It’s a well-documented fact that sometimes, life sucks. Sometimes your job sucks, sometimes studying sucks, sometimes relationships suck, sometimes sex sucks, sometimes your friends suck, and sometimes you suck. There’s not a whole lot you can do about other people, and you can’t magically fix work or school. When it comes to you, though – it’s hard, and it doesn’t stop things sucking completely, but there are always some steps you can take to stop beating yourself up so much.
1. Be selfish.
Sure, you’re not supposed to, but being a selfish bitch (bastard, gender-neutral motherfucker) is a seriously underrated experience. Obviously no one’s telling you to go out there and be inconsiderate or straight up rude and nasty, but sometimes just putting yourself first, whether it’s by skipping a big night out when you’re feeling exhausted or by going out partying when you know you shouldn’t, can do you the world of good. Lesson one: say no. Say it whenever you want.
2. Regret nothing.
It’s a tricky one. You can’t go through life without embarrassing yourself every now and then, be it through falling off your heels in front of an attractive, important, and successful crowd, or sleeping with that person you know you really shouldn’t sleep with, or even just putting your foot in your mouth. Again. And those moments are always the ones that plague you when it’s two a.m., when instead of sleeping you’re overanalysing every moment of your life and wincing over your choices. The answer? Sit yourself down and say no to regret. Who doesn’t have a clumsy moment now and then? Who’s to say you shouldn’t have got with that person? It’s not like you have to do it again. And really, whatever, everyone will forget about that stupid thing you said. They’re probably not obsessed enough with you to memorise every word out of your mouth. And if you can’t banish regret yet, fake it.
3. Remember you don’t owe anyone anything.
So the guy at the bar bought you a drink. Doesn’t mean you need to go home with him, and don’t let anyone make you feel like a bitch for walking away once you’ve knocked back your shot. So someone tried to hit on you. You don’t need to kill yourself trying to be nice to them and make sure you let them down gently, especially if (when) they get creepy and insistent. So someone tells you to smile, it’s not the end of the world. If you don’t feel like smiling, tell them to piss off. It’s not the end of the world.
4. Fuck guilty pleasures.
You don’t have to be reading the news and in depth theory and watching documentaries all the time to make you a worthwhile person. There’s nothing wrong with reality TV or trashy magazines or cheesy, catchy, auto-tuned pop music. Banish the word guilt from your lexicon. Why should you feel bad about something that brings you joy? Who cares about good taste? It’s your taste, and that’s what matters. Never let anyone make you feel bad for what you like.
5. Advice isn’t for everyone.
Sometimes you read things that seem glaringly obvious – don’t care so much about what people think, love yourself and love your body, exercise and eat your five fruit and veg a day. It isn’t always so easy to take that advice on board. And that’s okay. Sometimes you will care about what people think, and sometimes it’s hard to love yourself, and sometimes you just can’t be bothered to exercise, and you want a beer and greasy food more than you want, say, a salad. Don’t fall into that trip of beating yourself up about it. Make your peace and do your thing.