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
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.