10 brutally honest tips to deal with being ugly (hint: perspective matters)

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You’re ugly.

You’ve been told as much by many people.

And when you look in the mirror, you can’t help but agree.

But if you really are that ugly, how can you deal with this reality?

How do you cope with being unattractive?

Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist if your appearance is really getting you down. They’ll help to give your self-esteem a little boost. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient.

1. In The Spirit Of Honesty

Let’s not be patronizing – whilst beauty is partly subjective, there is also something objective about it too.

Each of us has a certain look which may or may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you were to ask 100 people to rate the beauty of any individual out of 10, you’d likely see scores that cluster around certain points on the scale.

So one person may score anywhere between a 4 and a 7, but the majority of ratings would probably be a 5 or a 6.

Perhaps you score between 1 and 4 with the majority rating you as a 2 or a 3.

Let’s not beat around the bush. You are on the less attractive end of the scale.

And you probably hate it when people try to convince you otherwise.

They say things like, “You’re beautiful in your own way” or “You’re unique.

All you hear in these clichés is insincerity disguised as politeness.

Forgive them, for they know not what they say. Let’s face it, telling someone that they are unattractive is not easy…

Unless you really know someone and how they might react, it’s natural to err on the side of caution.

But let’s take it at face value, if you’ll excuse the pun, and accept that you are, indeed, a relatively ugly person on the surface.

Your first question may be…

2. Why Am I So Ugly?

I hate to break it to you, but you’ve probably just had poor luck in the genetic stakes when it comes to your appearance.

How you look really does come down to who your parents are. Less attractive parents tend to have less attractive children.

Your jaw line, your nose, your eyes, even your weight is influenced by the genes that were passed down to you.

On the plus side, this takes a lot of responsibility off your shoulders. It’s not your fault that you look the way you look.

Of course, environmental factors such as your diet and lifestyle choices can play a role too, as can the events of your life so far.

But your underlying appearance is mostly down to your genes.

Which is why an integral part of dealing with your ugliness is to…

3. Accept That You Are Ugly

And that’s not just to say that you understand logically that you are unattractive.

Acceptance means to no longer have resentment or anger or insecurity over your looks.

It means to be at peace with the fact that you are objectively uglier than most.

It’s not easy, but it is possible.

As with all forms of acceptance, the key is to realize that you have little power over the situation as it is, aside from the genuine possibility of cosmetic surgery (though that is not always feasible or desired).

Of course, you may try to make the best of your situation and choose clothes, hairstyles, and makeup that best suit you…

..but there is a limit to how much more attractive these will make you.

And if your unattractiveness is partly due to lifestyle choices, these can be addressed.

In general, though, you will have to accept how you look in the here and now.

Though it may only help a little, you might need reminding that…

4. Even Attractive People Feel Ugly

Acceptance over how one looks is not only for people like you who know they are relatively ugly.

It turns out that insecurity about how we look is pretty common.

And whilst you may say that someone who averages a score of 5 or 6 out of 10 knows nothing of ugliness, it doesn’t lessen the angst they might feel.

A person’s self-image (part of their wider self-concept) won’t always match reality. So it’s not uncommon for the 6 to think they are a 2. Or for the 8 to think they are a 4.

In fact, many people probably under-rate their objective level of beauty quite considerably.

So those who are more attractive don’t necessarily have it much easier in the psychological department.

Sure, other people may view them as more attractive than you, but they may suffer just like you on the inside.

In fact, if how they see themselves differs greatly to how others see them, they may have a really hard time accepting this.

If you know that you are objectively unattractive, you probably have a tighter grip on reality than they do.

Keep this in mind and…

5. Don’t Be Jealous Or Envious Of More Attractive People

It’s easy to cast your eye at more outwardly beautiful people and feel jealousy and envy take hold of you.

They just seem to have all the luck, right?

Given that we judge people on appearance as soon as we meet them, it would seem reasonable that the more attractive you are, the more positively someone might feel about you.

But beyond snap judgements, our looks can only take us so far. They might help us get our foot in the door, but they can’t keep you in the room.

Personality is what people really latch onto and either like or dislike.

And in this respect, you are not at any obvious disadvantage.

There are attractive people who are quite horrible when you get to know them and there are ugly people who are charming and personable.

If you are forever looking with envy at those who might score above you in the looks department, you’ll never be able to truly accept yourself for who you are.

You can’t like and respect yourself while simultaneously wishing you were someone else.

This is also very important when it comes to…

6. Relationships For Ugly People

Is the dating scene harder for ugly people?

Possibly, though many people of all levels of attractiveness struggle with dating and relationships.

Again, you should try not to see your looks as a barrier to a happy and healthy relationship.

So how do you handle being ugly and dating?

You have to manage your expectations and remind yourself that looks aren’t everything in a partner.

In other words, you should probably be aiming to date someone who also sits at the lower end of the attractiveness scale.

That’s not defeatist. That’s realistic.

It just so happens that most people tend to end up in relationships with someone who is of a similar level of attractiveness.

So a 6 might end up with a 5 or a 7. An 8 might date anywhere between a 7 and a 10.

