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Old 02-18-2010
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I wonder if anyone can relate to me here. I feel like I have 2 self images of myself. The first is a self image of how I believe I am and the second is how I believe people see me, and both are poles apart.

I am sure people who have read my posts are sick and tired of me saying that I was always receiving put downs, ridicule and negative judgements about how I looked and a minor speech impediment from the ages of about 14-21 and those negative judgements seem to have brainwashed me into believing people see me as ugly, inadequate, inferior, not good enough, etc. I really do believe people see me as ugly after all those comments and put downs. I am so self conscious being looked at because I believe I am being judged in these negative ways and I just can't stand it.

However I now make the absolute most of myself and when I look at myself in the mirror I think I look cool and fine, I like lots that I see. But as soon as I am around other people I believe people see me as this totally ugly freak who is totally unworthy.

Unfortunately its this image that people see me as ugly that seems to control my mind when I am around people and I cannot seem to shift it no matter how hard I try to work on relevant issues.

Can anyone relate to having 2 self images of yourself?
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Old 02-18-2010
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I'm not to sure if i do have 2 self images but i do sometimes have good days where i feel fine about myself.....Other days i feel like crap and would rather be dead.
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Old 02-18-2010
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I have dozens of images of myself. It's dependent on how I currently feel about myself, and how I imagine I'm being viewed by who I'm around.
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Old 02-18-2010
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On one end of the scale I feel attractive, good looking handsome and I believe people see me as that too, on the other end, I feel repulsive, ugly and something out of a freakshow and I assume people feel the same way about me as I do myself. It's really random I can to from one extreme to the next in a matter of seconds with no reason at all..I must have a bi polar thing going on with this self image thing.
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Old 02-18-2010
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Yes, to an extent, I'm the same way. I see the way I am & the potential I have to be another way. Plus, I have the way I believe others view me, versus the way I really am.
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Old 02-18-2010
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i can totally relate to u. In school i was thought of as the geek and i really dressed the part too now that im older i think ive become quite good looking. Girls always call me handsome and some people look up to me because of the way i look (i know its ridiculous, i find it very strange myself).

There is definitely a confident/cocky side to me that comes out usually in large groups or at parties, and although i feel good at the moment, in the back of my head i think i'm being a fake, and that my confidence is just a show for people. I've tried out the philosophy "act confident and you'll be confident" but i keep beating myself up for not being myself.
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Old 02-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day_Tripper View Post
I have dozens of images of myself. It's dependent on how I currently feel about myself, and how I imagine I'm being viewed by who I'm around.
I am the same way.
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Old 02-18-2010
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Yes, I often have a different image of myself. There was a time when I was younger when I only had one image, as I thought of myself the same as I thought people thought of me, unattractive. Then for a long time I actually felt good about myself when I was alone, but too often when in public I felt I looked very unattractive. I especially find it hard to be around people I knew back when I always felt bad, for some reason I revert back to the way I felt back then, which wasn't good. Its part of the reason I sometimes avoid old friends, it just brings you back to those old times. But I am getting better, these days I sometimes feel really good about myself, and when I am out in public I often feel OK. I feel at least like I'm sensible enough looking that I do not repulse anyone. I am also looking after myself better, exercising, eating healthy, sleeping well, losing weight. It all helps me.

One thing that I really find helpful, that I did not do before, is to let yourself feel your emotions. I used to have to block out my emotions always because I could not cope with them. I did not even know I was doing it. For a long number of years I can not remember feeling any kind of happiness whatsoever. I just could not cope with feeling it for fear of it being taken away or that I didn't deserve it. I think alot of my love shyness stems from not being able to feel emotions, happiness in particular. As when I am close to a woman I like, it is impossible to block out all the happiness, and as soon as I get at all happy, the anxiousness kicks in to protect me from it. This is not the way the anxiousness is supposed to work, it just got messed up way back when I falsely thought many times that being happy had caused my bad experiences. So I started a few years ago to start feeling my happiness and sadness little pieces at a time when I could handle them. I found I started being able to cope with happiness much better, and now the bad thoughts about myself do not come back as often or as bad. Sometimes I can even walk around in public and think of past pleasant experiences and feel the happiness. This is very contrary to being in public and feeling like the hunchback of notre dame. And when I don't feel bad, I don't think people are viewing me as bad. Which means most of it was in my head all along. I don't think my brain has the ability to function properly when I do not feel my emotions. It starves me of the chemicals and hormones that is the food for my nervous systems, and the result is not pleasant. I thought I was feeling emotions before, but what I was feeling was anxiousness. And it meant I was anxious almost all the time. When I was a teenager the only time I did not feel anxious, even at home, was when I was in a washroom behind a locked door. Letting yourself feel the emotions, and having the emotions in the first place, is not a piece of cake. But I have been trying, and it helps for me, and it is washing away alot of unpleasantness. It also means I have to feel sadness too, when it's appropriate, to keep the balance right. But I was always good at that. Sorry for the ramble, but it helps me to share it.
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Old 02-19-2010
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I really do have 2 self-images:
*The first image I see has potential to succeed. I'm smart, intelligent, considerate, funny and still alive. This is the part of me that stays hopeful.
*The other image I see is inferior, weak, offensive and ugly.


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