I Get Nervous When I See an Attractive Man/Woman. What Should I Do?

Note from Celes: Hi everyone! I’m excited to announce the launch of the new version of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, my 30-day character transformation program! For those of you on the PE newsletter, I share details in my Aug 1 email (titled “New Release: Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program!”).

For those of you who have purchased/upgraded, thank you! I love reading updates from you guys, and here’s a lovely note from Sarah who did 30BBM way back in 2012:

Dear Celes, thank you so much! I just bought the new edition. Last night I re-read my whole 30BBM workbook from 2012. So much has changed since then! I completed my PhD, married my boyfriend whom I mentioned so much in my previous 30BBM run, and have had a very happy few years working in university teaching and researching in Japan and then again back home in the UK. I can’t wait to start 30BBM again as I work on my next challenge — securing a permanent job in a very unstable sector. Thank you, Celes. 🙂

THANK YOU Sarah and for all of you who have been reading PE all these years! 🙂 For those of you who don’t have the program, read about 30BBM here and get started in the next minute! For the old customers, note that the deadline for upgrade is August 15. Any questions, let me know!

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey

(Image: Universal Studios / Entertainment Weekly)

“Hi Celes, I have been reading your blog since 2 years ago. Your tips are amazing and have helped me a lot. There is one problem about me that I haven’t read in any article on PE or any other site.

This is shameful to admit. Whenever I see a handsome man, I feel that he should like me and fall in love with me. I feel terrible to think like that. I don’t do anything to impress the guy because I know it is wrong. I have a boyfriend and I want to live with him. I don’t want to get affected by handsome men.

I don’t want such feelings to exist. What should I do?” – Kristi

Kristi’s problem raises a very interesting question for all of us, which is: Why do some of us feel nervous, or behave very differently, when we see handsome men and beautiful women?

Imagine this: You go to a party and you see someone good looking. You start to feel nervous, unlike yourself. You contemplate speaking to him/her. For guys, maybe you get sweaty palms. For girls, maybe you play coy and hope that the guy comes over to talk to you.

Why? Why does your behavior change based on the person’s looks? And it doesn’t have to be in a party setting too. It can be anywhere, at work, when meeting someone new, when going on a blind date, etc. Perhaps you see someone good looking and you get nervous, excited. In Kristi’s case, she’s anguished by these feelings and she doesn’t want them.

The Truth about Beauty

To understand why such feelings get triggered, we need to first understand the fundamental truth surrounding beauty.

The reality is that everyone is beautiful. Not more or less beautiful, but equally beautiful. This is something that I’ve shared before here. You are beautiful in your own way. I am beautiful in my own way. We are all uniquely and equally beautiful, not more or less than others.

Unfortunately, this message runs counter to everything you learn in today’s world. The basic message surrounding beauty today is that some people are more beautiful than others, and some looks are more attractive than others. If you don’t look a certain way, you are deemed ugly and unattractive, and you should do everything you can to change your looks to fit a beauty mold. Why?

A deep look into the history of beauty tells us that beauty ideals historically started as a way to separate the have’s and the have not’s. When you trace the evolution of beauty standards over time, you will see that

  • Being weighty used to be regarded as attractive during the Renaissance era, as food was scarce during those times, and only the rich had plenty to eat.[1][2]
  • Subsequently, being skinny became seen as very attractive when food became abundant and widely available. As everyone started gaining weight, and people became educated about their health and diet, being skinny became seen as the gold standard.[3]
  • During the 1800s, very pale skin was seen as beautiful as only the rich could afford not to work and stay out of the sun. Pale skin was associated with the aristocrats.
  • But when tuberculosis becoming the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 1900, and doctors in Europe and America began to prescribe sunbathing for tuberculosis, rich people flocked to resorts to suntan. Tanned skin now became seen as beautiful in the West.[4][5]
  • In ancient China, tiny feet became a symbol of beauty as the only women who could painfully bind their feet to keep them tiny were from wealthy families, since they didn’t need to work in the fields.[6]
  • Western features like tall nose bridge, deep-set eyes, fair skin, and angular features are generally regarded as more “beautiful” in Asian countries, and you can see this line of thought pervaded in much of mass media advertising here. This is partly because many Asian countries used to be under the Colonial rule (the Philippines was under Spanish colonization for almost 400 years for example), which created a deep-set mentality of white superiority, and an association that Caucasian-like features are “better” and “more beautiful.” You will never find a person saying that because the conditioning exists at a very implicit level, but more in the form of “Such features are more beautiful, and I’m so envious that Caucasians have them but not us [Asians].”

As you can see, beauty standards have historically been used to differentiate one group from another. The attributes of the affluent would be used as the starting point for what was considered beautiful then. The features considered beautiful would change over time, based on whatever was associated with the rich. This was to sieve out the “elite” and “more worthy” from the rest.

How This Relates to Anxiety Around Attractive People

Of course, this segmentation is faulty and not true. Whether a person is born with XYZ features has no bearing on their beauty or worth. Every look is beautiful, and a person’s worth and value is so much more complex than just something defined based on how well a person conforms to a beauty look — which is in turn a look defined based on socio-economic factors, that the average person has no control over.

