Over the course of the past few months, I’ve started to care less and less about what people think about me. It’s made my life incredibly easier and more rewarding.
I used to try to wait what I thought was the appropriate amount of time before I added someone on Facebook.
I used to pretend I’d never met people before if they didn’t remember meeting me before, just to save face and make it seem like I wasn’t a weirdo (even though I have an uncanny knack for remembering names and faces).
When I was younger, I’d have crushes on guys for years and keep it to myself, just because I was too afraid of rejection.
But after awhile, I reached a point in my life where I just didn’t care what people thought about me as much anymore. I realized that I’ve grown into an awesome person whom I love, and if someone doesn’t end up loving me back, then I don’t need them. I’ve already got myself and a handful of people who do care about me. So why be afraid of what someone thinks about me?
Since I got back to school this fall, I’ve started conducting a personal social experiment. Instead of pretending I don’t remember people when they don’t remember me, I am honest. I’ll tell them that I’ve seen them around, which can actually be really flattering, and makes people remember me more. I used to be self-conscious and anxious about how people could never remember how to spell or pronounce my last name (since I left Guam), but now I give them a cute trick to make them remember me: “It’s Babauta, like I’m Babauta beat you up!”
I wrote an article a few months ago about a guy I was interested in, and when he read it recently, I threw caution to the wind and confessed to him I had written about him, even if it was a bit embarrassing for me initially. And before I told my coming out story, I talked to the girl who helped me on my journey to self-discovery, abandoned my fear of rejection, and told her flat out that I used to like her.
As it turns out, people love honesty! (Who would’ve guessed?) All my past anxieties seem stupid to m now that I know how liberating it feels to be an open book. And coming out to everyone made my life so much easier as well, now that I have nothing to hide. I’m done with bullshitting and I’m done with people who play games and don’t tell me what they really want.
On a related note, I’ve had this line from a song by Garbage rolling around in my head for the past few years:
“If only people would say what it really was
What it really was, what it really was that they wanted”
Because the thing is, what’s the point?
What’s the point in keeping up your walls when you can let them down, and let people in?
Being more open has changed my life immensely. And my hope is that everyone else can learn to be honest and open about themselves too.
So be open; let the love flow.