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This post will be quite long and ranty, but the main problem I would like to discuss is that I am constantly unhappy with my life.

There's nothing I can do about outside factors such as the world in which I live, so I've wondered if the main problem is that I can never seem to accept myself. There's a bunch of advice that states that the first step to happiness is loving yourself, and that kind of stuff. But how can I do this if I perceive myself to be so fundamentally flawed?

Even during times when things are looking up for me, it still feels like there's something missing. I've found activities that I enjoy, some of which I could even call passions, and they distract me from the persistent negativity in my mind. However, in the end, I'm still disgusted with myself.

Lately, I've just been depressed. This happens every so often, when I feel that everything is completely meaningless in my life. I've had a ton more time to think how much I hate myself because there are less things to distract me.

I hate the body I was born in. I hate my 150 cm stature. I hate my two X chromosomes, which makes me associated with being a "female." Most of all, I hate how weak I look to society. I've worked out to build up muscle and strength, but that doesn't change how society will continue to view me as a weak little girl.
I'm not even attractive. I have a flat nose and small chin that are pretty disgusting, my skin color looks like either baby diarrhea or like I have jaundice, and everything else about me is very plain. Yes, plastic surgery may be an option to change those things one day. Still, there is no reliable method of increasing height, nor going through a complete sex change, and those are bigger problems. I'd also still have the same brain.

I hate my personality even more. I have no redeeming qualities. I'm not smart or talented. Anything I achieve isn't good enough, all of my accomplishments fall short, I'm nowhere near impressive. I'm not kind, even though I seem that way sometimes. I try to be honest and authentic, but I probably don't succeed at embodying those qualities. I mean, I just said I'd get plastic surgery if it actually worked.
The only thing I'm good at is worrying about everything and constant over-thinking. Not over-thinking in a good way that makes me great at solving problems, I always get stuck into a state of questioning and doubt that makes me unproductive.
Worst of all, I'm extremely stubborn and completely negative. This makes it hard for me to change anything about my personality. It's just too hard, and any changes I've tried felt completely fake, and I went back to my natural state.

I'm also apparently very unlikable. Other people seem to hate me almost as much as I hate myself. I was bullied in middle and high school, and didn't have any friends throughout those years. Whenever I tried having a friend, they'd just end up ditching me because I was too boring or betray me in some way.
Still now, I've never had any close and authentic friendships. They wouldn't enjoy me talking about how I really think and feel, so I'd have to put on an act around them. An act wastes too much energy, so I'd have to give up on them.
Worst of all, I have gone 22 years without ever having gotten into a romantic relationship. Nobody's ever asked me to be their significant other, and nobody's ever even hit on me really. The one time I got the guts to tell someone my feelings, it didn't work out.

It doesn't matter if I think about the people who are people worse off than I am, I still don't want to accept the fact that I'm such a defective person. I've thought I hated life and want no part of it in any form. After thinking about it, I honestly want a do-over, in a completely different body and mindset. I know that's impossible, so how can I learn to accept myself if I legitimately cannot think of anything to appreciate about myself? Or do you have any suggestions about how I can actually succeed in changing myself as a person?
 

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I will just give you a bunch of ideas and you pick whatever works for you.

First of all, you do not need to love or exactly "accept" your body. You can have a neutral attitude towards it and be content. Personally I like to think of myself as an animal, and the top concern of an animal is to survive/stay healthy, not to be attractive. You can think of your body as a machine that you have to keep in good shape, not just with food/water, but with sleep, with avoidance of stress (like your unhappy thoughts!), with exercise and even pleasure. It might be hard to see how important this is when you are young and all your material needs seem to be met. Try to think ahead: will you be weak and frail, dependent and miserable at age 60? Will you be half insane from stressful ideas swirling inside your head five years from now because you kept focusing on them?

You might wonder "who cares what I'm like at 60?" But "who cares" about attractiveness? You don't have to care about either one; you choose what you care about. But one of those has a greater positive effect on your quality of life.

Second of all, consider this: maybe you don't hate everything about yourself. I mean these thoughts of yours, you seem pretty attached to them. Do you hate them? If so, why keep having them? Sometimes you just have to switch your attention to something else, especially if you are thinking of a problem that can't be solved (now or ever). Keep switching your attention and it will become a habit. If you really love your thoughts, try coming up with some thoughts you enjoy more than these unhappy ones. Doing something physical is another route. A healthy physical exhaustion can push thoughts right out of your head and help you focus on what your body can do (rather than what it looks like), which can build confidence and appreciation of your body.