If you are objectively a 2 or a 3, you are probably better off looking for a partner who is also a 2, or a 3, or a 4.

Ask anyone who has been in a stable and committed relationship for many years what matters most in a partner and it 100% won’t be their looks.

It will be their personality, the fun you have with them, the kind things they do, the support they provide you.

If you worry that you won’t find them physically or sexually attractive enough, bear in mind that these things grow as you get to know someone.

So while you may look at a person on a first date and give a slight sigh and wish they were better looking, don’t instantly dismiss them as having zero potential as a partner.

After all, you would want other people to look past your appearance and give you a chance too, right?

Your attraction to them can grow just like their attraction to you can do likewise.

And dating those who are similarly as unattractive as you can have another benefit…

It can take away some of the self-consciousness you may have around your looks.

The pressure to overcome your appearance by projecting an image of confidence and happiness decreases because you both accept that looks probably aren’t going to be the driving factor in whether the date progresses to something more.

You can feel more at ease and allow your true and genuine personality to show itself instead of feeling the need to “make up” for your ugliness by pretending to be something you aren’t.

This is just one reason why you should…

7. Stop Focusing On Your Looks

Sure, it’s easier said than done, especially if you believe you are genuinely less attractive than most.

But by thinking about how ugly you are, you are likely to be negatively influencing your levels of satisfaction with life.

This is due to something called the focusing illusion.

Basically, by thinking about an area of your life that you are not so happy about, you taint the overall belief you have about how good or bad your life is.

This was shown in a unique study that asked people questionnaires about life satisfaction and body satisfaction.

One half were given the body satisfaction questionnaire first and the other answered the life satisfaction questionnaire first.

Those who were initially asked about their body satisfaction showed a greater variance in terms of life satisfaction.

This means that if a participant was satisfied with their appearance, they were more likely to report a higher level of satisfaction with their life.

But if a participant was not satisfied with their appearance, they gave a more negative assessment when it came to their life satisfaction.

To put it simply, if you don’t like how you look, thinking about it can put a real downer on how you generally feel about your life.

On the other hand, if you think about something that you like about yourself or your life, it can make you feel better about your life in general.

So as hard as might be, if you catch yourself thinking about your appearance, try to disrupt those thoughts and shift your mind to other things.

The less you can think about how ugly you might be, the less it will bring you down and the more positive you can remain about your life as a whole.

In fact, if you can practice gratitude each day and think about some of the things that you are truly thankful for, it can help you maintain a more positive outlook on life.

Speaking of outlooks, if you are young and ugly, it is worth considering the possibility that…

8. Ugliness Might Be A Phase

This section is mainly for those readers who are young and whose body and faces may still be changing at quite a rapid rate.

It’s true that during adolescence and young adulthood, we can experience a great deal of issues with regards to how we look.

With hormones raging through our bodies, we may have bad skin, acne, growth spurts, weight changes, early or delayed development of the body…

…not to mention facial features that are still finding their rightful positions.

And those same hormones can take our mood from high to low in an instant. This can make us feel worse about our appearance than we might otherwise do.

At this time of life, it’s important to remember that what you see in the mirror now might not be how things end up.

You might be going through what some people affectionately call an ‘ugly duckling’ phase and you might grow up to be far more attractive that you are now.

Heck, just look at some of these examples of people who have come through this phase.

So while this article is all about honesty and telling it like it is, you can still accept your current looks without accepting that this is how you will look when you’ve fully matured into an adult.

And if you do grow up to be less attractive than your peers, you might want to remember that there are…

9. There Are Benefits To Being Ugly

You may think that because you are ugly, you got a bad hand in life…

…but there are some upsides to being one of the less attractive people in the world.

– Aging is not something you worry about as much. Looks fade over time, but yours probably won’t change as much as most. And in comparison to others, you might even gain some ground in the beauty stakes.

– No one assumes you get by on your looks. They know damned well that you have more about you if you have managed to succeed in life.

– People like you for who you are, not what you look like. This must say something nice about your personality (assuming they aren’t after your money!)

– You don’t have to chase the latest fashion. Big name brands and the latest trends that cost the earth are just not worth bothering with. You can buy clothes that YOU feel comfortable in.

– You don’t have to spend ages taking the perfect selfie for Instagram.

– If you are a woman, other women do not see you as a threat to their self-esteem or their relationships and so might get on better with you.

– Ugly people are often underestimated. So when you show just how much talent you have, you get to enjoy the looks of astonishment on people’s faces. In doubt? You clearly haven’t heard of Susan Boyle.

– You’re not shallow. You can look beyond the appearance of other people. You don’t care if someone is ugly, you’ll give them the same opportunities as everyone else.

– If you’re an introvert, you’ll have to deal with fewer meaningless social interactions and less small talk.

10. Your Mind Is Your Most Powerful Tool

The fact of the matter is, whilst your ugliness may be skin deep, it can affect you to your very core.

And, yes, being ugly may influence how you go about your life and how others treat you.

But the best way to deal with it is to change how you think about it.

As was stated earlier, thinking about your appearance in a negative way can make you less positive about your life as a whole.

