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How to deal with a friend's parent who always makes me feel bad about my looks?


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I am a 30-year-old with terrible dark circles under my eyes which developed during my long years of depression and psychological problems when I was going through an awful phase of my life after a breakup in a relationship. I am now in a better condition compared to before, but my dark circles are something that just doesn't seem to go away. And they are very deep and indeed make me look horrible. I feel ashamed to go out and it makes me already very self-conscious. Not to mention that I also have a lot of wrinkles under my eye, way more than what a normal 30-year-old would have. However, I have kind of gotten into a habit of looking at myself in the mirror and it does not make me feel as bad as it used to do before. I am trying very hard to accept myself for how I look.

I have a friend who is very good and supportive. But his dad almost always comments about my dark circles almost every day we get to meet over video calls. And it is not like advice or suggestion to improve my condition or any criticism. His comments are more of like - rude and offensive. He uses words like -"the dark circles make you look so ugly", "your whole personality is getting destroyed because of your hideous dark circles", and "you will never make any impression with them on your face". Just 3 examples of what he really says when he talks about it.

Like, whenever I hear him speak about my dark circles, I always feel so embarrassed, sad, upset and self-conscious. A few days ago, I had my first face-to-face interaction with him (my friend's dad), and all the time, he was so heavily judging me for my dark circles and saying rude things like that.

That day I got so much hurt that I did something that I should not have done. I directly said to my friend about the whole conversation I had with his dad, and how bad I felt after the interaction with his dad, and shared every detail about our interaction. My friend instantly went into defensive mode and said that his dad was right, he is very good and can never do any wrong, and that I am overreacting. He did not believe that his dad told me those things. He also said that, even if his dad said those things, it is because "he considers me like his own son".... I did not really understand that. I mean, is it okay for a father to say those sentences to his own son?

I did not say any more, because I got to understand that he is my friend's dad after all, and that is a different dynamic. But I ended the conversation by telling him to put himself in my shoes and just try to understand, and that I did not mean to hurt his feelings. I just wanted to open up with him about the situation otherwise it was making my heart very heavy. What he did instead is he started separating from me since that day, and that made me even more sad and depressed.

Now I feel really bad. I feel kind of guilty to have opened up about this to my friend because I think this might have hurt our friendship to some extent. At the same time, I am very uncomfortable around his dad.

How should I deal with the whole situation? I am just out of clues. I don't know what to do...

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Posted (edited)

First of all, thanks for sharing your story and for the courage to open up. 


You have been through hard times and they left marks but they are part of you and they made you the man you are today. And from what I've read, you seem to be a great guy.


So if anyone says something bad about your marks, just tell him/her what they mean:

They mean, you truly loved a person so much that it left marks and that's beautiful. 


When I'm old, I want to be able to say that I gave everything for the people I love(d). I would like to have done mistakes, taken risks and lived for what I love. 


That's far better than being someone who doesn't care at all, who's life was meaningless. 


What to do in your case? 

You was right, telling your friend how you feel. You should tell his dad too. And if he keeps bullying you, that's probably to distract from his own dissappointing life. 

So try not to take him too seriously. 

Edited by suedseefrucht
  • 1 month later...
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Hello, I hear you, and I feel your pangs. No one wants to be told something negative, especially about their looks. But first.. do you love what you see everyday and are you happy wiht who you are, or are you already struggling with a negative self image and self doubt? 

The way I deal with stuff like this is twofold. One I silently thank the person for pointing out something that I could improve (I mean how many people probably think worse and don't say it out loud- he is being a messenger here, and I always say, don't shoot the messenger) When you look from a different view point even criticism and negative feedback is actually a lost way of sharing feedback with you about what you can improve and change to make your own life better.  So have you considered dealing with the dark circles? With products and remedies as openly available and not 'beauty secrets' any more, why not go enjoy some pampering and make them better? I was told I was dark, had very non traditional looks, was thin as a stick and guess what I took all those stones and built bridges with them and today people compliment me for the very things I was "given pointers to improve" That could be a positive turn to what you are otherwise seeing as a negative attack/ interference. 


Not enough peole appreciate those that have the courage to speak up, rather than gossip behind our backs..its not always easy but in the end its the people who help us by telling us what is wrong that set us so much further on our journeys..if we choose to take things with that spirit. If you look at how your reaction upset him, you can perhaps see his intent was not to hurt you. Even those who want to do good aren't always able to say it all sugar coated and nicely the way we want to, but its upto us to take the message and separate the feelings from blocking the message that the universe is giving us through such willing channels.

Good luck and I hope it all goes well for you! 

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