How to cope with being ugly: 16 honest tips to remember

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You’ve been told you’re ugly. Many times.

At face value, females or males simply aren’t attracted to you.

It sucks. Trust me, I know. I also haven’t been graced with the best genetics.

But here’s what you need to know: It’s not the end of the world.

In fact, it might make you a better person with a more attractive personality anyway.

In this article, we’re going to discuss 16 important things that will help you deal with being ugly.

It’ll help you out more than you think.

Let’s go…

1. Time to be honest

Let’s not beat around the bush.

While people have different tastes, there’s an objective standard of beauty that most of the human race can agree with.

According to research, people with an “average face” are seen as more attractive.

Attractive faces tend to be symmetrical.

In a symmetrical face, the left and right look like each other. These faces tend to be the mathematical average (or mean) of the population’s facial features.

So while people might tell you that you look “unique”, or “special”, the truth is that on this “objective standard of beauty” you’re unfortunately towards the bottom.

You’re probably asking yourself “why” you have to look like this.

But this is a question you don’t need to ask yourself – it will just lead you to adopt a victim mindset.

And we can all agree that acting like a victim isn’t attractive for females or males.

Adopting a victim mindset only results in bitterness, resentment, and powerlessness.

Now don’t get me wrong:

There are a few things you can do to make yourself a little more attractive, like being fit and healthy, but the truth is, genetics is a pretty significant factor.

And genetics is something you simply can’t control.

This is why the first step to dealing with your ugliness is to accept it. Embrace it.

Don’t hide from the reality of your face and find yourself in pain every time some bully points it out and uses your looks against you.

Get to the point where, if someone tries to hurt you by talking about your unattractive features, the automatic response in your head is, “So what?”

If you keep trying to convince yourself that you’re not ugly but continuously see an unattractive person in the mirror, you will trap yourself in a state of cognitive dissonance.

This will keep you unhappy and uncertain, always afraid that someone out there might have the indecency to shatter your fragile ego.

Let the walls down and just say, “I’m ugly. Now what am I going to do about it?”

One way to accept how you look is by doing the exercise recommended by Justin Brown in the video below.

2. Why you need to accept how you look 

This is not just understanding why you’re ugly. But acceptance means being at peace with the way you look.

You don’t hold resentment towards your parents for looking the way you do. You don’t act like a victim.

Instead, you take responsibility for the way you look. You accept it. You deal with it. And you spend your time on things you can control.

After all, there’s no point in worrying about the way you look. It’s wasted energy.

But it is essential to realize that you’re not alone in feeling ugly. Many people do for a wide range of reasons, even those people you’d consider beautiful.

Insecurity about how we look is pretty standard.

According to psychologist Gleb Tsipursky, we’re all self-conscious because everyone has a natural tendency to judge their appearance more harshly than they do others.

Why?

Gleb Tsipursky says that our flaws stand out when we look in the mirror, and the balanced beauty assessment we give others is lost when we view ourselves.

Plus, our flaws have our attention which now becomes more important than what you’re not paying attention to. In psychology, this is called attentional bias.

So it’s important not to assume that those you deem attractive have it easier than you. They actually might be more insecure.

The truth is, some people just don’t see reality for what it is.

So if you can learn to accept how you feel, then you’re doing yourself a big favor.

Not only are you not wasting time worrying about your looks, but you won’t be insecure as well.

Self-acceptance breeds confidence because you know who you are, and you’re going to make the most of it.

And we all know that confident people are attractive.

3. Realize that so much is your mindset

You’re ugly, now so what? Are you going to wake up every day feeling bad about yourself?

Are you going to avoid doing the things you want to do, experiencing life on your terms, and being the person you know you can be simply because you don’t look as attractive as the people on TV?

However attractive or unattractive your face may be, nothing hurts you more than your mindset.

No one is a bigger critic of yourself than you are because no one else thinks you matter as much as you do.

Let it go and allow yourself to be happy in the ways you want to be.

Don’t let the schoolyard bullies make you believe that you don’t deserve happiness simply because you aren’t very good-looking.

The great news is, you can still live life on your terms no matter how you look.

4. If you accept the way you look, you won’t be jealous of others

This is a crucial point. Jealousy and envy aren’t emotions that you don’t want to experience. They’re toxic emotions that lead to a victimhood mentality. And life doesn’t treat “victims” very well.

Now you might think an attractive person is “lucky” because everybody treats them well and life is easy.

But that reality is far different. Beyond quick judgments, being attractive doesn’t offer you much.

In fact, a research study has found that “beautiful people” are just as unhappy as the rest of the population.

