We’ve all been there, making decisions based on other’s opinions of us, acting a certain way because we think that’s the way someone wants us to act, and holding back our thoughts because we fear what the reactions to them may be. Essentially, we have pushed aside our own gut feelings for the approval of those surrounding us.
This all derives from the fact that we often worry far too much about what others think about us because of what negative comments may be said about our actions afterward. These worries affect us and our sense of self-worth, and a change is needed.
It is natural to want the support of our friends and families, and for us to want them to think highly of us and what we stand for. But when we worry too much about what they may say or how they may view us, we are showing little to no confidence in how we feel or in why we are actually doing something.
As teenagers, it was especially common to want to gain wide popularity with others because we cared far too much about our image and social status. We may have dressed a certain way or gotten peer pressured into doing things that we may not actually agree with, because we were too scared to speak up and let our voices be heard. We were too anxious that we wouldn’t be accepted in a larger group, and had yet to explore who we wanted to become.
As millennials, we’re at this place where we’re beginning to accept ourselves for who we are and care less about what the world around us may think. Yet we may also feel stuck in this phase where we aren’t quite sure enough of that decision to not care yet.
Will I be judged for having one too many drinks at this party?
Will my friends agree with the fact that I’ve decided to date an ex again?
Will they judge me for serial dating for months at a time?
Should I dance at the bar, or will everyone think I look stupid for doing it?
While these aren’t necessarily the most serious thoughts, they are still affecting our actions because we are worrying about what others may think, leading to unwanted outside influence on more serious life decisions. It’s human nature to make preconceived judgments about one another, yet it’s important to realize that not all judgments are warranted, and everyone’s story is different and unique.
Take the elderly — they usually just say whatever the hell they want, whenever they want. Even if what they say may be ridiculous, they are more prone to just speak their minds. They should serve as a lesson for us to stop this worrying and be confident in our voices and actions. Hell, even Kanye West, for all his ranting and raving, doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what people around him are saying. He just wants to love the art and people, and he won’t stop until he’s heard.
But in all non-Kanye seriousness, we should speak our minds, listen to our guts, and live freely and comfortably with our ideals. Easier said than done, but a heavy weight will be lifted off your shoulders even if you start rejecting just one person’s opinion of you. Dance like a robot at that party, go on a billion dates, but most importantly, be confident in who you are and your ability to make the right choices for you and only you. When you worry less about those around you, you can focus more on who you want to be while understanding that these decisions are being made for you, and not for anyone else.