Did you miss me? I took a four week break. I didn’t intend to, I just went on holiday and then forgot to write about stuff. The good news though is that I’m back and I have loads of random stuff to write about! The randomness, however, will have to wait. As will the blog post about how amazing Zac Efron’s new film is. ‘Why?’ I hear you scream… well, for the first time ever I have had a request to write about a topic, and for the first time ever I’m going to respond to that request. Luckily, it’s something I know a little about.
How would your best friend describe you? Would they say that you’re fun? Friendly? A good person to spend time with? Probably. They wouldn’t be your best friend if they didn’t. Would they say you can be boring? Annoying? That you have so many mood swings or spend all your money on pointless things? Probably. They wouldn’t be your best friend if they didn’t.
There is not a person on Earth that we know that we can feel completely positively towards every moment of every day, and that includes ourselves. There are some people we like more than others – a fact of life – and there are some days when we find it easier to see the good in people, but there is always that other side. Much of the time we learn to live with these differences, adapt to them and deal with the conflict that might arise because of them. That’s what any kind of relationship is about. But how do you deal with your relationship with yourself? How do you cope when you begin to feel not-so-crazy about that person you call me?
It’s really easy to compare yourself to others in the 21st century. We are all aware of the problems with body image associated with modern media, and how people’s perception of themselves is being influenced negatively by the pleasing aesthetics of magazine cover-stars and hollywood heartthrobs. But idealising doesn’t stop there, and nor does its dangers. Ever seen someone in the street and wished you looked like them? Ever met someone who comes across so relaxed and comfortable that you can’t help but envy them? Ever wished you could lead the perfect life that you see them living? These are all common feelings, but if you don’t deal with them healthily you can end up putting your self-esteem at risk.
So, what we have so far:
- many of us aren’t entirely happy with who we are
- we wish we could be like other people
- other people wish they could be like us
“Wait, what? No, no, no. That doesn’t apply to me. Nobody wants to be like me.” One of the extraordinary things about people is their ability to create extremes. We find it very hard to accept that life isn’t black and white, but an interesting whirlpool of grey. When you see stuff you don’t like in yourself, it’s very easy to generalise and think of yourself as mostly made up of those aspects. You don’t think to yourself, “well, I’ve got a bit of a temper but I’m really generous so people must like me for that!”. You don’t think, “wow, those people are gonna think I’m really selfish but at least those people will admire how confident I am”. Yet, we don’t hold any of our best friends to these standards. You know your best friend isn’t perfect, but you accept them for all of their good parts. Why can’t we do the same for ourselves?
It’s very hard to instil belief in someone. I believe I am a cool human being. I don’t always know it, but I do always believe it. Many people don’t, yet it is no less true for them than for anybody. You absolutely have to find a way to love yourself for who you are; not just because “nobody will ever love you if you don’t” but because you will never love yourself if you don’t. Loving someone and liking someone are two very different things. You don’t have to like every aspect about your body or your personality in order to love yourself, and other people don’t either. Your brain is a very powerful weapon, and it is so easy to let it work for the worst. Don’t let negative thoughts about how “bad” you are come out on top. Use it to prove to yourself that you are and can be as amazing as you want to be. It’s your life, and when it comes to the end what matters is that you lived it how you wanted to live it. Not how other people wanted you to live it. Not how you thought other people wanted you to live it.
There are two quotes I’d like to share with you; the first gives me confidence in myself, and the second is how everyone should live. As you may be aware, I’m a fan of ‘Glee’. One of their songs is called ‘Loser Like Me’.
Just go ahead and hate on me and run your mouth, so everyone can hear
Hit me with the worst you got and knock me down, baby, I don’t care
Keep it up and soon enough you’ll figure out
You wanna be [you wanna be] a loser like me
It is of course a cheesy song (I wouldn’t listen to it if it wasn’t), but it’s message is absolutely clear; a loser with belief and confidence in themselves isn’t doing too much losing. And neither, by the way, is someone who’s enjoying life. It only takes one person to make yourself happy, and perhaps if we all gave ourselves a grin now and again we’d brighten up our own lives as well as each others.
Smiling is contagious
You can catch it like the flu
When someone smiled at me today
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
And someone saw my grin
And when he smiled I realised
That I’d passed it on to him
I thought about that smile
Then I realised what it’s worth
A single smile just like mine
It could travel round the earth
So if you feel a smile begin
Don’t leave it undetected
Lets start an epidemic quick
And get the world infected.
My best friends may not be perfect, but I love them all the same.