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It’s Ok If You’re Not Always The “Cool Girl”

Last semester, I was talking to a friend about the importance to communicate with her boyfriend. She was telling me she didn’t like telling her boyfriend when something hurt her because that way she wouldn’t seem nagging or annoying and she’d be able to keep her “cool girl” status. Her words left me puzzled. For those of you who don’t know, a “cool girl”, is the hot, smart, funny woman who also loves sports, dirty jokes, never diets, gets along with all of her boyfriend’s friends and is amazing in bed. She may or may not love whiskey and might be referred to as “one of the guys.” But most importantly, a cool girl is chill and laid back -she never gets angry. She always has a witty comeback or can easily brush things off. Or at least that’s what it seems.

And it’s not just in relationships. Just the other day, a friend of mine sent a less than favorable photo of me to our group chat and I just immediately felt my stomach sink… It was so silly, yet my mind was already racing with potential comments and ruining my own self-esteem. I knew I couldn’t go on and show my true feelings, regardless of how I felt, because that could start a conversation on me and my sensitivity. So, what did I do? I decided to join in on the joke, so I could laugh with them. With my ego shattered and my self-esteem already bruised and limping, I managed to text back: “What a mess.” I tried my best to brush it off, pretending I felt nothing towards it and simply recognized how tragic it was. Hours later, I was still beating myself up, revisiting the text in my mind. I wasn’t being hard on myself because of the picture or because my friend sent it, but rather because I cared. It got me all frustrated. I know he didn’t mean it in a malicious way and he could never really understand the impact it had on me. I remember thinking this was all so silly and maybe I shouldn’t have wandered down the path of “coolness.” At the end of the day, I’ve never been referred to as “cool” in my life and I think it’s time I embrace it.

 

These stories make me think a lot about the voices in our heads, the ones that bring us down and hide in the shadows trying to make us analyze everything. The one that forces us to hide our real emotions and opt for distance and indifference over honesty. It’s something that at this point is almost ingrained in us. Showing anything true or remotely emotional is not good -any type of emotion, really, is deemed as “extra” or lame. When did we agree on this? When did we agree on that showing too much of anything was simply too much… I say we tell that voice in our head that it can go suck it. It can go and take it’s lameness and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Because you know what? That voice in your head does not control what you say or do, you do, though, so you wanna be so happy you cry, go ahead! Be happy, sad, angry, excited, sensitive, whatever. Just feel it. We’re only human and from time to time we will lose our cool and show some real emotions.

You don’t have to play it cool all the time. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not or that words or actions don’t hurt you. If someone hurts you, it’s ok if your response is messy and raw and makes a person or two uncomfortable -even if that person is you. Trust me, it sometimes feels better, to be honest and let yourself feel whatever you are feeling in the moment, rather than holding it all in and wishing you said something else or acted differently. You don’t have to act like you’re confident when you don’t feel that way or pretend everything is fine when you’re boiling over/spreading yourself thin. There’s so much freedom in turning off all those filters and letting those walls down.

I want to say this, though: if you’re naturally chill, then great! Good for you for not letting too much get to you and actually being able to remain level-headed or relaxed in most situations. I might be a little jealous. God blessed you with the capacity to remain calm and unbothered by things and that’s awesome. But if you’re not this way, don’t sweat it. Just remember to have an outlet for your emotions because when it comes to bottling them up, best case scenario, you scream and maybe cry a little bit over not being able to open a bag of chips. Worst case scenario, you end up pulling a Gone Girl and have a mental breakdown.

 

Image Credits: 1 2 3 

Andrea Gáez

PS Behrend '19

From Panama.xx
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