As for other people's opinions: have you ever noticed how stupid, self-absorbed, biased, assholish other people can be? Are these people's opinions really valuable? What are they based on? Do they actually know you? Is it even really about you, or are they maybe acting out their own problems? You don't have to care. You are free to focus on other things. Exercise your freedom.

Consider this: an adult man is much weaker than a bear or tiger. But does anyone make a big deal out of how weak men are? No. There's no reason to make that kind of comparison. So ask yourself: why do people make a big deal out of how weak you are or how weak women are? Bias? Misogynistic agenda? That's assuming people actually have said things about this. If it's just a worry, again, know that you are free to focus on something else. The relative strength of your body is neither good nor bad; it is neutral. It only seems good or bad in someone's mind. That mind doesn't have to be yours, and who cares if it's someone else's? A bear is stronger than you are. A baby is weaker than you are. Why does it matter? People think weird thoughts. They have their "defective" traits. Let them be free to have those traits without getting caught up in them yourself.

If you want to change yourself, the change is probably better off being motivated by a positive goal moreso than not hating yourself (which is removing a negative rather than adding a positive). If I were you, the first goal I would pursue would be refusing to make yourself miserable. Refusing to entertain unhelpful and depressing thoughts. Even if you think of yourself as defective, ugly, and unlikeable...ok, why dwell on it? Dwelling is just adding another problem. On to the next thing. The thoughts may return. Oh well, shit happens. On to the next thing after you've noticed they've returned. Can you think of something to fix the defectiveness within a few minutes time? No? That's ok, on to the next thing.
 

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This post will be quite long and ranty, but the main problem I would like to discuss is that I am constantly unhappy with my life.

There's nothing I can do about outside factors such as the world in which I live, so I've wondered if the main problem is that I can never seem to accept myself. There's a bunch of advice that states that the first step to happiness is loving yourself, and that kind of stuff. But how can I do this if I perceive myself to be so fundamentally flawed?

Even during times when things are looking up for me, it still feels like there's something missing. I've found activities that I enjoy, some of which I could even call passions, and they distract me from the persistent negativity in my mind. However, in the end, I'm still disgusted with myself.

Lately, I've just been depressed. This happens every so often, when I feel that everything is completely meaningless in my life. I've had a ton more time to think how much I hate myself because there are less things to distract me.

I hate the body I was born in. I hate my 150 cm stature. I hate my two X chromosomes, which makes me associated with being a "female." Most of all, I hate how weak I look to society. I've worked out to build up muscle and strength, but that doesn't change how society will continue to view me as a weak little girl.
I'm not even attractive. I have a flat nose and small chin that are pretty disgusting, my skin color looks like either baby diarrhea or like I have jaundice, and everything else about me is very plain. Yes, plastic surgery may be an option to change those things one day. Still, there is no reliable method of increasing height, nor going through a complete sex change, and those are bigger problems. I'd also still have the same brain.

I hate my personality even more. I have no redeeming qualities. I'm not smart or talented. Anything I achieve isn't good enough, all of my accomplishments fall short, I'm nowhere near impressive. I'm not kind, even though I seem that way sometimes. I try to be honest and authentic, but I probably don't succeed at embodying those qualities. I mean, I just said I'd get plastic surgery if it actually worked.
The only thing I'm good at is worrying about everything and constant over-thinking. Not over-thinking in a good way that makes me great at solving problems, I always get stuck into a state of questioning and doubt that makes me unproductive.
Worst of all, I'm extremely stubborn and completely negative. This makes it hard for me to change anything about my personality. It's just too hard, and any changes I've tried felt completely fake, and I went back to my natural state.

I'm also apparently very unlikable. Other people seem to hate me almost as much as I hate myself. I was bullied in middle and high school, and didn't have any friends throughout those years. Whenever I tried having a friend, they'd just end up ditching me because I was too boring or betray me in some way.
Still now, I've never had any close and authentic friendships. They wouldn't enjoy me talking about how I really think and feel, so I'd have to put on an act around them. An act wastes too much energy, so I'd have to give up on them.
Worst of all, I have gone 22 years without ever having gotten into a romantic relationship. Nobody's ever asked me to be their significant other, and nobody's ever even hit on me really. The one time I got the guts to tell someone my feelings, it didn't work out.

