‘I’m a 30-Something Grown Up – But I’m As Insecure As A Child’
As part of our #BREAKFREE from Likes week, Ellen Manning reveals how she's planning to stop caring about other people's opinions
A worried mother told me a scary story recently. She’d noticed her young daughter had started taking pictures of herself. Nothing saucy, just pictures of her dressed nicely, looking her best, posing for the camera. Nothing new about that. After all, selfies are a thing. We’re all at it.
It’s what comes next that’s a bit worrying. Turns out the photos were for Instagram and Snapchat, with a massive focus on the number of ‘likes’ they got. Lots of likes = the girl felt good about herself. Fewer likes = she didn’t.
As the mum and I chatted, we talked about teenage angst, the need for approval, online and off. The need to be liked. ‘Isn’t it great’, we said, ‘That you grow out of that and stop caring so much about what people think?’
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually, I never have.
I would love to be one of those people who doesn’t give a shit about what other people think of them. Not the ones that justsaythey don’t, but the ones that really, truly couldn’t care less. The people who don’t worry whether someone likes them or not, who don’t get upset when someone says something they don’t like, who don’t cave in in arguments for fear of looking stupid or being disliked.
But I’m not. I do give a shit. Too much.
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