My head is too small. My face is too shiny. My stomach is too jiggly. My laugh is too loud. My chin is too…double. My nostrils look like big feet. I sleep too much. I eat WAY too much.
These are just a few of the things I am embarrassed about. Like, REALLY embarrassed about. Like, so much so that I just assume everyone is thinking about them all the time. I mean, I am, so isn’t everyone else? If you have noticed them, don’t tell me: I’m self-conscious enough as it is, and some of these things I’m aware of because people have actually pointed them out to me. But most people would either say I am making it up, they haven’t even noticed them or else they really couldn’t care less. Some may even think they are positive or endearing attributes. (Again, if you don’t, DON’T TELL ME!) How do I know that other people aren’t as disgusted with me as I am? Because I’m not disgusted by you. And neither is anybody else.
I recently asked people if, hypothetically, they would ever tell other people what they were self-conscious about, and some people actually responded with very real answers. As I read their statements of horrible shame and self-distortion, I realized that ALL of their embarrassments were either absolutely untrue, a non-issue, or were actually endearing. Not ONE thing they said was something they should be self-conscious of. Not even ONE! This is by no means a scientific study, and there are things about other people that we don’t like and things about us that they don’t like. But in all reality, we aren’t even close to the ugly, fat, gross, poor, weird, failures that we think we are.
Think about your friends. Unless you are a total jerk (which, for all I know, some of you very well may be) you don’t think of your friends as weird, ugly, fat, poor, gross, failures. As for the people I know, the things they were embarrassed about were things like, talking too much (not even true), unconventional fashion and style making others uncomfortable (untrue, and um, endearing!), medical conditions (a total non-issue), lack of accomplishments/education/money (also a total non-issue), Their weight (either not true, or a non-issue. Nobody else even thinks about it and we all think you’re cute!), lack of talent (not even true), lack of domestic skills (untrue, a non-issue, AND endearing)…you get the picture.
Most (all?) people are self-conscious about so very many things. It’s what keeps us striving for more instead of responding to the possibility of self-improvement with, “Nah, I’m good.” But like anything, it can be taken to the extreme, and most people (mainly women?) distort themselves. I’m guilty on myriad occasions of saying out loud, “I hate myself.” “I’m so stupid/fat/ugly/annoying.” “I’m such an idiot/jerk/loser.” And even writing that gets me down. We need to stay positive! We must! We shall! We need to see ourselves the way our friends see us and the way Dove corporation sees us! Seriously, though. Those “Real Beauty Sketches” get me every time!