Being asked this question too often may indicate a problem that needs attention.
It may be an indication that the person asking you is suffering from self-doubt or self-critical feelings too much, and may need more help on those issues.
In this situation, the most supportive option may be to ask your friend if a therapist might be useful to help them learn how to get out of the self-critical trap they sometimes get pulled into.
When someone has really been taken to the mat by self-criticism, they need a direct answer and not just another question in response.
Adding a statement of reassurance to that meaning including your opinion, or saying that the opposite of their self-critical question is more true, will help the person asking you that question to see you as a clear supporter.
To direct the conversation in a more productive and supportive direction, you can add a question about what prompted them to ask such a self-critical question.
The best kind of answer to “Am I ugly?” is a direct answer to the question plus a bit of reassurance.
Unhelpful answers are avoidant ones such as:
- “Why are you asking me that?”
- “Why do you think that?”
- “Why do you care so much about being ugly or pretty?”
Helpful answers are direct ones with a reassurance statement attached, such as:
- “You’re far from ugly. You have nothing to worry about in that department.”
- “You’re very pretty. I don’t know why you’re worrying about that.”
- “You’re not ugly at all. Maybe I don’t tell you enough how nice you look.”
- “Sweetie, is this about that zit on your nose again? It’s a minor and temporary thing and doesn’t change the fact that you’re an attractive person.”
Originally appeared on: Your Tango
Republished with permission.