I was like you once. The way I used to feel about myself almost entirely depended on what people thought of me. People I didn’t know, people I’ve never met, my best friends, my parents, my boyfriend and pathetic losers on the internet. They pretty much totally decided whether my self-esteem was at a Beyoncé level or a Britney circa-2009 level.
I dressed for other people. I didn’t have any sort of personal style whatsoever. Going to a BBQ with folks from work? Better wear that shirt one of my co-workers complimented me on once in May. I wanted people to like me, above all else. Even if I secretly thought they were kind of terrible human beings to begin with. I still wanted them to like me. And if they didn’t? Instead of chalking it up to them having a miserable outlook on life, I freaked out and mentally listed everything wrong with myself that could possibly have offended them. Is it because I’m trying so hard to be nice and it comes off as fake? Oh God, am I too fat to be liked by them? Is it because I sometimes have a lisp? Then one day, not too long ago, it happened – I honest to God stopped giving a damn. And it’s the healthiest thing I’ve done for myself in as long as I can remember.
The only people I need to like me are people I respect and love. People who get the privilege of knowing enough about me to put me in line when I’m not acting right. And those who choose to make judgments based on limited interactions with me? I could really not give less of a s**t how they feel about me either way, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter, you know? Like, who cares if the lady who works the reception desk at my job doesn’t like you? She probably hates half the people in your office and that really blows because do you realize how much energy it takes to have such strong, hateful opinions about so many people when you could just be chillin’?
I’m not saying I’m the queen of security, but I think I’ve just sort of adopted the idea that it’s easier to just do the ol’ Kanye shrug when people have a problem with how I handle myself than to try and convince them that I’m worthy of their approval. Especially when it’s like, who ARE they? I’m too busy hanging out and wearing my shades like B-) to care anymore. My life is pretty friggin’ great and right now, I refuse to focus on anything else. I suggest giving it a try, it might just end up being your new way of life, too.