Psychologists have conducted hundreds of studies on well-being and happiness – and not one has mentioned “attractiveness” as a factor.

It’s easy to feel like the world is on your shoulders when you’re staring at beautiful people on Instagram.

Those glamour shots and runway-ready bodies can make anyone feel less sure about themselves.

But behind the prefabricated happiness of social media is a lot of anxiety, even with beautiful people.

It’s easy to get caught up in a person’s digital presentation of themselves and believe they live happy and fulfilling lives.

This isn’t always the case, though. Even beautiful people have insecurities that they’ll never get over with which goes to show just how fickle the concept of happiness is.

But consistently psychologists have found that “personality” plays a much more vital role.

And when you meet people, that’s what they latch onto. They want to get along with you and develop a connection. That’s what most people desire.

And trust me, if someone doesn’t want to be friends with you because of how you look, that’s not the kind of person you want to hang out with anyway.

This is why I’ve focused much of this article on acceptance. The more you accept your appearance, the better off you’ll be. You’ll be self-confident (without arrogance), happy and comfortable with who you are, which is the type of personality many people enjoy being around.

It’s also the type of personality that many people find attractive.

The bottom line is this:

If you’re always looking at other people with envy and jealousy, it means that you’re not accepting yourself.

And if you don’t accept yourself, you’ll never be truly happy.

RELATED: I was deeply unhappy…then I discovered this one Buddhist teaching

5. You have a better chance of developing a successful long-term relationship

If you’re telling yourself that relationships are harder for you, then you need to read this.

Now I’m willing to guess that you’re upset with how you look because you feel that dating is more challenging for you.

After all, who would want to date an ugly person?

But that’s a very surface-level assumption that doesn’t hold up to reality.

I mean, look around you. You can see plenty of relationships with ugly people. Every day I see an ugly female or male being all cute and cuddly with an objectively more attractive person.

There’s a reason this happens all the time:

Because when it comes to committing to a relationship, looks aren’t that important.

Connection and personality play a far more significant role when someone decides that they officially want to date someone.

Sure, “hook-ups” and “one-night stands” might be a little more difficult for you, but when it comes to being in a proper relationship, looks aren’t as important.

Looking at the relationships I’ve been in, looks wear off very quickly. Personalities and how they interact are the most critical factors of a healthy relationship.

Consider Hollywood and all those beautiful people. Why are they constantly chopping and changing partners?

Appearance simply isn’t essential when it comes to finding true love.

And when you choose a life partner, appearance fades quickly. We’re all going to get old. It’s better to choose someone you get along with, who has a great personality that accepts themselves for who they are. That’s where you come in.

In fact, a new study published in the journal Psychological Science has found that levels of attractiveness mean less than most people think when it comes to the quality of a relationship.

Here is what they found after surveying 167 couples: Attractiveness was not in any way related to relationship satisfaction.

Couples with lower levels of attractiveness were just as happy in their relationships as couples with similar attractiveness.

From the study itself:

“We found that romantic partners who were similarly attractive were no more likely to feel satisfied with their relationship than romantic partners who were not similarly attractive. Specifically, in our sample of dating and married couples, we did not find an association between partner matching in attractiveness and satisfaction with the relationship for either women or men.”

The road to finding love won’t be easy but will be worth all the effort when you finally find it.

You’ll know in your heart, without a sliver of doubt, that your partner loves you for who you are.

They transcend physical expectations and see your soul for what it is.

Most people never live on this earth for so long and never get the opportunity to find a connection like that.

When it happens to you, you’ll be one of the lucky ones.

6. One-night stands might not be for you

Now I know what you’re asking: How am I meant to meet someone if I’m never going to get past the snap judgments?

Then you need to realize that you’re going to attract someone in an hour or a day.

For you, it might take time. Through your personality, your quirky but lovable traits, your humor, and your ability to create a connection. That’s what will eventually lead you to find love.

The best bit?

It’s not going to be built on something superficial like physical attraction. It’s going to be a hell of a lot deeper. And that’s something you will forever be grateful for.

7. Why you need to stop worrying about your looks

This isn’t easy, especially when you’re convinced that your appearance negatively affects your life.

But what you need to realize is that it’s not your ugliness that’s affecting your life, it’s the way you feel about yourself.

If you’re worried about how you look and it’s affecting your self-worth, then there’s no way around it: You will be unhappy.

But if you accept how you look, you’ll be more satisfied and you won’t waste energy worrying.

You’ll also be happier. A study published by Chapman University looked at the factors linked to satisfaction with appearance and weight.

