Everyone has their notion of how people should look and dress, etc... All these diverse perceptions can lead individuals to believe that they need to be a particular way, and if not, then it implies something negative about them. This can frequently affect one’s moods and behaviour.
1 Each person is unique: Remember that each individual is different and has his or her unique characteristics and qualities. Comparing yourself with others around only increases the distress, especially when you start focusing on where you are lacking compared to others. It is important that you channelise your energy towards your positive traits.
2 Do not get swayed by media portrayals: Media portrays people in its own idiosyncratic ways. It does not mean what or how you should be.
3 Personality matters, not looks alone: It is not just looks that are important and that define who you are. Personality defines who you are and how you respond in various situations. It is essential to focus on the personality, which matters the most.
4 Learn social skills: Just looking good will never be sufficient to take you forward in life or help you in your relationships with people. Instead, hone your social skills. The more success one has in social spheres of life, the better you would feel about yourself.
5 Have a healthy lifestyle: Life is a balancing act. Learning to balance different aspects of life is integral to a wholesome life. Have a good, balanced diet and exercise.
6 Do not avoid social interactions: Just because you feel you aren’t good-looking, do not avoid meeting people. The more you shun social interaction, the worse you would feel about yourself.
7 Know your positives: If every individual has his or her limitations, then he or she also has positives. These positive are what you need to concentrate on. Know your strengths. Acknowledge them and work with them.
8 Get healthy peer support: Peers are an important part of your support system. Having peers who are supportive can contribute to our understanding of situations, giving alternative perspectives.
9 Talk to parents and friends: The difficulties you might face in evaluating yourself in a positive light can be taken care of by talking to family and friends.
10 Develop media literacy skills: Learn to see messages in the media in a dispassionate manner. Try and develop this skill so that you are able to integrate what the media shows in a realistic manner.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare