Being a Teenager My Failed Attempts at Stopping to Care What Other People Think Megan Phelps

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who wishes I could just forget about other people’s points of view and be completely comfortable being myself. Of course, teenager-hood is generally not the time that this wish is granted, so I might be out of luck. Yep, I am a teenager, people. And as much as I would like to be that girl who doesn’t give a peeled banana about what other people think, it’s always been hard for me to let my guard down when it seems like there’s so much at stake. My friends, for example, come to mind instantly.

While it may be unrealistic for me to completely not care, I am happier when I am not worrying whether people like me. Dressing how I want, singing when I want to and laughing when I think things are funny (no matter what those things are) are reaching me closer to the realm of not-caring.

I have never had low self-esteem (I see my mother nodding vehemently), but any disagreement between me and a friend promptly brings on feelings of guilt. Even just a few weeks ago, I would instantly assume I had said something wrong if one of my friends wasn’t texting me right back. All at once, I would feel that burning sensation of regret—“Is it all my fault? Did she decide I’m too [insert adjective here]? What did I do?!” But then I realized that I don’t have to worry about what’s going on in other people’s minds. Whatever will be, will be.

While I still am not completely in the mindset that I don’t care at all what people think, I am trying to assume the best, as in, that everyone likes me until proven otherwise. So basically just like the American Justice system. I do still find times when my feelings get hurt and I have the deep desire to retreat from all human contact (but I find it both difficult and depressing to carry through with actually doing so).

But this is not how I aim to feel. If it goes on for more than a day (which it rarely does) I go to a friend’s house and laugh myself silly until the world settles back into place, and I am able to make punny jokes again without regretting any of them (okay, without regretting most of them; I do sometimes get carried away).

Featured image via ShutterStock.

 

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  1. Nah, that “wish” wasn’t granted for me until college. It sounds like you’re ahead of the curve!