It doesn't matter if I think about the people who are people worse off than I am, I still don't want to accept the fact that I'm such a defective person. I've thought I hated life and want no part of it in any form. After thinking about it, I honestly want a do-over, in a completely different body and mindset. I know that's impossible, so how can I learn to accept myself if I legitimately cannot think of anything to appreciate about myself? Or do you have any suggestions about how I can actually succeed in changing myself as a person?
I relate a lot to what you just said, so you're not alone at all.

I began luckily a friendship with a guy at the age of 3-4 and he's still my best friend, and he never let me down, he was kind of a pillar for me for all those years, meaning till 25-26. He's obviously still my best friend, but I can now stand on my own two feet.

For a reason I ignore, my family never could count as emotional pillars, materialy yes, they were of course, but I never felt like we could speak of emotions, and even more of those kind of negative feelings.

And I feel completely disempowered to hear that you never could rely on a friend unlike me, for all those years, that saddens me and you have all my sympathy. I really hope you'll find someone kind and honest.

I'm also cut short on advices even if I felt everything you did, with indeed surely a different context, cause I have a future by actually having a different body, and that's what got me out of this hole.

I don't know if you want me to speak about that last part, PM me if you want a private discussion about it.

Just remember that there's hope at the end of this tunnel, and that is a happy life. And that you know better than any of us in the end, take confidence that things change, that you can be an actor of those changes, none is destined to be in such a state for their entire life, this will not happen. You will overcome that, you have to.

Take care.
 

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After breaking it down loving yourself is a choice.
You decide if you feed the yellow wolf or the green wolf, do you know what I mean? You seem to be very focused on what's wrong with yourself and the world. And there is a lot of shit in this world and in ourselves. In the end we are all just humans, right? You can focus on the small, little positive things you know. If you focus on that, naturally it will grow and grow.

Love is a bit misunderstood in the concept of loving yourself, in my opinion. It's not about feeling about yourself the same way you feel about a crush. That's not love! That's having a crush.
The way you feel about your dog or cat is love. The way you feel about your brother or sister is love. Or about your mom. You know all their flaws. All their mistakes. All they darkness. And yet you love them. But it's not a hyped up feeling right? It's more earthy.

Love is simply being and accepting.
You are small. Okay. Whatever you think about that, it's okay. You can let it go. No need to focus on that. You are female and society judges you. That's okay. You can let it go. No need to focus on that. And so on.
To balance things out, maybe you could find some things you actually like. But do the same here. Don't focus on it. Don't hype it up. You can let it go.
That's love. Simple being. Whatever is there, is there.

This is a diffrent perspective than the usual self-love and confidence training/tips you hear. Maybe it helps.
 

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I've found activities that I enjoy, some of which I could even call passions, and they distract me from the persistent negativity in my mind.
These are good. What are some of these activities? Can you tell us more about them?

I've worked out to build up muscle and strength
Fuck patriarchy and misogyny and their ideology of gender. What kinds of workouts do you like doing? That's a really good thing you did for yourself. Tell us more.

Anything I achieve IS good enough
You've seen and felt that you achieve something, anything. That is good enough.

I'm not kind, even though I seem that way sometimes. I try to be honest and authentic, but I probably don't succeed at embodying those qualities
That means you are kind, honest, and authentic to some degree, which is also good enough. No need to rack up a score card to see how "genuine" that is.

I'm extremely stubborn
This is a good quality. You can learn to channel it in a better direction.

I still don't want to accept the fact that I'm such a defective person
Because you are not. As much as your post is quite harmful to yourself and carries deep hurt, your instinct to heal the wounds that you and others have caused to yourself is kicking in—has always kicked in—and so you're here venting and looking for answers and other ways around it. That is a good thing. It says that beneath all the negative perception you love yourself. Look at all the good things that snuck up (see above) in your post despite all the bad talk.

