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I'm Not Worthy Of Being In A Relationship?

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Hi UnacceptedRealist:

Sorry if I misinterpreted what you were trying to say. In terms of feeling like you don't have an "issue" because your poor self self-esteem reflects reality - I sometimes feel that way too; like I'm just able to see how objectively depressing my situation is. Then again, I think most normal people over-evaluate their looks. We need coping mechanisms to unrealistically boost our sense of self-worth, otherwise we wouldn't be able to function on a day-to-day basis. So I guess I would characterize my poor self-esteem as rational but not normal, if that makes sense.

I think you're right. I lack the willingness to view myself more favorably than I would someone else in my situation (or, as you put it, coping mechanisms).

That said, functioning on a day-to-day basis is not a struggle for me, and I don't think I need to boost my sense of self-worth. This, I think, is because my "low self-esteem" is confined to a specific component of my life -- intimate relationships. I don't suffer from an overall lack of self-confidence or an inability to discern my weaknesses from my strengths. In fact, I think the latter is something I'm particularly good at; I have the ability (willingness?) to admit my faults and analyze them in an objective fashion. So, in a way, I think the fact that I'm able to acknowledge my faults, and live within my perceived limitations, adds to my overall self-worth. Perhaps, this is my coping mechanism...

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I appreciate all the thoughtful replies, guys. And I partially agree with the consensus; specifically, I do think that my self-esteem is 'low' (or at least lower than usual...), but I don't think I suffer from a "self-esteem issue." I guess it depends on your definition of an 'issue', but, in my opinion, my self-esteem -- or lack thereof -- is appropriate. It's the acne, and the other of acne-related ailments, that are the issue. And in my case, many of those issues aren't going anywhere (I mean, realistically speaking, my acne scarring is fairly permanent).

Moreover, I really don't see how it's possible to be 'happy', or 'accept' myself, because I don't like the way I look. And I don't believe this is an inherently irrational concept. I mean, I'll be honest: I wouldn't be attracted to someone if they looked like I do. It's really that simple. I just don't change my standards for myself.

So, I guess my situation is entirely internal; I only have myself to blame and I'm content with that.

Also, to clarify:

My "hypothetical scenario" was, actually, hypothetical. No one has ever 'liked' me and, quite frankly, I don't blame them -- I mean, I don't even like myself...

I guess I'm just weird.

Unaccepted Realist,

I used to have moderate acne and it plagued my everyday life, somehow turning fun events into something I wished I didn't have to go to. Acne definitely can lower self esteem, but try and let it not get in the way of life. If you're going to live with something for a while, you may want to try and be as positive as you can about it. (:

How do you know that no-one has ever liked you?

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Unaccepted Realist,

I used to have moderate acne and it plagued my everyday life, somehow turning fun events into something I wished I didn't have to go to. Acne definitely can lower self esteem, but try and let it not get in the way of life. If you're going to live with something for a while, you may want to try and be as positive as you can about it. (:

How do you know that no-one has ever liked you?

In theory, I agree -- being positive is usually a good thing. But, in reality, I just can't convince myself that it's practical; it's extremely difficult for me to be genuinely positive about my appearance because I'm constantly reminded of what I really look like (and trust me, I don't have 'moderate' acne) -- be it mirrors or talking to people who can't make eye contact. I have, however, tried to circumvent this issue by improving areas of my appearance that I can control, and, to some extent, it has worked. I'm proud to say that I consider myself to be in very good shape physically; but still, aesthetically, I'm just not content enough to be genuinely positive.

As for knowing I've never been 'liked', I really don't 'know' that, but I'd be willing to bet that it's the case.

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Unaccepted Realist,

I used to have moderate acne and it plagued my everyday life, somehow turning fun events into something I wished I didn't have to go to. Acne definitely can lower self esteem, but try and let it not get in the way of life. If you're going to live with something for a while, you may want to try and be as positive as you can about it. (:

How do you know that no-one has ever liked you?

In theory, I agree -- being positive is usually a good thing. But, in reality, I just can't convince myself that it's practical; it's extremely difficult for me to be genuinely positive about my appearance because I'm constantly reminded of what I really look like (and trust me, I don't have 'moderate' acne) -- be it mirrors or talking to people who can't make eye contact. I have, however, tried to circumvent this issue by improving areas of my appearance that I can control, and, to some extent, it has worked. I'm proud to say that I consider myself to be in very good shape physically; but still, aesthetically, I'm just not content enough to be genuinely positive.

As for knowing I've never been 'liked', I really don't 'know' that, but I'd be willing to bet that it's the case.

What makes you unhappy about how you look?

And I'm 100% positive someone has liked you. As a shy person myself, I usually do not tell the people I like that I'm interested in them. Some of them had acne, some of them didn't. Regardless, I still didn't let it slip that I liked them. You're more than just what you look like. You sound like you have a nice personality and there are plenty of people out there that would be attracted to you. Don't let your un-perfect skin characterize who you are.

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What makes you unhappy about how you look?

