Why are teenagers afraid to be themselves?
Actually the real question is: why are people in general afraid to be themselves?
I will be upfront and say that I am scared to be myself. I’m putting it out there, and it was frustrating to not have an outlet where I could express myself and so for many years I bottled it all up and became kind of introverted-and I still am to some extent, but I am trying to open up to people and be more friendly, but it is hard. The reason I started this blog is so that I could finally release some of the frustrations and rants that I mouth to myself in the mirror in the bathroom late at night.
I was/still am scared to test the waters and do something completely out of my normal. I never joined sports because I was scared of what others would think of my mediocre talent. I was scared to do any performing arts because I couldn’t handle the judgement and the stares. So what does that say about me? I have no excuses, I had the talent, but I never had the guts or the ambition to be better, to be out there doing what I liked doing. I’d always took whatever people thought of me and kept it as my mantra do things that would have people not think the same thing about me the next time-don’t know if that make sense. And I still don’t have the guts to do these things. I almost didn’t start this blog because I hesitated and began to doubt myself-but then I realized that maybe-a one in a millionth chance-I might be able to help someone out by sharing my insecurities and my experiences.
I think, in general terms, most people are hiding something about themselves, hiding behind a façade. And that’s okay.
A lot of the times we find that most people are scared to be themselves because they are scared of judgement-and not all people are scared of judgement- but most of the time this applies. And this is usually a product of the environment they were raised around and because of the environment people choose to surround themselves with. Often times, we notice people who seem so confident and so sure of themselves on the outside-because that’s how they believe they’re supposed to act-consciously or not.
But how can we expect people to be themselves-if we say to them, “it’s okay to be yourself,” sometimes that implies that it previously wasn’t okay to be ourselves, other times it can offend others simply because you’re saying that they weren’t being themselves, and some respond positively.
Millennials (like myself) and Gen Z are actually extremely outspoken about how they feel and how things should be done-and I understand that its somewhat baffling to the previous generations-simply because they were raised differently, to respect and always listen to their elders. My generation simply has no regard for that kind of thinking-most of us feel like you have defend yourself and your worth because that’s the only way to gain respect – and while I personally don’t believe that, I can understand where they come from. We’re coming upon an age where differences and uniqueness is encouraged for entertainment and future success-because we all want to be somebody one day; having enough money to support a family just isn’t enough anymore. (oops going off onto a tangent)
So why are people afraid to be themselves?
I think it’s because they’re afraid of judgement and people are so easily defensive these days but we all react in different ways but the end result is still the same-we all wear masks.