After thinking about it, I honestly want a do-over, in a completely different body and mindset.
A do-over begins with changing the mindset, which is always doable.

so how can I learn to accept myself if I legitimately cannot think of anything to appreciate about myself? Or do you have any suggestions about how I can actually succeed in changing myself as a person?
This says it all. The challenge is not that you can't change, but whether you can hang on to the good things in your life long enough for them to start changing you. Self-love is a practice of accepting who you are. That means you accept the good stuff and allow it to make you happy and emotionally strong. That means you see the bad stuff and are able to be kind to yourself, as you would to someone you care about if you hear such talk from them. It is not excusing your behaviour but to see ways of improvement without beating yourself to death first.
 
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Dedicated therapy might help, as having somebody to talk/confide in, being able to share in a space where there isn't - supposed to be - any judgment, while having them give you feedback can be pretty beneficial. Or at least, so I've heard.

CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)? I'm not sure if you'd need a professional to help guide you, but if you search for/understand the basics, you can instantly apply some of it to everyday negative thoughts.

There's a lot of articles online as well that help with motivation or that can just be used to learn/hack your brain to a better - way of approaching - life. This is one that I read recently, and I think if you look specifically at the third problem/answer with regards to intrinsic vs. extrinsic, IMO that could be one of the things that keeps you feeling empty despite your attempts at 'doing'.

Besides getting good sleep, eating 'right', and exercise, I think anything you subject yourself to probably has subtle influences to your overall being/makeup. Think media consumption, music, self-messaging, etc... It might take a while for noticeable changes, but eventually the brain should rewire(plasticize). Otherwise, if you just keep feeding it the same - 'negative' - 'content', it will probably just stay stagnant or degrade.

Lastly, to be cliché and condescending of course, of course: you're sooo young. I know 22 seems, and is in some ways 'old' - it really isn't. Like, in 2 months you might meet someone and get into your first relationship, and that may last you for however brief/long, but suddenly that 22 years of being without, won't really mean jack shit. Just another story of our lives that we get to tell someone whenever the opportunity arises...

And d00de, if you were bullied while younger, that's obviously going to have an effect on how you turnout. Better or worse, it's like a roll of the dice. If you understand that, like, really comprehend that, and cry for yourself because of it, or mourn or whatever you need to do, that's good, you should do that. Then once you've really realized that, you can start to find ways on how to repair any damage it may have caused. Again, it's not going to happen overnight, and it'll always stay a part of your 'existence', but at least you'll have been able to pinpoint some defect, and work not to correct it, but to move yourself forward from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
First of all, you do not need to love or exactly "accept" your body. You can have a neutral attitude towards it and be content. Personally I like to think of myself as an animal, and the top concern of an animal is to survive/stay healthy, not to be attractive. You can think of your body as a machine that you have to keep in good shape, not just with food/water, but with sleep, with avoidance of stress (like your unhappy thoughts!), with exercise and even pleasure. It might be hard to see how important this is when you are young and all your material needs seem to be met. Try to think ahead: will you be weak and frail, dependent and miserable at age 60? Will you be half insane from stressful ideas swirling inside your head five years from now because you kept focusing on them?
Hmm, I never thought about it this way but this idea appeals to me. There's a bunch of "body positivity" going around that has seemed rather odd, but thinking of myself like an animal seems much more doable. Thanks for the suggestion. I also like what you said about the fact that all men being weaker than a bear but nobody making a big deal about it, helps put things into perspective.

And I feel completely disempowered to hear that you never could rely on a friend unlike me, for all those years, that saddens me and you have all my sympathy. I really hope you'll find someone kind and honest.
I'm glad that you were able to find this friend. I do still hope that I can find someone like this one day.

I'm also cut short on advices even if I felt everything you did, with indeed surely a different context, cause I have a future by actually having a different body, and that's what got me out of this hole.

I don't know if you want me to speak about that last part, PM me if you want a private discussion about it.

Just remember that there's hope at the end of this tunnel, and that is a happy life. And that you know better than any of us in the end, take confidence that things change, that you can be an actor of those changes, none is destined to be in such a state for their entire life, this will not happen. You will overcome that, you have to.
I'll send you a PM, I've read a little bit about what you said in the poll you posted recently but maybe a discussion would be better.

