MEA­SUR­ING UP, FEEL­ING DOWN

Why did 53 per­cent of Whis­per (a web­site that lets users post se­crets anony­mously) users say their sat­is­fac­tion with their phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance “de­pends on the day”? Body-image ex­pert Dr Susan Al­bers sees com­par­i­son syn­drome as a ma­jor driver. Here, her ad

Women's Health (South Africa) - - DISCUSS! -

Use your words. Com­par­a­tive ad­jec­tives (pret­tier, thin­ner) trig­ger our feel­ings of in­fe­ri­or­ity. Swap­ping them for the word “dif­fer­ent” (“my hair is dif­fer­ent to hers”), which is a more neu­tral de­scrip­tor, can shift your per­spec­tive to the pos­i­tive. Prac­tise com­pas­sion. Fo­cus­ing on your sim­i­lar­i­ties can also lift you up. For ex­am­ple, rather than en­vy­ing an­other wo­man’s body, re­mem­ber that you’re both fe­male and both likely to know how it feels to deal with in­se­cu­ri­ties. Try say­ing to your­self, “We both...” and fill in the blank with some kind of shared ex­pe­ri­ence you might have with this per­son. Be nice. Find some­thing you ap­pre­ci­ate about the other per­son’s per­son­al­ity. Maybe it’s her in­fec­tious laugh or her wicked wit that you love. Kind­ness can dis­solve jeal­ousy and send­ing pos­i­tive vibes to other peo­ple may help you to feel hap­pier over­all.

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