Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I do(n't) care.

In general, I believe that it's a waste of time to care about what others think of you. In some situations, obviously it's understandable and probably best that you do care, for example if you're in a job interview and you want the employer to adore you, or if you want your teacher to consider you a good student... But nine times out of ten when you worry about others thinking certain things about you, it's only going to hurt you.
The people in your class aren't going to notice that you've worn the same clothes twice in a week, the boy you work with won't judge you solely on your handwriting, your teammates won't shake their head when you tell them you have a hangover and a new acquaintance shouldn't mind that you need to go outside for a quick smoke.

There are only a few people whose opinions you should really care about, and those people are those closest to you. I only care about what my best friends think of me, whether or not my little sister looks up to me, and what my parents see in me.
Today, I had a tense exchange with my Mum in the car as I was driving her somewhere. It transpired that she didn't feel safe in the car, she worried about me coasting and taking risks on the road and I took this to mean she thought I was a bad driver. My friends give me a hard time about my driving anyway, but mostly that's because I'm busy chatting to them as I drive. Whenever my parents are in the car with me (which I ensure is hardly ever), I drive as though I am both re-sitting my test and carrying a member of the royal family. So her even implying t
his hurt, because I hate her thinking badly of me. In the past, I've laughed it off when I asked her if she thought I was a slut and she didn't reply, because I knew she was joking. I took offence once, however, when she and my Dad didn't trust me to have a boy stay in my bedroom for a couple of nights.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend I hadn't seen in ages and he asked about my love life, specifically my magic number. I told him, and very reluctantly added the names of those he might know. I instantly regretted it, and spent the next couple of hours frantically begging him not to think badly of me because of a couple of mistakes I'd made.
I also refused to tell some of my favourite uni friends my (by social standards low but to them comparatively high) number, because they had all behaved themselves and had proper relationships, etc.

I used to care what everyone thought of me. There was a time in my life when I wore certain clothes, listened to certain music and acted a certain way just to gain the approval of my peers. I stopped eating lunch because none of the other girls ate lunch. I once tripped up some steps at school and cried because a random girl saw me and shouted "loser!"
It was when I first mentioned that I was wanting to audition for my school's Christmas Pantomime and was met with snorts of laughter from my classmates that I decided not to care any more - I auditioned that year, and the following year, and every year after that, and I always got great roles and met more people similar to me who showed me that not caring is the best thing you can do.

If you go through life seeking approval and going against what you believe or what you want just because you worry about how you'll look, you're living wrong. Actually, you're not living at all.

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