Selfie-Love: Stopping Self-Consciousness

I’m 22 years old and I still battle with my self-conscious mind often. I wonder if I feel bad about myself because I use a scooter. But today I thought, people in their 40s, 50s sometimes face the same problem, too; flaws are what makes us human.

Even small ways in how we think or behave can fuel that little monster inside each of us that growls for more attention, recognition, and validation. Lately, I’ve caught myself doing it. To be able to laugh at yourself is a great, humble thing but I’ve learned that self-deprecating jokes are quite damaging in the long run. It’s so easy for me to slip into doing it myself. I’d be having a conversation with a friend, her feeling bad about something – she did badly on an exam or got into a fight with her boyfriend. To console her, I’d say: “hey, remember when I cried over my essay when I couldn’t come up with anything, or at least you have a boyfriend!” It’s instant – how easily these negative comments spill out of my mouth. On the surface they might not seem damaging to the way I treat myself, but one by one they continually pile up on top of another until what do you get – a not-so-happy pile of shitty feelings.

It’s difficult to sometimes stop myself. To me, the line that separates being confident and flaunting yourself to the point in which you look like you’re bragging is too thin; it seems like a balancing act for me to not appear egotistical. But fuck it – I say start making those steps to be kinder to yourself. What do I mean? Say you like a selfie but hesitate to put it up as a profile pic because you worry if others might not feel the same way and therefore you might get as many likes on it as you wanted. Stop. No one – even your loved one, best friend, whoever – has the power to validate how good you feel about yourself. Only you have that power. And that’s not to say it lets you be an asshole to people. Manners and humility still definitely matter, obviously.

To be honest, I myself have worried about getting enough likes, as embarrassing as that is to admit it. But the truth is the number of how many of your friends like your photo doesn’t matter. To think otherwise is ridiculous. Your friends love you; them liking your photo all the time shouldn’t have to be a definitive proof of their love. And that one guy whom you barely speak with to but you’re a bit attracted to? He doesn’t have to like your photo, your status update, or any of the decisions you make. If you’re obsessing about unnecessary people, delete them – whether it’s online or in real life. Cut them out of your life. The only people whom you should be happy to see that they’ve liked your photo are your real friends. As long as you’re comfortable with your decisions and believe that they are representatives of your true self, that’s all that matters. So go ahead and post that selfie. And stop checking who and how many liked it.

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