The What Will People Say Syndrome
So what is this syndrome about?
Now you might be thinking who would call that a syndrome,is this thing legit?Are you wasting our time?
Well,dear friend ,if atleast once in your life you have opted to dress,talk,eat,laugh or even live a certain way so that you won't be judged..then voila! you are suffering from the infamous what will people say syndrome!
"I wish as well as everybody else to be perfectly happy, but like everybody else it should be own my own way."
Being an anti-social butterfly is not as easy as it sounds. I was happily living my introverted OCD-rich life when this thing hit me hard. Yes, I was diagnosed with the deadly syndrome!
Neither did I get proper medication (an anti-depressant would probably do the job) nor enough moral support, all I had was “unwanted attention”!? And there I was – a voiceless, opinionless nobody running around pleasing people. People who had nothing to do with me, people who were never there for me at my worst, people I didn’t even know.
And there were two possibilities, either you felt like (mostly) an undercover agent dodging enemies or a celebrity avoiding the paparazzi drama. But, to say the truth, you are just a low profile depressed soul trying to avoid the nosy neighbour. There is always a “why so late?” or a “where are you off to so early?” or “who is that guy you were talking to?” question awaiting you at any time of the day.
If people are going to judge me without fully understanding the content of my character, then their opinion just isn't worth it.
You hold on to that immense urge to look straight in their eye and shout “none of your business”!
…But alas! You shouldn’t do something that might scar your upbringing. Good lord, no!
But how will you ever dodge the nosy neighbour version 2.0 inside your own head?
Is the dress too short? .. Should I stay out late ?… Should I take the job?, It won’t be rude, would it?….plus a few “what will my neighbourhood aunty think?” or “What will my boss say?” or better still, “What will the society think?!”
"Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to. Stay home on New Year's Eve if that's what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you'll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.”
― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
These, my friends, are the everyday issues of my 20-something-year-old life and the more I wait for the pointless stereotypes and obvious orthodox beliefs to self-destruct and disappear, the more are the chances of me being the next invisible woman.
The scary irrelevant existence alert!
So, there goes down the drain someone’s longtime wish to be a dancer, a chef, an ‘anything’ because it doesn’t matter what you do, you always go back to, ‘what will people say?!’
Tell me something, who are these people anyway? And most importantly, whosoever they are, why are you listening to them?
For these “people“and their opinions will only cage you and crush your dreams, choke and maim you! They will look at you with loathing and say, “I told you so!”
Your life is worth more than the censor board clearance by the society and your dreams are worthier than their not-so-brilliant suggestions.
So what can you do?
Take it from a survivor, you’ll have the last laugh, and you will do this by:
- Being with the right people (if it’s too much to expect your clueless friends to be perfect then just shake it off … *correction* – be with people who make you happy).
- Taking your own decisions, I know it can be difficult at times, but then you can be the one to tell yourself “told you so!” (Bring in the positive vibes).
- Showering yourself with loads of self-love. Come on, support that person who stood by you, no matter what. Show some love, to yourself!
- Mastering the subtle art of not giving a f*^k.
- Learning to take risks.
- Most importantly accepting that nobody is perfect(not even you !)and hence embracing every single flaw with grace.
Arey yaar, “kuch to log kahenge”( people might say things) …but when you realise…” logon ka kaam hai kehna“(they have nothing better to do!). You, my friend, will attain the self-actualisation you deserve! You can kiss it goodbye forever.
© 2019 Amrutha Balachandran