This brings me to my main point. If you feel nervous around attractive people, or you feel negatively affected by handsome men (or beautiful women) like Kristi, it boils down to your underlying associations with attractive people.

Let’s say you feel nervous around beautiful women. When you dig into this nervousness, perhaps you perceive beautiful women as better, more worthy than other women. Attractive women are sought after by other men, and they turn heads and are desired by many. This makes you feel inferior because you are worried that if you’re rejected or spurned by an attractive woman, you will be seen as lousy and undesirable. Of course this isn’t true, but your subconscious beliefs are such.

Or let’s say you feel nervous around handsome men and you often wish that every handsome man you meet will notice you and fall in love with you. Why, though? Why would handsome men make you feel this way, but not “regular” men? When you dig into this feeling, it’s because you perceive handsome men as “better” than others because of their good looks. Girls swoon over them; people regard them highly because of their looks. They are the object of attention and affection by other women (and sometimes men). If a handsome man falls in love with you, that means that you are desired, respected, “seen.”

And why would this matter? Because you sometimes feel “unseen” in your life. You wish that you can be “seen,” recognized, respected. And the attention of someone who is visible, desirable, and respected will make you feel that way.

In either case, the answer isn’t to seek affirmation from an attractive person, but to understand your stories surrounding attractive people, and to address your inner voids triggering these feelings.

For example, if you don’t feel “seen” in your life, understand why. Maybe you have no idea who you are and your place in this world. You feel that your life is following a trajectory that you didn’t really set for yourself. Uncovering your inner self, and discovering your life purpose and values, is a good start. My Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program is a great kickstarter program to get you moving toward your ideal life.

Or let’s say you feel low in self-worth. Understand why you have a low self-worth. Perhaps you were never taught to develop your self-worth, but to look to others’ affections, your status, and your achievements as a way of validating your identity. An attractive woman is like a validator of your worth, because she is recognized as worthy by others. But of course, this is totally not true since your worth is not defined by others, but yourself. Read How to Be The Most Confident Person In The World

This is the same for any gap or deficiency you feel in the presence of attractive people. If an attractive person makes you feel negative, nervous, deficient, or even unattractive, understand why. Dig into this feeling. Usually it’s because of an unhealthy belief you have surrounding attractive people — that they are better, superior, more worthy, more desirable, etc., which isn’t true. Your nervousness mirrors a feeling of deficiency in your life. Understanding it, and addressing it from within, will help you remove this push-pull feeling you have when meeting such people.

End Note

At the end of the day, the goal is to connect with people authentically, as themselves. Attractive or “unattractive” people as defined by society are all people, equal in their own right, and beautiful in their own right. To see someone as who they are, not based on a fantasy or conditioning. Even though majority of society look at others with filters based on how they fit a certain beauty look, they also struggle with push-pull feelings of infatuation, negative and unhealthy adoration of conventionally attractive people, and a constant struggle to chase after an arbitrary beauty standard. These feelings are taxing and a waste of time, not to mention grossly inaccurate. Have you ever met an attractive person who turns out to be the very same as your projection, if you even got to know him/her well? And how about an “unattractive” person? So how accurate are these standards of measurement, really?

When you do feel excited, happy, or nervous when you see someone, these feelings should come from your personal connection with him/her, not based on the assumptions in your mind. That’s when you see someone for who he/she really is, rather than what you think he/she is.

Lastly, remember that every look is beautiful, equally beautiful. While handsome men and beautiful women look attractive to you, that’s because you have been taught by media and society to perceive their looks as attractive. The next step is to learn to perceive other looks as beautiful too — because they are beautiful, as beautiful as the template looks you’ve been taught to see as beautiful. As you do that, you will start to see that everyone is indeed beautiful, and the beauty standards we’ve been taught are merely very narrow ways of looking at beauty. Beauty is more than just one look or a few looks — beauty exists in every look. 🙂

For more reading:

New Release of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program!

After MANY months of hard work, I’ve finally launched the upgraded version of Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program, my 30-day character transformation program! You would have gotten the mailer on this if you’re on the PE newsletter. The material has been hugely upgraded, with the guidebook expanding from 230 pages to 308 pages, over 100 participant verbatims added in, workbook updated, and many parts heavily rewritten.

  1. If you haven’t gotten the program, read about 30BBM hereread the FAQs, or head straight to checkout.
  2. For recent customers, I’ve sent out the email on how to get the upgraded version of 30BBM on Aug 1. Check your mailbox for the email titled: “New Release: Be a Better Me in 30 Days Program.” If it’s not in your inbox, please check your spam folder.
  3. For the 30DLBL & 30BBM buyers who have purchased the 30DLBL upgrade, I said to reply to the email thread from last December — apologies as the email is no longer functional. Simply reach us here with the required details!

Thank you to everyone who has purchased the upgraded 30BBM — enjoy the program and your character transformation journey! 🙂 Any questions on 30BBM, let us know here!

The post I Get Nervous When I See an Attractive Man/Woman. What Should I Do? is first published on Personal Excellence.

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