They found that satisfaction with overall appearance was the third strongest predictor of overall life satisfaction:

“Our study shows that men’s and women’s feelings about their weight and appearance play a major role in how satisfied they are with their lives overall,” said David Frederick, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University and lead author on the study.

Seeing as accepting how you look is crucially important, let’s turn to practical ways you can do that.

8. How to accept how you look

1) Throw away your conventional, media-defined ideals of beauty: Yes, society indeed has a certain standard of beauty. But that doesn’t need to be yours. Stop taking into account the beautiful people you see on TV. Instead, find beauty in people you admire in everyday life.

2) Don’t define yourself by the way you look: I’ve said it time and time again, and I’ll repeat it: Looks don’t matter. It’s what’s inside that counts. Focus on your personality, your relationships, and what you’re passionate about. Turn your focus on the world outside of yourself rather than focusing on yourself so much.

3) Go cold turkey on the makeup: If you want to truly accept how you look: Try going a day or two without makeup (if you’re a female). You’ll look more natural, and your skin will have room to breathe. Not wearing make-up will show you that your appearance doesn’t make a difference in the way people treat you.

4) Take a break from the mirror: If you want to accept how you look, you need to take action. And one of those actions is to stop looking in the mirror so much! It just turns your focus inward, and you’ll probably continue to focus on your negative traits. Once you learn to stop looking at the mirror, your mood will undoubtedly improve.

5) Focus on being healthy: Don’t be concerned about getting fit because you want to look better. Do it for the health of your body. You want your body to function at its best for various reasons, and exercise and eating well will help you achieve that. If you feel good, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.

9. There are some bright sides to being ugly

Stop being a victim. Being ugly has its advantages.

For example:

1) People like you for who you are, not for your appearance.

Do you know how difficult it is for extremely beautiful people to meet genuine people? People always try to “get” something from them, like their number or physical attraction.

Or some want to be “seen” with them, so they look cooler.

But with you, you know they’re around you because they genuinely enjoy your company and they like your personality.

It’s much easier for you to develop genuine connections with other people. You don’t have to be as wary of people using you for their benefit (unless you’re rich, of course!)

2) You’ve learned to accept how you look.

Do you know how many people are insecure because of their looks? But if you’ve learned to accept it, not only are you seeing reality for what it is, but you’re not wasting energy worrying about something that isn’t that important.

You’re a more confident, secure, and high-functioning human being than most people.

3) You work on your health and fitness for the right reasons.

You know how important it is to be healthy and fit, not necessarily for the way you look, but for your health.

That’s why you work out your WHOLE body rather than just focusing on your arms or stomach.

We’ve all seen those chicken-leg dudes. Honestly, they’re not fooling anyone with how self-conscious they are.

10. You have the power to choose what you focus on.

The main point of this article is to realize that looks aren’t worth worrying about. It is wasted energy.

Yes, it’s important to be fit, healthy, and clean. But it’s certainly not worth wasting emotional energy worrying about your appearance.

All that will do is make you unhappy and narcissistic.

But you must realize that being ugly won’t affect your life negatively unless you let it.

You’ll still be able to create a genuine connection with others and find a long-term partner.

In some respects, you’ve got some significant advantages in those areas because people won’t be using you for superficial reasons because of your looks.

The most important thing is that you accept how you look and move on with creating a life that you love.

RELATED: How a regular guy became his own life coach (and how you can too)

11. Ugliness isn’t the absence of beauty

It’s important to remember that ugliness isn’t the absence of beauty.

It’s not the opposite of beauty either. This only serves to narrow our sense of normal.

A quick look at history shows that beauty has been quite diverse.

For example:

In 1600s England, it was more attractive to be pale. Red and tanned skin signaled that you worked outside.

So wealthy women would use a variety of techniques to make themselves paler.

In Ancient Greek, a thick unibrow was attractive for a woman. Ancient Greek art showed women with extremely thick unibrows.

In ancient Japan, woman shaved off their eyebrows and painted them on quite high in the forehead.

Furthermore, Japanese women painted their teeth black because this was seen as more attractive!

I’m trying to show that beauty has changed drastically as the years have gone by and will continue to change.

There are many different versions of beauty. Just because you don’t fit into this society’s version doesn’t mean much.

After all, many people have different ideas of what beauty is! There are many different ways for someone to be beautiful.

As they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, which is different for everyone.

Beauty standards are at most cultural, so if you feel like you’re not the best-looking person locally, you might fare better internationally.

So much of our definition of beauty is very Western-centric: you must have that thin nose, a curvy body, and fair glassy skin to be considered beautiful.

