How to deal with fuckbois, personal appearance and not completely disappointing yourself – here’s the ultimate fake it ‘til you make it guide
Some of you are steeped in denial as to why you’re reading this article. How to like myself? Hmm, can’t relate but I wonder what it’s about. Sure, Jan. You don’t exactly despise yourself, let’s just say you’re not as big a fan of you as you could be. Maybe your dating history suggests you’re a masochist, the care applied to the most important people in your life never seems to carry over to yourself, or you have a nonchalance around your health teetering on the edge of plain reckless. There’s a general togetherness you’ve never known and the tyranny of seeming all right has gotten heavier and heavier. Eh, I’m not judging. Sometimes you gotta fake it ‘til you make it, more of us have been there than you think. We’re all our own special brand of fucked with uncomfortable baggage in our closet. As you find your way to mastering self-care and shifting those destructive habits, here are five useful tips to implement ASAP.
STOP DATING SHITTY PEOPLE
A fun part of being human is how mistreatment doesn’t always induce aversion to a person. Look, nothing fuels self-deprecation like lusting over people who consistently treat you poorly. But, we’ve also got to do away with the notion people deserve shit treatment if they don’t quite know how to adequately love and “respect” themselves. It’s disturbing and wrong. Treating others with decency is never contingent upon how they feel about themselves. It’s something you just do, like laughing when strangers fall or pretending you didn’t avidly watch porn as a teen. Sure, there’s something to be said for the rousing allure of the unattainable. But you know what? That high is a hell of a lot sweeter when it’s mutual…and when you can think back on it without wishing you’d get amnesia. We can’t control lingering feelings and there’s no shame in mourning what once was, though, giving yourself permission to feel and engaging in self-destructive behaviour don’t have to go hand-in-hand. It’s not a game or some undercover experiment that doesn’t actually count, it’s happening to you and it doesn’t feel good.
KEEP PROMISES TO YOURSELF
It’s a downer when a person is unreliable and relentlessly breaks commitments. Shockingly, falling through on personal promises to yourself rear similar effects: disappointment, loss of trust, anger, anxiety, feelings of inferiority. Getting to the point where you can’t trust even your own words chips away at self-esteem whether you realise it or not. The antidote is reversing those bad habits with consistent good ones. Wanna knock out two paragraphs of your uni paper this week? Allocate your time wisely and do what’s necessary to get it your zone. Did you promise yourself you’d wake up early tomorrow? Don’t stay up all night burning through Stranger Things. Sometimes we cherry pick our disappointments long before experiencing them. Spare yourself the ones you can.
“Giving yourself permission to feel and engaging in self-destructive behaviour don’t have to go hand-in-hand”
GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE & HYGIENE
That person in the mirror I see twice a year with freshly done brows and a great outfit who isn’t a spool of nerves running late for something is really swell. Looking good and feeling fresh is amazing. These things aren’t everything but they do help. I’m especially talking to you, person with depression and crippling anxiety. You, who thinks peeling yourself out of bed and getting a bite to eat was good enough for today. Good job. The small victories count too and I’m proud of you. That was tough and people suck and getting dressed and interacting with others and navigating expectations beyond breathing can make you want to curl back under the covers for a few days. I feel you. But try, really try to push yourself. Shower regularly. Be kind to your body. Do your hair. Put something on that doesn’t suggest you’ve been hibernating beneath a freeway. Stuff like that.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE
I don’t have any magical words, it’s a gradual process requiring conscious effort. There’s inherent value in embracing your authentic self, whoever that happens to be at the moment. I hate corny “positive thoughts” speeches or “speak it into existence” mantras and all the other new age practices that lull me into a deep yeah yeah, whatever. BUT if that’s effective for you and puts you in a positive headspace, that’s all that matters. Leaving you with these words form ethereal poetry goddess Warsan Shire because yes: “self-doubt, self-loathing, low self-esteem, low self- confidence, poor self-image, skewed sense of self, so cruel to yourself, say sorry.”
SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF
Generally, people tend to feel better when they have some sense of purpose. Aimlessly floating around with no clear direction can be chill…until it’s not. You can “embrace the journey” while gathering an inkling as to what it is you’re working towards. A blueprint of the next ten years isn’t necessary but do go out of your way to find interests and work towards them. Set reasonable goals and actively strive to keep them. Journalist? Actor? Sugarbaby? Stay-at-home parent without kids? The world is your oyster. Jot down short-term and long-term aspirations so you have a point of reference to track your progress. Don’t be afraid to dabble! And definitely don’t be afraid to fail, you will. You’ll learn and survive and it won’t really be failure at all. You may just find something you love and turn it into a sustainable career, at worst you find a cathartic hobby or enjoyable side hustle. Hone those talents!