Love is a bit misunderstood in the concept of loving yourself, in my opinion. It's not about feeling about yourself the same way you feel about a crush. That's not love! That's having a crush.
The way you feel about your dog or cat is love. The way you feel about your brother or sister is love. Or about your mom. You know all their flaws. All their mistakes. All they darkness. And yet you love them. But it's not a hyped up feeling right? It's more earthy.

Love is simply being and accepting.
You are small. Okay. Whatever you think about that, it's okay. You can let it go. No need to focus on that. You are female and society judges you. That's okay. You can let it go. No need to focus on that. And so on.
To balance things out, maybe you could find some things you actually like. But do the same here. Don't focus on it. Don't hype it up. You can let it go.
That's love. Simple being. Whatever is there, is there.

This is a diffrent perspective than the usual self-love and confidence training/tips you hear. Maybe it helps.
Yeah, I like this perspective of self-love and confidence better. I would like to come to the point of accepting my own flaws and mistakes, I'm trying to figure out how to come to that point. It comes more naturally with a pet or a parent, than with myself. Thanks for the input.
 

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These are good. What are some of these activities? Can you tell us more about them?
The past year, I started to enjoy writing for the most part. I like challenging myself to write creative pieces, like poetry and short stories. I thought it was a passion at first, but I've noticed a dangerous habit that I only seem to enjoy it when I receive praise for what I write, rather than being self-sufficient and doing it just for me.

I also got into krav maga and became really addicted to it. I used to go around 10-12 hours a week before the pandemic, and it certainly helped distract me and make me feel as though I was on a high. I lost the ability to train after the lockdowns happened, and it really took a toll because I had nothing to distract me anymore (writing just began to trigger me). I've tried training and working out at home, but it doesn't feel fun or worth it or distracting. It's kinda sad to me how easily I lost this activity, which sort of felt like the only good thing going for me. Kind of made me feel like finding things I like is useless just because of how easily I can lose them.

Fuck patriarchy and misogyny and their ideology of gender. What kinds of workouts do you like doing? That's a really good thing you did for yourself. Tell us more.
Yeah, society ideology of gender is very unfortunate. Thank you, I mostly just enjoy krav maga, or any form of martial arts (I would love to learn other styles eventually). I haven't found a solo workout that I like to do, I don't even really like going to the gym

This is a good quality. You can learn to channel it in a better direction.
Never thought of it that way, I suppose you are right.

Because you are not. As much as your post is quite harmful to yourself and carries deep hurt, your instinct to heal the wounds that you and others have caused to yourself is kicking in—has always kicked in—and so you're here venting and looking for answers and other ways around it. That is a good thing. It says that beneath all the negative perception you love yourself. Look at all the good things that snuck up (see above) in your post despite all the bad talk.

This says it all. The challenge is not that you can't change, but whether you can hang on to the good things in your life long enough for them to start changing you. Self-love is a practice of accepting who you are. That means you accept the good stuff and allow it to make you happy and emotionally strong. That means you see the bad stuff and are able to be kind to yourself, as you would to someone you care about if you hear such talk from them. It is not excusing your behaviour but to see ways of improvement without beating yourself to death first.
Thank you, your words make me feel a bit better. Also, I really like the last sentence. There are ways I can improve and I should try focusing on them, even if it is hard. And I guess you're right that I do have an instinct to want to change. It's really hard for me to reframe negativity, but I find the input of other people helpful, you've given a few ways that I can look at things differently and I can try to practice that.

Dedicated therapy might help, as having somebody to talk/confide in, being able to share in a space where there isn't - supposed to be - any judgment, while having them give you feedback can be pretty beneficial. Or at least, so I've heard.

CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)? I'm not sure if you'd need a professional to help guide you, but if you search for/understand the basics, you can instantly apply some of it to everyday negative thoughts.
I would like to partake in CBT, but I haven't been able to find a good therapist near me who is able to do that. I'm not really sure how to get started on my own.

I'm not really sure how to find an effective therapist in my situation, I've tried a few times and they've all seemed underqualified and unhelpful.

There's a lot of articles online as well that help with motivation or that can just be used to learn/hack your brain to a better - way of approaching - life. This is one that I read recently, and I think if you look specifically at the third problem/answer with regards to intrinsic vs. extrinsic, IMO that could be one of the things that keeps you feeling empty despite your attempts at 'doing'.
Cool, I will look at this, thank you.

