Yesterday, Rolling Stone published an interview with singer Taylor Swift. Among the things discussed in the piece, Swift opened up about her argument with Kanye West. I don’t wish to bring back this issue, as I don’t care about that. However, there was a part of what she said that spoke close to my heart and reminded me of a valuable life lesson – the only approval you should seek comes from you.
Swift said: “I started to feel like we reconnected, which felt great for me — because all I ever wanted my whole career after that thing happened in 2009 was for him to respect me. When someone doesn’t respect you so loudly and says you literally don’t deserve to be here — I just so badly wanted that respect from him, and I hate that about myself, that I was like, ‘This guy who’s antagonizing me, I just want his approval.'”
This hit so close to home for me. I know that feeling of seeking the approval of people who’ve harmed you, even if they don’t deserve that second chance. When I younger, I was very insecure and lacked confidence. Unfortunately, there were people in my life who took advantage of that. It is important to note that my story by no means reflects on Swift. I am only connecting to the powerful lesson in what she said in her interview.
One of my ex-best friends used to exploit this part of me. See, at first, everything went amazing, and my trust in him grew stronger and stronger with time. I loved that girl and shared everything with her. After a while, I started noticing that she was constantly criticizing me and belittling me. I never really liked confrontations, so I let it slide. However, I did find myself working extra hard to win her approval, her confirmation. I wanted her to think highly of me, even though she was a bad and toxic part of my life.
It took me a few years until I was able to see how I acted. It took me a few more to understand that the only approval in need to seek, is my own. I need to stand my ground, to trust myself – my instincts, my feelings. I have to understand that I deserve that people will treat me with respect and that I have every right to say that. I have to understand that the approval I have for myself is stronger than the approval of others. Because at the end of the day, these are our choices, it is our lives.