And I'm 100% positive someone has liked you. As a shy person myself, I usually do not tell the people I like that I'm interested in them. Some of them had acne, some of them didn't. Regardless, I still didn't let it slip that I liked them. You're more than just what you look like. You sound like you have a nice personality and there are plenty of people out there that would be attracted to you. Don't let your un-perfect skin characterize who you are.

Thanks for the kind words.

I'd rather not detail exactly what I don't like about my appearance; but, basically, I have acne and relatively severe acne scarring.

Also, I don't think my skin completely characterizes who I am, but it certainly limits who I can become. It's just reality, appearances matter to most people (myself included) and there's just not much I can do about what I look like. I guess, honestly, I don't want to be happy just to be happy. I'm not happy about how I look; I'll probably never be happy about how I look, and this is okay with me because, considering my situation, it seems like a reasonable outlook.

Although, I don't intend to let my flaws (legitimate or not) impact my life in any overly negative way. I'm still pursuing what I want to do, and I think that I'll ultimately be fairly successful -- even if I'm not truly 'happy' about my appearance.

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Unaccepted Realist, you are an individual with your own set of beliefs and values which are inherent to you, nobody else. Everybody has a different outlook when it comes to acne/scarring. Just because you wouldn’t find the other sex with similar acne/scarring attractive, doesn’t mean everyone will take a similar viewpoint.

I’m not saying all of this just to offer words of comfort, I’m speaking from experience and what I have witnessed in my life.

I do believe you are on the right track though, improving other aspects of your life will help to diminish the psychological effects that acne has had on you. I wish you all the best!

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Unaccepted Realist, you are an individual with your own set of beliefs and values which are inherent to you, nobody else. Everybody has a different outlook when it comes to acne/scarring. Just because you wouldn’t find the other sex with similar acne/scarring attractive, doesn’t mean everyone will take a similar viewpoint.

I’m not saying all of this just to offer words of comfort, I’m speaking from experience and what I have witnessed in my life.

I do believe you are on the right track though, improving other aspects of your life will help to diminish the psychological effects that acne has had on you. I wish you all the best!

You're right and I didn't mean to imply that I thought everyone (or anyone, for that matter) shared my views.

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What makes you unhappy about how you look?

And I'm 100% positive someone has liked you. As a shy person myself, I usually do not tell the people I like that I'm interested in them. Some of them had acne, some of them didn't. Regardless, I still didn't let it slip that I liked them. You're more than just what you look like. You sound like you have a nice personality and there are plenty of people out there that would be attracted to you. Don't let your un-perfect skin characterize who you are.

Thanks for the kind words.

I'd rather not detail exactly what I don't like about my appearance; but, basically, I have acne and relatively severe acne scarring.

Also, I don't think my skin completely characterizes who I am, but it certainly limits who I can become. It's just reality, appearances matter to most people (myself included) and there's just not much I can do about what I look like. I guess, honestly, I don't want to be happy just to be happy. I'm not happy about how I look; I'll probably never be happy about how I look, and this is okay with me because, considering my situation, it seems like a reasonable outlook.

Although, I don't intend to let my flaws (legitimate or not) impact my life in any overly negative way. I'm still pursuing what I want to do, and I think that I'll ultimately be fairly successful -- even if I'm not truly 'happy' about my appearance.

I think appearance has varying levels of importance depending on the situation. IMO, in a relationship, appearance has little value, but I also tend to date unattractive guys. I find myself more attracted to someone who is intelligent, funny, witty and spontaneous than a good-looking man that doesn't have those characteristics. Some people place more importance on importance, others on personality, but overall personality is a huge factor, especially in long term. In a job setting, you might gain a little advantage over others for having a nice looking face, but overall it is your credentials that you will earn you the job.

Why do you feel like your skin limits what you can do? And hopefully I can help you become happy with how you look. :)

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I think appearance has varying levels of importance depending on the situation. IMO, in a relationship, appearance has little value, but I also tend to date unattractive guys. I find myself more attracted to someone who is intelligent, funny, witty and spontaneous than a good-looking man that doesn't have those characteristics. Some people place more importance on importance, others on personality, but overall personality is a huge factor, especially in long term. In a job setting, you might gain a little advantage over others for having a nice looking face, but overall it is your credentials that you will earn you the job.

Why do you feel like your skin limits what you can do? And hopefully I can help you become happy with how you look. smile.png

Well, considering I've never been in a relationship, I'll take your word for anything relationship-related.

As for my skin limiting what I can do, that's not necessarily what I meant. I'm sure it doesn't help my career aspirations, but what I meant was, actually, who I become -- not what I do. My scarring is severe enough that it is very noticeable and I can attempt to hide it (which I don't see myself doing...), but realistically I can't rid myself of it. That's tough for me because I have most of my life ahead, and I never thought I'd be dealing with this long-term.

And, I don't mean this as an insult, but you're not going to be able to "help me become happy with how I look." To me, it's just not that simple; it's not something I'm going to accept. I'm really not sure why I scarred like I did, and, more than likely, I'll be forever haunted by the fact that I might have been able to prevent it.

I do, however, appreciate your willingness to converse with me. Outside of this site, I have nobody to talk about these issues with. So, for that, thanks again.

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