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> Are you affected by other people's opinions of you?, don't just be a part of the system
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JosephAvery
post Mar 6 2018, 09:43 PM
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it don't mean shit if you ain't happy though
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(not sure if this has been done before but it felt like a nice lil topic to make)

Of course everybody here is individual and unique, we all have our own qualities and quirks that make us who we are and, particularly on the forum, we're great at embracing these. However, how comfortable do you feel expressing your individuality in real life? Whether it be your fashion sense, music taste or even your sexuality, are you comfortable sharing these with the people around you - friends, family, colleagues, etc? If not, is there anything holding you back, or is it your own decision? I'm really intrigued to hear the responses here - be as detailed as you like!

I don't think I've ever adhered to the stereotypical "boy" traits and I've never had an issue showing it for the most part. It helps that as a kid, I was always talking about my love of S Club 7 and Girls Aloud, and naturally as a kid you're less self-aware, and it's just carried with me really as people have always known about my music taste. I don't hide it from new people I meet either, especially as it's such a huge part of who I am.

I've been a bit more sceptical when it comes to looks, as initially I was put off getting dreadlocks because my mum disapproved. Eventually I decided I had to live for myself and not for anyone else but it felt uncomfortable to mention the topic for a while. Still, it's probably the topic on my mind more than others (literally every time I catch my reflection x), and I do have moments where I think that I'd "fit in" better if I brushed it out (or even had a more conventional dread style than what I have/am going for), but that wouldn't be staying true to myself.

And re. my sexuality, it's pretty much the only thing I don't always express these days. Not all of my family are in the know, and I've never explicitly mentioned it at work (but I'd tell them if they asked). However, I'm definitely starting to care less about who knows and who doesn't, but I am concerned about what my grandparents in particular may thing (from another generation etc). I expect it's paranoia more than anything and it'll be fine when the time comes but I can't help worrying.

It was my new year's resolution for 2017 to stop caring what other people thought of me, and I think I've actually done a good job in accomplishing it! I spent too much time before worrying about how people would perceive me if I did a certain thing, but now I really don't care and if people care for me, they'll stick by me no matter what.

Your turn x
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Q.
post Mar 6 2018, 09:57 PM
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elusive
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Hmm. *looks inside to self-analyse*

I get a sense that people 'can't figure me out' all the way (and some have directly told me this) and therefore it's difficult for me to understand what it is that they see and whether that matches up with the way I see myself. I think I've always swung between a strong sense of identity and a very very fuzzy one. Currently I'm fitting more into the latter.

I suppose for one thing, I never change myself for anyone and that may sound like a strong, independent thing to say but it has also caused problems here and there. And I do have a thing where quite often I will totally care what someone else thinks of me or says about me, to the point where I tend to take their words almost as gospel because I feel like everyone's view should count kink.gif So then I have to remind myself to take pretty much EVERYTHING with a pinch of salt.
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Popchartfreak
post Mar 6 2018, 10:04 PM
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when I was young I was obsessed with how I appeared to other people, no self-confidence, and authority figures made me very nervous. The advantage of being older is that you don't give much of a flying fig about other people's opinion because judgemental people's opinion isn't really worth worrying about, it just makes you unhappy.

Nobody's perfect, some people say cruel things that aren't true (or because they stupidly think they are helping by being blunt in some bizarre way, as they see it) and insensitivity is a flaw in their character. Just be yourself and be happy and be nice (but try not to let people take advantage) is my motto learnt the long way round laugh.gif

PS lots and lots of people who are nice as well will be there in your life...
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Chez Wombat
post Mar 6 2018, 10:13 PM
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I cared a lot when I was younger and did some very cringey people pleasing to 'fit in', but that is certainly something I've grown out of. I guess I do try to be a positive influence, so I s'pose the thing that affects me is if someone that I like holds a grudge or seems to not enjoy my company for whatever reason and I'm not sure what it is. That sort of thing catches me off guard and is something I need to work on shrugging off. I just don't do well with criticism, I hate letting someone down.

