play I KNEW i'd succeed on the next one and something just clicked. I realized "I AM that person" that wasn't some alter-ego out there playing the game, it was ME.

That epiphany really sparked my to start changing my thinking and get closer to who I really am. I'm a Lion inside

Now why would a line be bothered by the opinion of mice?

 

I think everyone is powerful on the inside, they just need to realize it and grab hold of it and pull it out of you.

If anyone tries to put you down, think "you just wait and see". Look in the mirror and say "you're strong, you're confident, you can do anything you want"

even if you don't believe it at first. Over time you thinking will change

 

For what it's worth I believe in all of you. we're all great we just have to realize it  

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
 
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