Why We Owe To Ourselves To Admit That We Care What Others Think

Drew Coffman
Drew Coffman

“We’re all self-concious, I’m just the first to admit it.”

You won’t find me quoting Kanye again any time soon (or ever) but this mantra has been one that I think of sporadically throughout my life. As the years go on, I have moments that pass where I’m a special kind of crazy. The head-spinning, short of breath, hazy, dizzy, out of control kind of moments. How do I arrive here? Through nonsensical conclusions that I reach by stringing things together that make no sense, obviously.

When I look back on the thoughts that drive me the most mad, the moments that take my breath away in a bad way, they are nothing short of laughable. I draw huge importance from things with little to no value: a not-so-firm handshake, skipping out on laughing at one of my jokes (this rarely happens), an unreturned text, a missed phone call-ya know, all the important stuff.

The worst part of it all is this innate urge I have to spill my guts and let people know that this is what I’m feeling. I’m not certain if this word vomit is from guilt or because I sense that they can read it on my face-but I do it either way. I know some of my theories are absolutely nuts, but it doesn’t keep me from sharing them. I don’t know why (or when) embracing our flaws, no matter how shameful they may be, became something taboo. If these are things that we all think about behind closed doors, why can’t we talk about them in wide open rooms?

If we all admitted to experiencing these bouts of self doubt and the desire to connect, wouldn’t we find more common ground? Could these absolutely pointless problems dissolve completely?

When did social cues become more important than telling the truth? Why aren’t we allowed to talk about the awkwardly obvious? Why don’t we relish in these REAL human moments? Why can’t we say, “this is uncomfortable” or “I’m feeling this way” or “I hope you know that I feel for you”? Why do we, as self-aware and empathetic beings, build these walls to keep us from connecting with each other and finding that we maybe, quite possibly, are experiencing the very same things?

I am desperately trying to no longer be afraid to admit when I am feeling self conscious. I’m don’t want to be ashamed to say out loud “wow, I am being undeniably crazy right now.” I wanted to feel empowered and free of judgment when I confess that something made me feel less than adequate. It sounds so simple to do-if we know that this problem exists then why not just destroy it completely? It has become nearly impossible to do so when our entire generation is living in a walking, talking, clicking, liking, sharing paradox.

We have the urge to post, share, and stream every single thing about our lives–making us uncomfortably over connected—but we don’t really speak the truth. I know my ex boyfriend’s mom’s best friend’s political affiliations and opinions, but I’m supposed to act like I don’t know her in public? I see that we both love Passion Pit, and you are really focused on tracking your FitBit progress-but I have to pretend we have nothing in common and that I’m not secretly laughing at your oversharing?

We post what we want people to think of us, share what we think will help our image, and base our self worth on how many likes and from who. This is moving backwards. We have been given every tool needed to start real conversations, to understand one another, and to accept the things about ourselves that really aren’t that unacceptable. We have been handed the resources to find solace in someone else’s stories, to search for the answers or to share our own when there aren’t any in sight. Why aren’t we using these platforms to interact and talk about what is really on our minds? Why are we not allowed to say what we are really thinking? I’m so sick of basing my mood on the way people ingest my Facebook posts instead of how they look me in the eye during a conversation. TC mark

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