That doesn’t mean that’s what everyone else considers beautiful.

12. Stop worrying about what other people think

This is probably the most crucial point. One of the reasons I’ve focused so much on acceptance throughout this article is that you won’t react negatively when someone comments on your appearance.

After all, you accept how you look and know who you are, so whatever anyone says shouldn’t affect you.

The truth is, people are going to judge you regardless.

And we all age, so at some point, looks don’t become important.

Whenever I care too much about what other people think of me, I always turn to some great advice from eastern philosophy guru Osho.

It signifies why it’s essential to stop and look inside yourself rather than hinging your self-worth on outside influences.

Check it out:

“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky because you are still clinging to a false center.

“That false center depends on others, so you are always looking at what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…

“Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!”

“When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”

“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”

13. Beauty fades, but personality lasts

Even the most beautiful men and women eventually get old. Hair falls out, wrinkles overcome smooth skin, and rock-hard abs slowly fill themselves with chubby muffin tops.

People who marry pretty faces and beautiful bodies tend to find themselves bored out of their ten years down the line.

So don’t worry if you’re not the best-looking person in your class (or if you’re the exact opposite), because at the end of the day, your personality counts a thousand times more than your beauty or lack thereof.

The great thing about not being able to breeze through life on good looks is that it forces a person to develop a unique personality and charm.

In a way, beauty is almost a curse.

Without beauty, you are forced to learn how to think, how to talk, and how to joke and converse with anyone you might meet, because you know it’s the only way to get their attention while looking as bad as you do.

14. Life won’t always be easy, but that’s not a bad thing

Let’s not beat around the bush: gorgeous people have things easier.

Beautiful women can spend their lives being taken care of by rich men; beautiful men can get any partner they want.

When you have amazing looks, the world almost wants you to succeed in everything you do.

When you have the opposite of amazing looks, life barely acknowledges that you exist.

Instead of charming you might come off as creepy, and people do their best to stay out of your way and pretend you’re not in the room just because you have nothing to offer them.

In a superficial society where so much of what we value is based on looks, someone with ugly looks usually gets shafted.

But that’s not always a bad thing. It just means you need to learn other ways to get what you want.

You end up becoming a person with more depth, more emotional maturity, and more general intelligence because you wouldn’t survive being as shallow and superficial as most people around you.

You will learn the importance of working for everything you have, because nothing will ever be given to you.

15. Find what makes you beautiful on the inside

You’re not beautiful on the outside, fair enough. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing amazing about you on the inside.

If you can’t look in the mirror and be proud of the physical appearance looking back at you, then it’s up to you to find the stuff below the surface that you can be proud of.

So ask yourself: what do you love about yourself, or what could you love about yourself if you worked on it?

Are you a kind person? Are you courageous, righteous, and honorable? Do you improve the lives of those around you? Do you have talents and skills that other people don’t have?

What makes you beautiful, even more, beautiful than people who have great looks?

16. People don’t care as much as you think

When you have major insecurities, it can be hard to get out of your head.

Every time someone looks at you, you might be thinking about how much they’re judging the things you hate about yourself, whether it’s your weight or your acne or your big nose, or anything else.

But here’s the truth: you might be the center of your universe, but you barely register in anyone else’s universe.

People don’t care about your hang-ups as much as you think; the world couldn’t care less about you.

The things you hate most about yourself are just normal, meaningless traits to the strangers around you.

So let it go, and let their imaginary criticisms leave your head.

You can never work towards being better and more confident if you keep dreaming up the ways people are mocking you, even when they’re not.

17. It might just be a phase

Sometimes it’s your face, sometimes it’s your age. If you’re below 18 years old and you don’t think the world of yourself, you’re not alone.

Even after puberty, people’s faces continue to change into their early 20s. You might not like what you see in the mirror until you look 25.

So before you define yourself as The Hunchback of Notredame, make sure you’re realistic about your expectations.

Are you someone who’s in a rough patch in your life? Being “ugly” might just be a manifestation of all the stress in your life.

Are you a teen anxiously entering her adult years?

Being “ugly” might just be your body preparing you to become the beautiful person you’ll be.

Beauty isn’t the end-all-be-all

So you don’t fall into society’s traditional standards for beauty — what then? That doesn’t spell the end of your life.

As terrible as it may seem, the truth is your physical appearance has a limited impact on the person you’re going to become.

Too many people focus on what they look like and forget to develop the different aspects of their personality that matter.

So instead of feeling sorry for yourself, take this as a challenge to excel and become the best person you can be.

After all, you can always change an ugly face, but it takes years to work on an ugly personality.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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