I always used to shy away from standing out - I would never wear clothes that would draw attention and I would never do anything that would put me in the spotlight. I was too scared of what other people would think of me, whether they were strangers or people I went to school with. It sucked quite a lot, in all honesty, because I spent far too much time worrying about other’s opinions of me.
But why we do it? Because we’re scared of people thinking we’re strange? Because we want to be liked?
It took me a while to realise that I would rather be liked for my perhaps-a-bit-odd self than as someone who wasn’t really me. I had to start making decisions for myself rather than from other people’s opinions.
It does seem really scary, but I’m so much happier now. I’m more comfortable with myself as a person and I’m more confident too. I know my friends like me for me, and I also know some people probably don’t like me for me - but what does it matter?
I always got comments from people in my year. Why do you dye your hair so bright? Or why do you wear so much makeup? - it’s pathetic, really. They choose to make nasty comments about other people but that says more about them than it does about you.
I’ll always remember a quote from Agent Carter (a Marvel TV show based off a high up female secret agent in the 40’s and 50’s) - ‘I know my self worth so no one else’s opinion really matters’.
It really stuck with me because it’s so true. We withhold ourselves because we’re scared of others’ opinions but do they really matter? If we’re happy with ourselves and we have people that care about us, why do we spend so much time worrying about the people who don’t actually matter to us?
I spent so many years worrying about other’s opinions that I forgot about the only person’s who truly mattered - my own.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.