Besides getting good sleep, eating 'right', and exercise, I think anything you subject yourself to probably has subtle influences to your overall being/makeup. Think media consumption, music, self-messaging, etc... It might take a while for noticeable changes, but eventually the brain should rewire(plasticize). Otherwise, if you just keep feeding it the same - 'negative' - 'content', it will probably just stay stagnant or degrade.

And d00de, if you were bullied while younger, that's obviously going to have an effect on how you turnout. Better or worse, it's like a roll of the dice. If you understand that, like, really comprehend that, and cry for yourself because of it, or mourn or whatever you need to do, that's good, you should do that. Then once you've really realized that, you can start to find ways on how to repair any damage it may have caused. Again, it's not going to happen overnight, and it'll always stay a part of your 'existence', but at least you'll have been able to pinpoint some defect, and work not to correct it, but to move yourself forward from it.
Thanks for this as well. I think the same about what I subject myself to. It's sort of hard being surrounded by the same kind of crap in terms of media consumption (I try to avoid it, but everyone around me talks about it and it's hard to avoid). But I can at least try with the self-messaging. I guess I haven't really tried hard enough. And I could be more patient as well. :/
 

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I'm afraid I can't offer much advice to you, since I don't know you well, but the best I can offer is look for Dr. Kristin Neff's site and her self compassion exercises. The criticism with therapies like CBT is that it focuses on self-efficacy, that is the confidence to achieve certain things, but not self acceptance, which is accepting yourself no matter how many achievements you have. Of course, I'm not saying avoid those types of therapies, as it's better that you have both, but do not forget the latter. CBT after all is more focused on getting you to take action and the latter which is often the case with Eastern therapies (European - Asian here, haha) like mindfulness meditation which the Western world has a lot of scientific studies on its effectiveness for treating mental illnesses is everywhere online if you're curious. The site Live and Dare posted 76 scientific benefits of mindfulness if you want a big compilation of these studies.

Zen Habits' article "Meditation for Beginners" recommends starting with just 5 minutes if you can't seem to discipline your mind to calm down with often 15-20 minutes a day as more advanced practitioners do. Guided meditations on Youtube is everywhere if you can't seem to do it without a guide, and it including relaxing music as well as possibly relaxing nature sounds seem to help.

Of course, doing CBT with a therapist is better, but try visiting BeBrainFit and check the CBT guides there. Feel free to look at the other resources on that site for mental health as well.

Take care.
 

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I'm not really sure how to put this but some of the things you've said about yourself when it comes to the struggle with believing in yourself I can relate with to an extent because I too struggle with this from time to time. Sometimes I hate on myself for things such as gaining some weight over the last couple of years, under-performing on an exam or assignment for school, comparing myself to others, never yet having a gf, and thoughts of self-doubt about my abilities and intelligence.

And you know what? Having these thoughts pop up is okay. It's only human to have thoughts of not being good enough and they'll never 100% disappear. With that being said, I think that a lot of the bad thoughts that we have in our head, especially yours, are just that. All in our head, and manifest as self-conscious fears. What's important is that you never let these negative thoughts and fears overrun your state of mind to the point where you truly believe that you're defective and hopeless, which I absolutely believe that you aren't! I don't believe this because I think that almost anyone has the potential to improve themselves and their position in life, as long as they see their potential and keep their chin up one day at a time no matter how bad things get. And honestly, I truly believe that you're a cool and unique individual with potential. I enjoy your posts and your authenticity and I think that's good enough. So as cliche as this sounds, please never give up!

 

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I will just give you a bunch of ideas and you pick whatever works for you.

First of all, you do not need to love or exactly "accept" your body. You can have a neutral attitude towards it and be content. Personally I like to think of myself as an animal, and the top concern of an animal is to survive/stay healthy, not to be attractive. You can think of your body as a machine that you have to keep in good shape, not just with food/water, but with sleep, with avoidance of stress (like your unhappy thoughts!), with exercise and even pleasure. It might be hard to see how important this is when you are young and all your material needs seem to be met. Try to think ahead: will you be weak and frail, dependent and miserable at age 60? Will you be half insane from stressful ideas swirling inside your head five years from now because you kept focusing on them?

