Upon seeing me.
- You: Cheer up, life's not all bad.
- Me: Do you take me seriously even once a fucking day?
- You: Well we can't all be as miserable as you.
- Me: You really think that's what I want?
- You: ...
- Me: Were it up to me, no one on Earth would be burdened with the depths of sadness is which I live. Frankly, I think that if you could understand how broken a human being can feel, not only would you not make jokes, but you'd kill yourself for fear that you might ever be infected with this melancholy.
- You: I've been sad before.
- Me: And I've swam at the beach, that doesn't mean I know what it's like at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
- Starting projects designed to better myself and unconsciously sabotaging them because, deep down, I don’t feel that I deserve to be good at anything.
- Trying to tell people about the issues I’m going through, but managing to phrase the whole thing so it sounds like I’m really alright and they shouldn’t worry.
Psychologists have found a strong negative correlation between shame and self-esteem. People who feel ashamed, or who are subjected to shaming experiences, tend to form chronically low opinions of themselves. Those with chronically low self-esteem tend to at- tribute bad outcomes to their own failures. They also tend to focus on negative information that reinforces the idea of their social unacceptability. When researchers exposed people with low self-esteem to words like unwanted, ignored, rejected, disliked, shunned, rebuffed, neglected, excluded, avoided, isolated, condemned, and disapproved, those individuals showed slower response times on a basic thinking task. The lesson echoes Du Bois. If you are constantly told that you are a problem, you eventually feel that you are a problem; and the more you feel like a problem, the more you notice negative feedback. It is harder to concentrate because you are working to manage the psychological effects of feeling ashamed. In this way, social rejection shapes experiences of the self and the world.
Beauty does not equal value.
Instead of promoting that everyone is beautiful (which is just not true), how about we promote that everyone has value. We live in a society that equates importance, especially in women, with attractiveness, when there is much more to people than their exterior.