The final blog recap of the second episode of the Hairs To You podcast sees Monica Vermani discuss why people, whether they’re online strangers, family or friends, feel the need to make comments or remarks on non-surgical hair replacement systems and appearances in general. She also talks about why some individuals may feel the need to continue worrying about their appearance well into their old age.
If you prefer, you can also listen to the full episode below:
We recently had a client who was being mocked by friends and family for wearing a hair system. We eventually had to take the video down at their request. What can people do when they’re mocked for wearing a hairpiece?
Monica Vermani: So one of my famous quotes that I tell people are, ‘Other people's opinion of you is none of your business. It's your opinion of yourself that matters.’ And that's about self esteem again, and many of us need to start living and walking and staying in our lane, stay in our own lane, stay in our own path, realize that again, it is an individual journey amongst the collective. And so, people are out there and people sometimes show you your own gaps and your own issues. And so, you take your first breath into the world alone and you're leaving with your last breath out of the world alone. There's an individual journey amongst a collective. You got to stand by you. You got to understand this is about my journey. When people say something and it hurts us, or it triggers us, it's really about us challenging what is it about this person's opinion that I am seeking validation versus standing in my truth and being proud of me. And so it's about self-esteem, it's also about us recognizing people do what people do; they talk and that's all good. Let them talk. The key is what do you want? And if your initial response is feeling proud and happy about something, learning to stand in that truth, because as you work on you being better, there's a ripple effect of other people also receiving that energy. And some of these people speaking badly or bullying as you call it, some of them might cross the same bridge tomorrow. And when they cross the same bridge, your video might be inspiring them to do something that makes them feel good. So we should always see the greater good. To me, people who belittle and say negative things are in low self-esteem. When people are in pain, they spill over on to others with judgment and criticism. But when you're in high self-esteem, you also have a ripple effect, a ripple effect of inspiring others, showing people that there's another way to be. And so, the people who feel great and the videos are up; they need to have a sense of pride that I felt good and I'm inspiring somebody else who's crossing the same bridge as me. To also be inspired to take charge and do something right now to better their own lives. And so, always remember other people's opinion of me is none of my business. It's my opinion of myself. And if I had to give us a purpose of life, it's to be a higher and better version of us, which means helping others. And so by that video inspiring another person who's crossing the same crossroads, and they look at that video and feel, ‘wow, you're so happy. I'm gonna give myself a chance to do this.’ You're making other people who get what you're going through and went through, a chance for them to realize they can be happier. The people who are going to comment don't relate. So do you really need to hold onto their opinion when they don't relate to what you're going through? It's important for us to start recognizing it's about my opinion of myself that matters. And is there a greater good for that video to come out? Yeah. It's helping other people who are struggling with the same issue who are struggling with mood and anxiety, self-doubt, not feeling great about themselves, to have a moment like you just did feeling great about yourselves and knowing there are options to help me empower myself in a situation I feel powerless in.
We get social media comments like “just shave it off and go bald” and in general, people always give their opinions on appearances. Why is everybody so self-involved in other people’s decisions?
Monica Vermani: It's role modeling, right? When it comes down to it, we're in a society where people become a product of what they were raised in. And so, if I had a mother or father who's critical and judgmental, it's hard for me to fight the influence of also becoming like them and doing the same thing. And many times, we turn into our parents and we're like, ‘oh my God, I don't believe I'm saying the same thing as my mom or my dad. I don't believe I'm talking about my daughter's weight when I hated when my mom did that.’ So we go through a lot of cycles in life and patterns. And a lot of what I do as a clinical psychologist is help people break patterns and recognize what is in your highest and best.
In Buddhism, they say, ‘if by speaking, you don't contribute to the silence, don't.’ Only thing that contributes to silence is something that's positive, helps you grow, helps you teach somebody how to be better and makes them happy. If it's not contributing in a positive way, we shouldn't be doing it. Gossip, criticism, giving an opinion that wasn't asked for, but we're in a society, that I would say being well adjusted to a sick society's unhealthy. And we're in a sick society where people just repeat patterns without questioning, ‘is this in my highest and best? Is this the best way to be? Is this kind, is this compassionate? Do unto others as you want done to you, if I don't want people criticizing me, I shouldn't be criticizing them. And you know, one reason why I wrote my book, A Deeper Wellness was to help people go deeper and say, ‘are the behaviors I do day to day just an automatic pilot from learned behavior? Am I pausing and reflecting to be the best version of me?’ And so why do we do it? It's a part of society. It's a part of repeating patterns. How do we break it? That comes from you wanting to be a better version of yourself.