You might wonder "who cares what I'm like at 60?" But "who cares" about attractiveness? You don't have to care about either one; you choose what you care about. But one of those has a greater positive effect on your quality of life.

Second of all, consider this: maybe you don't hate everything about yourself. I mean these thoughts of yours, you seem pretty attached to them. Do you hate them? If so, why keep having them? Sometimes you just have to switch your attention to something else, especially if you are thinking of a problem that can't be solved (now or ever). Keep switching your attention and it will become a habit. If you really love your thoughts, try coming up with some thoughts you enjoy more than these unhappy ones. Doing something physical is another route. A healthy physical exhaustion can push thoughts right out of your head and help you focus on what your body can do (rather than what it looks like), which can build confidence and appreciation of your body.

As for other people's opinions: have you ever noticed how stupid, self-absorbed, biased, assholish other people can be? Are these people's opinions really valuable? What are they based on? Do they actually know you? Is it even really about you, or are they maybe acting out their own problems? You don't have to care. You are free to focus on other things. Exercise your freedom.

Consider this: an adult man is much weaker than a bear or tiger. But does anyone make a big deal out of how weak men are? No. There's no reason to make that kind of comparison. So ask yourself: why do people make a big deal out of how weak you are or how weak women are? Bias? Misogynistic agenda? That's assuming people actually have said things about this. If it's just a worry, again, know that you are free to focus on something else. The relative strength of your body is neither good nor bad; it is neutral. It only seems good or bad in someone's mind. That mind doesn't have to be yours, and who cares if it's someone else's? A bear is stronger than you are. A baby is weaker than you are. Why does it matter? People think weird thoughts. They have their "defective" traits. Let them be free to have those traits without getting caught up in them yourself.

If you want to change yourself, the change is probably better off being motivated by a positive goal moreso than not hating yourself (which is removing a negative rather than adding a positive). If I were you, the first goal I would pursue would be refusing to make yourself miserable. Refusing to entertain unhelpful and depressing thoughts. Even if you think of yourself as defective, ugly, and unlikeable...ok, why dwell on it? Dwelling is just adding another problem. On to the next thing. The thoughts may return. Oh well, shit happens. On to the next thing after you've noticed they've returned. Can you think of something to fix the defectiveness within a few minutes time? No? That's ok, on to the next thing.
This is quite possibly The best response to an advice center post I've ever happened upon. Reading though the lines I could see faint splashes of watercolor which is unlike anything I've ever experienced.

"This post is brought to you by "sometimes a simple 'thanks' is not enough"
 

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This post will be quite long and ranty, but the main problem I would like to discuss is that I am constantly unhappy with my life.

There's nothing I can do about outside factors such as the world in which I live, so I've wondered if the main problem is that I can never seem to accept myself. There's a bunch of advice that states that the first step to happiness is loving yourself, and that kind of stuff. But how can I do this if I perceive myself to be so fundamentally flawed?

Even during times when things are looking up for me, it still feels like there's something missing. I've found activities that I enjoy, some of which I could even call passions, and they distract me from the persistent negativity in my mind. However, in the end, I'm still disgusted with myself.

Lately, I've just been depressed. This happens every so often, when I feel that everything is completely meaningless in my life. I've had a ton more time to think how much I hate myself because there are less things to distract me.

True judging from you statement you have a self acceptance issue. Self acceptance is easy. All you need to do is look at what you wrote and list a positive. Even if you can’t accept yourself, you are still an independent and nuanced person.

You’re constantly over thinking? Then you’re an intellectual person because intellectual people are inside their minds thinking deeply about topics.

I want you to to look at what you wrote, and write out good versions of qualities that you can still pick out or argue. (For example, you wrote “I have persistent negativity in my mind” —> “that is intellectually focused as a state of mind, because a person would be inside their minds, and people who are usually inside their minds are often intellectual people”)

Alongside that, I want you to write down strengths (e.g. “I have good interpretive abilities”) and weaknesses. Not only weaknesses. (e.g. “I have persistently negative thoughts”)


I bolded the persistent negativity statement because that is the core of your problem. What you think shapes your results. Write down your thoughts and ask yourself , would you say something different if a friend told you this? What would you tell a friend who was in your position?
 

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Hey, I like you already.