On the other aspect though, I'm not particularly shy about my interests and will open up a lot more as you get to know me nor do I care at all that I may not like the same things or behave the same way or like other people of a similar demographic to me. We all have our individuality, hiding it is just damaging that.
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Klumzee
post Mar 6 2018, 10:20 PM
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Definitely something that I've struggled with! Like Mattias said, having the opinion that everybody's view matters (especially when it comes to yourself) can actually be pretty negative! To me it comes hand in hand with my perfectionism and at times over-sensitivity. Criticism was something I struggled with and really took to heart knowing I had let someone down (in my mind anyway) was the absolute worst thing that could happen as it would mean they'd have a lower opinion of me - the irony of that being that my own worries actually caused most of this! So those personality traits rounded off some of individuality especially in my teenage years looking back on them and it meant that I probably was a people-pleaser!

Nowadays I don't think I'm quite as bad. Working in a customer service job is probably the main thing I can attribute to my stronger sense of individuality as it forced me to stick to my guns and know when I'm in the right no matter what the customer or colleague might be saying to me. Also general getting older wisdom and some experience in relationships has helped shape me as an individual too! I'm much more comfortable expressing my own opinions and can take criticism much better but they're still things I'm working on. Not giving a damn what people think is very good for your own happiness cool.gif

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lotita.
post Mar 6 2018, 10:27 PM
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Definitely echoing Patrick that customer service has helped with my self confidence so much , Iíve learnt to be more socially confident and Iím also much better st talking to strangers

Since coming to uni Iíve also learnt to be so much more individual. Anxiety and toxic friendships at high school made me become kinda like a shell, I didnít have a huge sense of the self (other than music really) and I didnít allow myself to do things like wear things Iíd like or talk to my friends about my interests. I was at this time really worried about how other people saw me. Luckily uni has bought me out of said shell and Iím a lot more body confident (although still have quite a few ways to go still). I care less and less about what other people think and make my own decisions based on what makes me happy. Fake it till you make it works kids
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Mack.
post Mar 6 2018, 10:31 PM
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Before it did affect me mostly due to my anxiety but now not at all.
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Joe.
post Mar 6 2018, 10:33 PM
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Unfortunately, I still get wrapped up with what people think of me from time to time. I wish I didn’t, but I guess part of me is still feels insecure. And I know I shouldn’t feel like that, and have no real reason to, but it seems to be something that is deeply ingrained in me from a young age (possibly because I was so badly bullied in high school for being “different”). It’s something I’m getting better with and something I’m working on but still effects me occasionally and it can trigger anxiety in me if I feel people are judging me or thinking extremely negatively of me.
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Jade
post Mar 6 2018, 10:35 PM
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I definitely feel like I have come a long way in regards to this topic. My self esteem used to be horribly low... I absolutely hated being me and would compromise elements of my personality just to fit in better with my friends. No self-confidence whatsoever, very shy and eager to please people. So it makes sense why I was like that. But nowadays I feel like I have come into my own so much more and have totally embraced who I am. Even something like my Twitter account feels a lot more full of my personality than it used to be (I'll happily tweet about how 'It's Chico Time' is a banger or whatever). I still feel a bit awkward talking about myself in conversation, but I am far more willing to share the things that are different about me than I used to be. Yes, I gravitate towards a lot of dark music despite being a positive person, I bloody love cats, the show that impacted me more than any other in my lifetime is Glee, I'm in a long distance relationship and have lots of online friends, I have chosen to never touch alcohol, my fashion sense is a bit out there... etc. I do feel like I'm still a bit of a sensitive soul who doesn't take well to criticism most of the time, but that is mostly due to anxiety issues and being a perfectionist. I am so much happier in myself and would never compromise any elements of my personality, even if someone found me weird or whatever. School can be such a toxic environment for that kind of thing. It has definitely come with age plus changes of scenery and people. University has been a fantastic environment for growth.
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Cameron
post Mar 6 2018, 10:37 PM
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THE BLAZE *.*
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This was always something that really annoyed me growing up which is why I was always super quiet so that I didn't have to interact with anyone. I don't know what happened, I feel as though maybe finishing puberty gave me a confidence boost because let's be real every normal person looks horrendous under the age of 20 unless you're an Instagram model or something. kink.gif
Nowadays I am very wary about first impressions but I am the most comfortable with myself (internally) I have ever been despite the usual problems like body image and hair colour
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Iz
post Mar 6 2018, 10:41 PM
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I've not really cared about other people's opinions of me for a couple of years with regards what I like and I doubt I ever will again. What I mean by that is although I've always had fairly geeky tastes, little interest in typical masculine things, and interests that generally are done alone, so up until then I wouldn't really talk about them with anyone because I was unsure how they'd react. And I completely get the perfectionism thing, I've always tried to portray myself as beyond criticism but that's a slight defense mechanism as I instinctively don't like being criticised so I do my utmost to ensure I'm not in a situation where anyone would criticise me. And I was afraid that people would criticise me for my tastes.

