Childhood and teenage are crucial periods in the psychological development of a person. It’s primarily during this time that one gets to develop one’s self-concept and identity. It’s during this time that one’s psyche gets loaded with emotional wounds as a result of the experiences that one goes through.
When a person steps out of his teenage years, the kind of personalitythat he develops largely helps him cover up/compensate/heal these psychological wounds.
The mind and its associations
When we meet someone for the first time, we make snap judgements about their character and personality that may turn out to be false later on, as we get to know them better.
For example, if you saw a guy on the street wearing chains, leather jacket and khaki pants and has tattoos all over his body, you might assume that he’s a rockstar, a rapper or a gangster. You won’t develop the same impression about a guy who’s wearing specs and a black suit.
“He is a sales executive or a CEO or a stock broker”, you might think. Thing is, it’s not only clothes that let us form such impressions but also the facial features and body types. For example, if you saw a really big guy with large muscles, you might assume that he’s a wrestler, a gym addict or a rugby player.
These snap judgements help us make quick decisions about the people we meet, so that we may easily distinguish potential enemies from potential friends.
Obviously, he won’t like his looks, specifically those aspects of his looks that are associated with the identity that he’s trying to get rid of.
A couple of examples
He wore round spectacles, so peculiar to nerds. Ahmed’s mind associated the criticisms that he received to the way he looked, especially with his peculiar spectacles.
When he got out of school and joined college, Ahmed knew that it was a chance to make new friends and improve his social life because no one here was familiar with his repulsive, nerd identity.
It was at this point of time that he started to dislike his looks. He hated his round spectacles because they always reminded him of his nerd identity, an old wound that he so badly wanted to hide. Eventually, he got rid of his spectacles and started a new life in college.
Mayank was one day working out in the gym. While checking out his big muscles in the mirror, his friend playfully remarked, “Dude, great body! I only wish you could do something about that baby face, haha”. Mayank became furious and shouted at his friend, warned him and left the place.