You're a lot better of a person than I am, that's for sure. And you already showed a lot of good qualities in this thread.
It's okay to hate yourself sometimes, but don't throw out the good parts too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm afraid I can't offer much advice to you, since I don't know you well, but the best I can offer is look for Dr. Kristin Neff's site and her self compassion exercises. The criticism with therapies like CBT is that it focuses on self-efficacy, that is the confidence to achieve certain things, but not self acceptance, which is accepting yourself no matter how many achievements you have. Of course, I'm not saying avoid those types of therapies, as it's better that you have both, but do not forget the latter. CBT after all is more focused on getting you to take action and the latter which is often the case with Eastern therapies (European - Asian here, haha) like mindfulness meditation which the Western world has a lot of scientific studies on its effectiveness for treating mental illnesses is everywhere online if you're curious. The site Live and Dare posted 76 scientific benefits of mindfulness if you want a big compilation of these studies.

Zen Habits' article "Meditation for Beginners" recommends starting with just 5 minutes if you can't seem to discipline your mind to calm down with often 15-20 minutes a day as more advanced practitioners do. Guided meditations on Youtube is everywhere if you can't seem to do it without a guide, and it including relaxing music as well as possibly relaxing nature sounds seem to help.

Of course, doing CBT with a therapist is better, but try visiting BeBrainFit and check the CBT guides there. Feel free to look at the other resources on that site for mental health as well.

Take care.
Thank you very much for the response. I will definitely look into these articles, and these websites/guides should work very well during lockdown.

I'm not really sure how to put this but some of the things you've said about yourself when it comes to the struggle with believing in yourself I can relate with to an extent because I too struggle with this from time to time. Sometimes I hate on myself for things such as gaining some weight over the last couple of years, under-performing on an exam or assignment for school, comparing myself to others, never yet having a gf, and thoughts of self-doubt about my abilities and intelligence.

And you know what? Having these thoughts pop up is okay. It's only human to have thoughts of not being good enough and they'll never 100% disappear. With that being said, I think that a lot of the bad thoughts that we have in our head, especially yours, are just that. All in our head, and manifest as self-conscious fears. What's important is that you never let these negative thoughts and fears overrun your state of mind to the point where you truly believe that you're defective and hopeless, which I absolutely believe that you aren't! I don't believe this because I think that almost anyone has the potential to improve themselves and their position in life, as long as they see their potential and keep their chin up one day at a time no matter how bad things get. And honestly, I truly believe that you're a cool and unique individual with potential. I enjoy your posts and your authenticity and I think that's good enough. So as cliche as this sounds, please never give up!
I appreciate you reaching out to me in this thread, thank you! In a way it's reassuring to know that you have gone through some of these things (although I am sorry you feel that way as well), I never would have guessed that just from talking to you. Knowing that it's just human to feel "not good enough," and the video you posted really illustrates that.
 

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True judging from you statement you have a self acceptance issue. Self acceptance is easy. All you need to do is look at what you wrote and list a positive. Even if you can’t accept yourself, you are still an independent and nuanced person.

You’re constantly over thinking? Then you’re an intellectual person because intellectual people are inside their minds thinking deeply about topics.

I want you to to look at what you wrote, and write out good versions of qualities that you can still pick out or argue. (For example, you wrote “I have persistent negativity in my mind” —> “that is intellectually focused as a state of mind, because a person would be inside their minds, and people who are usually inside their minds are often intellectual people”)

Alongside that, I want you to write down strengths (e.g. “I have good interpretive abilities”) and weaknesses. Not only weaknesses. (e.g. “I have persistently negative thoughts”)

I bolded the persistent negativity statement because that is the core of your problem. What you think shapes your results. Write down your thoughts and ask yourself , would you say something different if a friend told you this? What would you tell a friend who was in your position?
Thank you, I appreciate your examples of reframing negative thoughts, and finding ways to balance strengths and weaknesses in a list. I'm working on adding things to this list and I'll try to keep adding. It's also helpful thinking about how differently I would approach the situation if someone I cared about were in my position.

Hey, I like you already.

You're a lot better of a person than I am, that's for sure. And you already showed a lot of good qualities in this thread.
It's okay to hate yourself sometimes, but don't throw out the good parts too.
Well thanks, that's really nice of you.
 
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