Recently, my friend was on the receiving end of some unwanted criticism by a rather inconsiderate group of friends. Was she bothered by it? Initially, yes of course. But five minutes following that, she laughed about it and bounced right back, continuing on being her peaceful, happy self.
It’s my friend’s confidence in herself that continues to inspire me, and remind me (and hopefully, you too!) that you can’t let others define who you are. Learning to “not give a shit” when it comes to other people’s opinions is a valuable life skill. If you take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror, do you love what you see? If you don’t, are you hesitating because you’re thinking about what others have said about you? Or perhaps, you’re imagining what others might be thinking about you.
There was a point in my high-school years where I dwelled on all of things people could’ve been thinking or saying about me— whether it be my outfit, my latest Instagram post, or something I said out loud. Once I moved away to college, I learned that people don’t dwell on other individuals as much as we think they do. Once you start letting other people’s opinions of you (imaginary or not) shape and confine you, you’re limiting your potential and confidence level. It’s a debilitating way to live. Everyone deserves to believe in themselves, overflow with confidence, and radiate positivity into the world.
Once I learned how to control my thoughts about what others were thinking of me, it was like I had opened the curtains in a room covered with shadows. My life definitely turned around. But to be honest, I still run into times where I catch myself thinking about what others are thinking or saying about me. And I have to remind myself that thinking like this will affect many aspects of my life negatively: my body image, mental health, and social life.
If you don’t love yourself completely and wholeheartedly because of what other people have said or might have said, it’s important to remember those comments about you are short-lived and are almost never brought up again. The group of friends said their nasty comments and moved on, and so did my friend.