Yet, if you can accept how you look and see the positives it may bring, it can greatly improve your outlook.

Still not sure how to cope with being unattractive or feeling ugly?

Talk to a therapist about it.

Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours.

They can guide you and help you to improve your self-esteem, self-belief, and self-confidence.

BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.

While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address.

And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.

Online therapy is actually a good option for many people. It’s more convenient than in-person therapy and is more affordable in a lot of cases.

And you get access to the same level of qualified and experienced professional.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should you say when someone calls you ugly?

The best way to respond to such an ugly comment is with the beauty of your maturity and personality.

Know that no matter how “ugly” you may be, your inner beauty is far more than the person who called you ugly.

At the end of the day, that’s what truly matters – how you look on the inside.

Walk away knowing that their words cannot affect that.

It can be quite hurtful when someone calls you ugly, especially when you feel you’re looking pretty good.

But the only thing that is ugly in such interactions is the unsolicited comment.

It might sound like a cliché, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. While you may not be everybody’s cup of tea, you will be beautiful to somebody.

It’s possible that your features are considered unattractive in your current environment, but they may be seen as appealing or attractive in other cultures.

Your features might even be ahead of the trend or fashion, but in a few years, people will undergo surgery to get what you have naturally.

Both scenarios are occurring in this day and time.

So, while it may hurt to be called ugly and you may want to respond in kind, know that ultimately beauty is subjective and fleeting.

Why do I feel pretty sometimes and ugly others?

There are many reasons why you sometimes feel pretty on certain days and ugly on others.

It could be because you are not looking or feeling your best. Maybe you are having an allergic reaction, which is making your face break out in rashes or pimples.

Who knows, it could even be because you’re standing in front of a mirror that makes everyone look ugly.

Most often, though, our opinions regarding our looks are based on our mood or emotions.

Have you ever noticed that you tend to think you look ugly when you’re not feeling confident or have had a bad day?

In contrast, your opinion on your looks probably changes positively when you’re happy, feeling confident, or loved, like at the start of a new relationship or after a big promotion.

Did your face morph into different features? Have you mysteriously grown new features?

Most likely not.

When you’re feeling better about yourself in general, your opinion of your looks is likely to be more positive.

So, the next time you feel ugly, pay attention to your overall mood. If you notice you’re not in a good place mentally, engage in self-care and sort it out.

Once you’re able to do that, your perception of what you see in the mirror will probably improve.

Why is my side profile so ugly?

The reason you think your side profile is so ugly is because you need to work on improving your self-esteem.

You must realize that people who genuinely like and love you probably don’t even see the imperfection you’re fixated on.

Many of us have grown up aspiring to meet Eurocentric beauty standards that were not designed for our unique features.

It might interest you to know that many people with Eurocentric features rarely fit into these same beauty standards.

In fact, many of the models and celebrities we compare ourselves to are so photoshopped in magazines and movies that when we see them in real life, they don’t look like what you see in the bright lights.

This goes to show that even they don’t fit the beauty standards that they are perpetuating.

You feel your side profile is ugly because you’re aspiring for something you were never created to meet and fixating on your seeming imperfection.

Because of these two factors, your profile becomes uglier and uglier in your mind.

If you haven’t already, you might come to conclude that plastic surgery is your only option to fix your profile.

Whether a nose job is the solution to fixing your profile is debatable.

But one thing is certain: if you do not work on your self-esteem, even if you get the surgery, you still won’t be satisfied.

So, while contemplating surgery, also work on boosting your self-esteem and accepting yourself, imperfections and all.

Why do I look ugly in pictures?

It’s hard to enjoy taking pictures at social events when you generally look ugly in them.

Everyone is so eager to crowd into the frame, while you inch for the background or slyly try to get out of the frame right as the photographer presses click.

It can be jarring to see a picture of yourself when you’re used to what you look like when you see your reflection in the mirror.

Our brain, and the way it interprets and communicates information, is actually to blame for this.

Whether we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror or looking at other people, our brains do a lot of compensating to present a corrected, fluid representation of what we’re looking at.

For example, while we are able to distinguish between tiny, minute differences in frames presented in high succession, our brains do not pay attention to every single piece of information our eyes present it with.

When we’re talking to people, we don’t notice each individual facial expression that crosses their face from moment to moment.

We don’t see every twitch of an eye or facial muscle that occurs during our discussion.

Rather, our brains average these out and ignore temporary deviations.

A camera, however, does not do this. It captures every twitch and spasm, including those you wouldn’t have noticed in real-time.

Cameras also don’t automatically compensate for lighting like our brains do to allow our eyes to see better.

While our brains process images for the best contrast, cameras capture images with shades and light that not only look unnatural but also unflattering as well.

If you think using a flash will help matters, you’d be wrong. Flashes often make a person’s skin look shiny and greasy and sharpen the edges of their face.

So, if you think you look ugly in pictures, the real culprit for that is your massive, powerful brain.

It is a good idea to seek professional help from one of the therapists at BetterHelp.com as professional therapy can be highly effective in helping you to cope with the feelings of being ugly.

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About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.