I feel like all I ever see on social media nowadays, as well as hear in every day life, is stuff like: "Why is so and so posting so many photos?" or "Why is this person dressed a certain way?" or "Why do people like this type of music?" There are some out there who seem to even have a problem when a couple are genuinely happy with one another. It's as if seeing somebody succeed in life, in any kind of way, results in a backlash of bitterness and jealousy, and, to be honest, it's been driving me absolutely nuts lately. All I've wanted to do is just give them a shake and ask: why do you care so much? They aren't hurting anybody, so why can't you just leave them be? Shift your attention onto things that actually matter. Focus on yourself, or focus on some real problems. Seriously. Stop shaming people for being happy.
I recently ran a poll on Twitter asking: Do you ever avoid doing what makes you happy due to fear of judgement? I intended for this question to be able to apply to anything, whether it be something big like your choice of career, or something small like styling your hair a certain way. 22% of you said no, whereas a large 78% said yes. One of you elaborated further with: "Especially at school. Will people think this hair style is weird? That I'm wearing too much make-up?" along with another of you telling me that trying to please society and the people around you for so long has caused you to stop doing things for yourself. Quite recently, I saw somebody say "If your Instagram has more than five selfies in a row, then everybody hates you." Which sparked my need to write this post even further. Sorry, what? Is this really a healthy way to think? You must be hated for feeling good about yourself? It's a sad truth that this kind of negativity often comes down to people's own insecurities. A lot of the time, if somebody is unhappy with themselves and their own situation, they'll more than likely take it out on those around them who are happy and confident. It's sad, but it's true, and it's no way to live.
I'm pleased to say that I am part of that 22% that said no. I feel like I've gotten to a point in my life now where I don't really care about other people's opinions of me. I know I'm a good person, I dress how I like, I say what I like, I do what I like, and those who actually matter only encourage me to do so. However, this wasn't always the case, especially during school, and developing this kind of mind set is actually really difficult and takes some time. About a year ago now, I had numerous counselling sessions for my own anxiety and confidence issues, and to say it's changed my perspective on everything would be an understatement. Without delving into that right now, let me just tell you this: sorting out your own problems, your own life, and learning to become positive, confident and happy with yourself is so important; it will completely change you for the better and improve your relationships with the people around you. That's what I've done/am still doing, and that's why this kind of ridiculous negativity and shaming just seems so unnecessary to me. If somebody actually feels good about themselves and what they're doing, and they aren't hurting anybody or doing anything wrong, then why put them down for it? Happiness and confidence are two things in life that we all strive for, and both often take a lot of time and effort. More than anything, somebody reaching that place should only be celebrated and encouraged further.
Realistically, I know that these kinds of people will probably always be there trying to pull everybody else down to their level, but it's how you react to it that is the most important part. Don't forget, you aren't their problem; they are. You do you. If you want to take ten selfies in the same day then just do it; you look great! Do you want to make it as a singer? Go and post that cover for everyone to hear how amazing you are. Feeling like starting a blog? Go for it! Get your voice heard! Most importantly: surround yourself with the people who will praise you, support you, and never make you feel guilty for doing what you want to do, and, hey, if you're struggling to find those people right now; I'm rooting for you.
This post originally featured on my blog, where you can find more of my thoughts and ramblings.