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Teenage Problems/I have way to many flaws.


Hey, I'm 15, female and from the UK.

To put it basically, I hate everything about myself. I'm not suicidal or depressed or cutting or anything I just don't really find myself a necessarily attractive or interesting person. I'm not a big person but I have a big thighs, dodgy arms and I don't really like my face much. I'm not good with makeup, so making myself feel more confident, facially, doesn't really work.(I am able to cover bad spots but that's as far as my makeup expertise goes and eyeliner takes me half an hour so only if I have the time). I'm not really a socialite(I don't get invited to parties and I'm not very popularand chill with my group of about8 friends) I just scroll through tumblr and instagram or anything really on the internet.
I'd say the only thing about myself I like is that I'm a polite and friendly person. I will be there for a shoulder to cry on and I will accept others flaws and help them with anything and put their emotional needs infront of mine.
But what has made me think about this more recently is that I have been feeling constantly judged by people who don't know me or only know my name and if I'm in one of their classes or not.(I did take drama this year to gain confidence and at the start it was fine but we had to watch ourselves back recently and I cringed all the way through it and have felt judged ever since)

I've never really told anyone that I don't like anything about myself but since I'm getting older and that's kind of when you start to get serious relationships. (just to add I have only ever had 2 boyfriends, One of which was when I was 11 and too shy to even hug him and the other I was really awkward and it ended in 'I don't really have feelings for you anymore' which was last year and I still kinda like him if I'm being honest) but I'm starting to worry that if I don't like my flaws how will someone else like them? and why do I feel this way about myself?

P.s. I don't want this to affect my future or anything and I usually just hide behind I'm a shy nerd but its getting hard to handle hating yourself.

Also I am SO VERY sorry if this doesn't make sense but to sum up I hate my physical appearance and I'm not confident enough to be myself in front of people I am not comfortable with/have recently met and I'm worried that this will affect future relationships because I have lots of flaws and awkward in a relationship.

Hi Robyn,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Firstly, let me reassure you. Everyone has insecurities and flaws and struggles with them. Even the most attractive person in the world will find something they do not like about the self when they look in the mirror of think about themselves. We are part of a generation of "Facebook happiness" and media, where you have to be beautiful and be having an exciting time every day to justify your life. We compare ourselves to what we think we should be to please other people and in effect, we let others define what we think we should have or look like to define our happiness.we have become so concerned that we do not fit a media stereotype of "beautiful" or "happy" that when we feel that we fall short, we feel unhappy because we cannot compete with what we see, hear or read. In reality, people spends thousands of pounds to make people in media look "perfect" and to drive us, as "normal people" to feel bad because all we can do is aspire to a look we will never achieve; not because there is anything wrong with us but because we do not photoshop our flaws. On Facebook, people put across their most exciting statuses and post specially selected photos for the same reason; nobody wants to be seen as being dull, boring or unpopular. In reality, everyone leads a similar life and it's not all glamour and events, it's about real life and the sometimes boring things that this involves. Millions of pounds are spent on marketing and making us feel inferior because there is profit in it. If you look at pictures of slim, beautiful, almost anorexic women modelling jeans surrounded by hunky men, marketing will make you think that by buying those jeans you will attract similar things and this not true. This scenario is not just the situation with the media and it making us feel bad, it is about our friends who may, inadvertently make us feel like rubbish because we are not like them. There was a story on the radio recently about a young man's quest to pose the perfect selfie to stay in line with his friends on Facebook that it lead to him taking over 200 selfie a day. This kind of obsession is driven by our need to be "normal" and to fit in. However, "normal" is defined by the expectations we put on ourselves based upon how we compare to our peer groups and the definition will always change. "Normal" is the term people use to judge people different from Ouse,ves in some aspect and to normalise their behaviour even though others may think it is abnormal. For example, a tall thin girl who takes several selfie a day to get the "right picture" may think she is "normal" because a lot of people like them on Facebook but in the real World, is her behaviour "normal"? The answer is "no" because it is obsessive and not a true reflection of her. However, if her friends think "well she is doing it, so I should because she is getting attention" and then copy her behaviour, they judge anyone not taking countless selfies as being "not normal". The fact that they have had to do this in the first place to prove a
Lint and fit in shows their own flaws and insecurities just the same as we all have.

We all have part of our personality and/or body that we do not like and sometimes we all wish we could be like someone else we know that on the surface has a better life than us but in reality, we are all striving for perfection and few, if any of us find it. Life is about playing with the hand of cards you have and trying to prove that you are happy with the hand you have been dealt. It is not about revealing those card (your weaknesses) but it is about bluffing that they are OK. Those who are the most confident have learned to mask their own insecurities and flaws by "blagging" their way through life. That is all confidence is, acting and pretending that you do not care about what people think. It a skill that can be learned, like riding a bike but it takes practice.

When it comes to being outgoing and confident, it is all about acting. One of the things that I do when I get anxious about meeting new people or going into an environment where I have to speak to people I do not know is to act like one of my friends who is quite confident. I copy the way he holds his posture, the way he greets people and his general demeanour and it makes me feel a lot less nervous and out of place than I may normally have done. I act confident so I become confident. This does not mean that my I securities or flaws go away, they won't, they are psychological. What it means is that I manage my personality and behaviour in public so much that my flaws do not bother me or affect me having a good time.

There is a technique I was taught a couple of years ago about when you look at yourself in a negative way, it is to imagine that that you when you look forward there is a triangular limit to what you can see. This means that everything you can see in front of you forms a triangle, your current life, your past, your future, your insecurities etc. When we are in a low mood, all we can see is the smallest part of the top of triangle, which contains all the negative things in our life. What we miss, because we are blinkered by our mood at that time, is the fact that the rest of the triangle is bigger and contains more positive things that we forget and do not see when we are feeling low. Sometimes, when we turn the camera on ourselves with cynical eyes we only see our faults, which are a small part of ourselves and we ignore the rest. Knowing this should allow to think about the bigger picture of what is positive in your life and with you, opposed to seeing the negatives.

Another thing to be aware of is that we always judge ourselves harsher than we should, particularly when we look in the mirror. What we see as a massive spot that is taking over our face, in reality no one will notice. That big event where we think we sat in the corner and said nothing doesn't matter, because at least we were there.

You said in your email some positive things; you have friends and you are not suicidal. Both good. You have friends...why would you have friends if you had so many problems. Ding outgoing or not being able to keep up with the makeup? You wouldn't. You also mention you are polite and well mannered....there is nothing wrong with that either. Manners bring respect and that is something worth remembering. Pretty girls who cannot say "thank you" are not as well thought as those who say "please" and "thank you".

I think that your "flaws" stem from your misunderstanding of what you bring to your group of friends and because you are not identical to them. What I think you need to understand is that it is is these apparent flaws that make you unique, memorable and a good companion to your friends. It may be that fact that you feel so different that brings "normality" to the group because you bring them down to Earth and are the sensible one...and there is nothing wrong with that at all (it's a strength).

You have f,AS's, but so does everyone. Show me someone who says they don't have flaws or aren't I secure and I will show you a liar. You are perfect and normal, you just need to remember that "if you don't love your insecurities, so done else will." ( advert).

I hope that helps.

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)


My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.


I have volunteered for for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with, and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

The Albert Kennedy Trust

Relationships: Cathy Senker, 2012, Raintree The Dean and Chapter Positive Nation GTEN Television Aim Higher

BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Student achievement Adult learner's Award

Past/Present Clients Connexions Direct

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