There are a lot of people who are a little bit more in a higher level of consciousness to be aware of their impact on others. when you're in pain, you spill over onto others. So when you're in pain, being criticized yourself, you criticize others. But when you're in higher self-esteem and you work on yourself and you pause and reflect to see what makes me a better version of me and you're in a place of high self-esteem speaking with praise, compliments, teaching people, helping them grow, there's a ripple effect. As you do unto others, they learn there's another way to be and they can do unto others too. We want a better world out there, start with you. Get your stuff together and realize that there is another way to be. And if you don't like parents criticizing and judging you, then stop the cycle somewhere so that you don't continue.
There was a client who was wearing a hair system until he was 92 years old which goes against the general thinking that people stop caring what they look like once they’re older. So even when we get older, we value our own appearance. What is your opinion on that?
Monica Vermani: When it comes down to it, it's an individual journey. What makes you happy? When you wake up in the morning, you look in the mirror, what makes you feel proud of you, what makes you sparkle to be you and who do you want to be is really your journey. And so, ‘you know, yes, I hear every day, like I have sometimes have people coming in and saying, you know, I have this scar I wanna cover up’ or ‘I'm losing hair and I wanna go get a procedure done or some plastic surgery’ and they question like, ‘am I just being superficial? Am I doing this? Am I doing it for the wrong reason?’ I said, ‘well, there is no right reason. If it makes you that happy, if it really significantly will make you confident, feel good about yourself looking in the mirror, go for it.’
To me it's like, it's an individual journey. It's an individual choice. It's individual preference. If you really feel changing your hair color or dyeing your greys is going to make you feel better, do it! It's about you feeling good about yourself. It's not about people's opinion and it's not about accepting where you're at. Accept where you're at if you're comfortable with it. And if you want to shift something because it makes you feel better, there's no shame in that. It's an individual journey. If you're happy painting your nails, go for it. If you're happy, changing something and it really would impact your day-to-day life, where you feel more confident in your skin, you feel more attractive to yourself. It's an individual journey. People find you attractive with or without the changes. It's really about you, because you have to face yourself every day. Like I said, other people's opinion of you, none of your business, your opinion of yourself is what matters. And in your opinion, if it makes that much of a difference that you feel better about yourself, bring it on. You're here to be a higher, better version for you. It's your individual journey amongst the collective. Go introduce who you want to be to others. Don't let them dictate who you need to be.
Unless there's a hurt and harm factor. So to be fair, some people get obsessed. Some people can get highly anxious. And once you start working on yourself, you wanna keep doing everything, you want to change everything about you and you always fixate on it. Well then, if it's impacting your mental health where you're so obsessed over it and preoccupied and now like, ‘I can't sleep.’ And if the salon's not open, ‘I'm not leaving the house!’ Like if you're doing things that come with a hurt and harm factor, now we got to maybe look into treatment or talking to a doctor to see if my preference has turned into an obsession that is really causing me harm. But if it's not coming from that place and it's you just liking something about yourself, own you be you, introduce the world to who you want to be.
If somebody is having mental health issues, either with their hair or with anything else, how do they get a hold of you?
Monica Vermani: You can go to my website, drmonicavermani.com. Everything's there, my individual practice, I do corporate wellness. I also offer an online platform for people who can't afford therapy, so that they can go on there and learn the life lessons to work on mood and anxiety. Recently, the book came out, A Deeper Wellness and that's also a workbook that brings out lessons that you can work on, how to manage stress, mood, anxiety. There's a little bit of psychoeducation and there's also exercises that you can do to apply those lessons to your own life. The first step to treatment is awareness. When you know something's off, take charge of it, work on yourself. And when it comes to being a better version of you, it's an individual journey, but it's amongst resources and collectives out there. So reach out, talk about things. I find a lot of people working on themselves become happier and have less mood and anxiety symptoms impacting their day-to-day life. So it is important for us to work on ourselves for our own highest and best.-----
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