Last couple of years I've been pretty open though, especially once I get talking to someone and I feel a lot more confident in my identity than I did a few years ago, when I really just had such low self-esteem and lack of pride in my appearance that at some times I wouldn't like going outside in case someone saw me and judged... I don't know what I was imagining they were going to judge me on, or why it mattered. I'm so glad I'm past that phase now.

And interests, well. It's not a particularly usual list, which I like as it helps my sense of individuality, but I wear it all on my sleeve and will happily admit that I'm, say, an anime fan or a history obsessive, to anyone who cares to know. It took me realising that everyone has their own interests that they want to talk about and that they're most interesting when they are talking about something they love that made me realise that it's totally alright for me to be like that as well.
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Riser
post Mar 7 2018, 12:01 AM
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I'm very sensitive to criticism so yes, I've been affected by other people's opinions of me for most of my life, but to varying extents. A big one for me is asking for help because I don't like to be seen as dependent or incapable of doing something. With interests it depends on the person - my friends and family know very well what my hobbies and passions are and I'm quite comfortable displaying that around them, whereas most of the people I work with have no clue what I do aside from my job because I haven't been willing to discuss it. Personality, on the other hand, is my strong point, where I feel I can be my reserved, slightly awkward but kind-hearted self around anyone and have never felt pressured to change that.
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Lindsey 🙃
post Mar 7 2018, 12:58 AM
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Omg get ready for an essay post nobody will want to read

Tldr: I wasn't a person in school, found myself at uni and now I'm blossoming and being true to myself except when it comes to my sexuality but my yellow jacket makes me feel cool xxx

This is something that's been on my mind a lot because over the past few months I've become so aware of how far I've come in the last three or four years, and not to toot my own horn but I am really proud of that.

I've said this a million times before but I am hella open online, there isn't really anything I intentionally filter, like you are all aware of how i look, my sexuality, my taste in music, films, whatever etc and this site is somewhere that I feel I can be myself. I owe a lot to you guys actually because being able to share parts of myself on here that I hadn't perhaps offline made be see how okay it is and gave me the confidence to do the same to a lot of my friends irl, especially my sexuality.

I've kinda realised recently that I basically didn't exist in high school, like that's literally how i feel. I look back on that time and i don't recognise the person I was, i don't feel that it's me and that's really what's made me realise how much I've grown as a person since coming to uni and moving away from home. I had like one close friend from 1st to 4th year and she'd been my friend through primary school too and although she knew the most about me, she wasn't the most accepting person and i always felt I did have to put on a sort of character around her. Ofc I didn't know I was bisexual at that point but if I did I don't think it's something I could have told her. I remember telling her about lotti and explaining how we met and she reacted badly to that so kink.gif but yea I was badly bullied in school for literally everything about myself so I kinda shut down and i didn't really let anyone get to know me, like i wouldn't even tell people paramore were my fave band if asked about music taste, even sharing that was too risky to me so like Lotti said, i was also a shell. Lotti knew me better than anyone else back then too so at least we did have each other.

Moving away from my hometown was honestly the best decision I could have made because it was a fresh start and it gave me the chance to figure out who I am. I feel like the first two years were spent just getting to know myself again because i'd become so used to being nothing basically. I made some of my closest friends within the first year but because I was so closed off, even they didn't really see a lot of me until a couple of years later. I've said a lot of this on the site before at various points ik but I don't think I've ever really explained the full story in regards to me coming out because it was a really slow process for me that I am still going through. Lotti knew before I even did I'm sure laugh.gif and that would have been when I was in like 5th/6th year at school as we talked about things like that but I never really allowed myself to think about my own label or what certain feelings meant etc so it wasn't until i started uni that I reached the point of having to address it and that took like a year again probs just to be okay with that in myself. 2015 I told Cameron because I wanted to share it with my friends on here as my first kind of proper step but I thought he deserved to be told in person first and not find out on a forum or in a group chat. It wasn't really a surprise to anyone which is why I wanted to confirm it here first as I knew you'd all be cool with it and it wouldn't be a big deal, then a year or so later I told my best friends but I've not told anyone else yet but I probs will at uni if it comes up. I don't purposely hide it from them really, it's just never been the right time to mention it or I've never felt the need to but I'm planning on doing some lgbt work for degree show maybe so that might be a good time to be like oh yea this is why I care so much about this sort of identity as I did write about it in my dissertation too :')

