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Your Reaction Vs Everybody Else's Reaction

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Has anybody else noticed that you react more to your own acne than other people do?

I understand that sometimes people genuinley discriminate and that it can be terrible. But just lately I've been looking in the mirror, lamenting my face and thinking how other people may perceive me...

Yet people come up to me and start random conversations all of the time. People's focus is directly in my eyes for the most part, and I've not had a single person that I know react to me differently when I do or do not have make up on. Sure, I get more attention from the opposite sex with makeup on, but I've noticed that a big smile gets people staring too. And the kind of people that do care are more often than not strangers of a quality that I wouldn't normally give the time of day anyway.

I recently started going to the gym with no make up on. I built it up in my head that everybody would stare, especially a particular person that I'd been getting on well with. I figured everybody would think I was some kind of fake for wearing makeup before. And I'm the only woman I've seen with acne at my gym (a lot of guys have it, but most of the women wear foundation or have clear skin).

Funnily enough none of that happened. Did people stare at my skin? No. Did the people I'd talk too before do a double take? Well, actually, I don't think they even noticed. And that person that I was getting on well with? Well, believe it or not, they actually talk to me much more now.

I suppose what I'm getting at is a lot of it has been in my head, and the parts that haven't don't actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, I have spots and would love clear skin like that girl over there. But maybe she'd love to have my hair instead of her own. Everybody comes with flaws, it's part of our characteristics. And maybe those flaws are just magnified to the people that own them.

Anyway, what are your experiences with this? Do you look in the mirror and think 'oh no!' then step outside and find people care less than you do? Or is it the opposite - d'you think 'looking good!' and then get met with negative comments?

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Has anybody else noticed that you react more to your own acne than other people do?

I understand that sometimes people genuinley discriminate and that it can be terrible. But just lately I've been looking in the mirror, lamenting my face and thinking how other people may perceive me...

Yet people come up to me and start random conversations all of the time. People's focus is directly in my eyes for the most part, and I've not had a single person that I know react to me differently when I do or do not have make up on. Sure, I get more attention from the opposite sex with makeup on, but I've noticed that a big smile gets people staring too. And the kind of people that do care are more often than not strangers of a quality that I wouldn't normally give the time of day anyway.

I recently started going to the gym with no make up on. I built it up in my head that everybody would stare, especially a particular person that I'd been getting on well with. I figured everybody would think I was some kind of fake for wearing makeup before. And I'm the only woman I've seen with acne at my gym (a lot of guys have it, but most of the women wear foundation or have clear skin).

Funnily enough none of that happened. Did people stare at my skin? No. Did the people I'd talk too before do a double take? Well, actually, I don't think they even noticed. And that person that I was getting on well with? Well, believe it or not, they actually talk to me much more now.

I suppose what I'm getting at is a lot of it has been in my head, and the parts that haven't don't actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, I have spots and would love clear skin like that girl over there. But maybe she'd love to have my hair instead of her own. Everybody comes with flaws, it's part of our characteristics. And maybe those flaws are just magnified to the people that own them.

Anyway, what are your experiences with this? Do you look in the mirror and think 'oh no!' then step outside and find people care less than you do? Or is it the opposite - d'you think 'looking good!' and then get met with negative comments?

Great post. I look in the mirror, and get so sad and down about myself about certain areas on my face, sometimes, but then people talk to me like my skin issues are non existent. Ive never had negative comments made at me towards my skin. The only time negativity comes up, is when someone looks at me, and doesnt say anything like "hi, how are you" etc. I just get a look and then they look away. I feel like they instantly judged me on my skin, and they were turned off by it. But like you said, our flaws are magnified 10 fold by our own brains, and chances are the majority of people dont notice or dont care.

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It depends on the severity, I've found.

When my acne is:

Moderate to Severe-- People do seem to notice. I get some "pity" looks and some stares.

Mild to Moderate-- People don't really notice.

But understand, when my acne was severe it was very, very bad. To the point I almost looked like a burn victim or some other horrible disease versus acne. My entire face had almost no normal skin left. It was bad. So it makes sense that people would stare in that case. I think it literally scared them.

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The psychology behind acne is really interesting. Often the physical impact of acne is superseded by the psychological damage it can inflict, although I do agree with the above poster that this can depend on the severity of the acne. If you have had acne for a long time then it becomes almost impossible to see one's reflection objectively, that is, to see yourself as others see you. Often the kinds of value judgments that we put on ourselves such as, 'my acne is terrible, therefore I am terrible/ worthless', are brought to such extremes that they are totally out of sync with reality. By this, I mean the reality of how other people view you, which, if they even notice that you have acne, will simply be put down as being an innocuous physical characteristic, and they certainly won't be formulating the kind of judgmental thoughts we tend to bury ourselves under. Modern psychotherapy often revolves around the hypothesis that it is not so much events in themselves that are troubling but our reaction to them that is the problem. This 'secret', of course, has been well known to humans for centuries and it underpins the psychology of Stoicism that pretty much became the unofficial religion of the entire Roman world.

Edited by ledzep

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Ledzep - You pretty much summed up my thoughts on the subject with a far superior vocabulary and clarity. My day has been made by the combination of intelligence and rock.

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