Why we dislike the looks of some people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Have you ever seen someone then felt uncomfortable

Have you ever seen a person then felt unhappy or uncomfortable?
And no i am not talking about people you don't consider good looking but i am talking about ordinary people who make you feel bad for no reason as soon as you see them.

I am pretty sure this situation happened to you before more than once and i am also pretty sure that even though you felt really bad around some people you ended up discovering that they are good ones (at least in some cases).

So what could be happening here?
While those feelings you are getting might seem intuitive they are actually the direct result of your subconscious mind finding certain warning signs coming in the form of visual signals.

Let me explain that more. Let's suppose that a guy used to bully you at school everyday and you were too helpless to react. In such a case , even if you have forgotten how that guy looks, your subconscious mind will still be looking for warning signs to help you avoid similar people.

Now if a nice guy showed up but was too unfortunate to have some similarities in looks with that bully then you will get a bad feeling around that person without knowing what's going on.

Those similarities in looks are usually too subtle to be noticed by the conscious mind and this is why you get a strange feeling without actually knowing where it is coming from. See should you trust your intuition.

It's all about your beliefs

But what if you were sure you never met a person who looks like that before?
This leads us to another important fact which is that sometimes your beliefs about certain looks can affect the way you feel around a person who has them.

Let's suppose that for some reason you believed that are muscular people are aggressive, cold or even violent. Now in such a case, no matter where that belief came from, you will still feel uneasy around those people.

We usually have a different set of beliefs associated with each type of looks. For example you might automatically assume that a slim guy with a long hair and beard is an artist or a computer programmer.

In my book The psychology of physical attraction i said that those beliefs you hold about certain types of looks will determine to a great extent how you feel when you encounter someone having those looks.

Should you trust your intuition?

The short answer is no. Your subconscious mind depends on your database of beliefs and past experiences to judge people. Now if that database wasn't accurate , because of a movie you saw when you were a child for example, then certainly you will get wrong results.

And yes as strange as this sounds seeing a person who looks like a movie character you used to hate when you were a child can actually make you feel uncomfortable and uneasy around that person.

In such a case the problem isn't with that person nor with your accurate detection mechanism but it's with the inaccurate database of information you formed as you grew up.

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Want to know more?

Why you sometimes get negative comments about your looks

Why your looks might not matter at all in relationships

Do looks really matter to women

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