But yea things like my sense of humour, various tastes, even how i dress are all things I'm 110% okay sharing with anyone, it's just my sexuality that is for select audiences only but I'm starting to not really care so much. I definitely won't tell my family any time soon, i don't want to and I'm only going to if its unavoidable but I'm also not going to let what they might think stop me from doing things. My mum knows I go to gay clubs sometimes and didn't react too well to that idea (although she never asked me if I was gay) but that's not gonna put me off going again, i have like a giant poster of Lynn and Hayley paired with a rainbow sticker from a club in my room at home and I've never been asked about them, I'm planning on going to Pride if I can over summer and if my parents want to ask questions then fine, I'll deal with that when I come to it but what's the point in missing out over the fear of what someone will think? My work colleagues are also people who don't know I'm bi but they also don't know much about me in general because they don't care enough to ask so that's fine, they don't need to know anything about my personal life anyway laugh.gif

The most recent kinda "development" I've made is with my clothes. I have been more conscious of having my own style since coming to uni because of the increased independence etc it is easier to do that as my mum is someone who did always want her say on what I wore. Because I am a curvy girl she would be like you can't wear this you just have to get what fits I never really thought I could be fashionable and have my own style, which is dumb in hindsight. I've found that my clothes really do have an impact on how i feel, like if my outfit looks good then I feel good. I was talking about this with Lotti earlier about how a couple of months ago I bought a bright yellow leather jacket and it's something I would never wear because it's bold and i usually like to not be seen but it was an impulse buy in a sale and it's become my favourite thing I own tbh, i feel more confident when I wear it which is so surprising to me. I've started putting cute pins on it as well wub.gif I even wore it to some job interviews so I was more memorable kink.gif

But yea it's so important to be yourself and the right people will gravitate towards you, not everyone is gonna like you and that's fine. You also don't have to share everything about yourself if you don't want to, you don't owe anyone anything!

Sorry i do like writing.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 7 2018, 12:04 PM
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To be honest Iím only really affected by othersí opinions if theyíre a person that matters to me, although sometimes itís a hard thing to hear but I always like people to be honest with me and let me know if Iíve done something wrong/something to upset them.

I do have insecurities, but I am a lot better than I used to be when I was younger about not letting things get to me. After all, whatís the point? It achieves nothing.
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vidcapper
post Mar 7 2018, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ Mar 6 2018, 10:04 PM) *
when I was young I was obsessed with how I appeared to other people, no self-confidence, and authority figures made me very nervous. The advantage of being older is that you don't give much of a flying fig about other people's opinion because judgemental people's opinion isn't really worth worrying about, it just makes you unhappy.


I guess we are not that different in the above respect, then. thinking.gif

I can't help how other people perceive me - all I can do is withhold my opinions if I think they'll cause offence, or express then in a way that won't upset others (doesn't always succeed)!
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T Boy
post Mar 7 2018, 09:55 PM
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I feel almost opposite to some on here. I used to not be that arsed what people thought of me and actually used that as a defence mechanism. If I acted like I didnít care, then they wouldnít care as much.

Now I do care what people think. Iím a good person and I want people to think that as well. I also want people to see me as professional and kind.
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Scene
post Mar 8 2018, 06:24 PM
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I really admire people who just don't give a **** about others' opinions. I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family where it was far easier to criticise than it was to encourage. I can now be my own worst critic so if anyone else criticises me, it sticks unfortunately. sad.gif
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PeteFromLeeds
post Mar 8 2018, 06:33 PM
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In short, yes. I think the fact that I spent my primary school life completely oblivious to the fact I was anything but normal (even if it's obvious looking back) high school was such a shock to the system and by the time I finally got over it 3 years later I was really tuned in to what people thought about me, even if I couldn't do anything about it, just to stay above the 'social outcast' status. I hate it even more when people criticise me behind my back, at least the people I'm close to now are direct when it comes to what they think about me.
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