Discover more from Speaking Wrong At The Right Time
Confidence and The Freedom to Not Care
There was a time in my life when I irrationally worried about what people thought about me and desperately wanted to gain the approval of strangers.
Working through my social anxiety has allowed me to live a life where I happily feel free enough to not care.
Doing anything publicly opens you up to scrutiny, especially if you're a public figure like me. I believe the energy you put out is generally what you get back but occasionally you'll piss some people off along the way: it comes with the territory.
Speaking Wrong At The Right Time is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I've been public for over 2 years now and the number of hate emails I get are very few because I practice this principle and don't purposely try to trigger people. However, people read what they want to read and will find something to be angry about if they are in that headspace.
In these moments of receiving negative messages, I sometimes think about a handful of years ago when I was extremely self-conscious and purposely avoided being heard or seen at risk of being cast out by a particular group.
I rarely shared with people even close to me how I felt about sensitive subject matters or how I felt about the subject matter of the day outside of sports banter. Honestly, I didn't think my opinion really mattered much but I was also worried about the reaction to my thoughts.
When I was going through my own political awakening, I didn't really talk to anyone about my shifting opinions about politics because if I was battling accepting my new counternarrative viewpoints, why would anyone else accept it?
I mean, is it worth risking losing friends or friends to be openly honest about who you are and what you believe? I don't think it's an easy question to answer but it's clear that I've made my decision and I'm 100% comfortable with it.
I believe my social anxiety was being fed by my lack of confidence and lacking confidence is like having a brittle foundation that you don't trust to build on. After years of reflection and changing my mindset, my foundation is no longer fragile but instead defiantly solid.
When I get outlandish negative messages, I usually smile and laugh because I typically find humor in things. I like to think about the effort it took for them to research me to find the best way to contact me even though they momentarily hate me.
I consider the dichotomous attitude of someone who is "boldly" telling me off while cowardly hiding their identity with a fake email address. I've never done anything like this, so I'd imagine pressing send is like having an orgasm to them: they told me off and it got them off.
If I really think about it, hate emails are an admission of them relinquishing their emotional state over to me. I mean, my words had enough power to not only change someone's mental state but make them put it into action by reaching out to their new emotional dictator.
At the end of the day, I typically feel bad for someone who does something like this because I understand what it's like to lack confidence. Confident people don't need strangers to agree with them and don't react this way.
It's someone who wants to transfer their negative emotions onto someone else in hopes of bringing their target down to their miserable level: Man, are they going to be disappointed when they read this...
My happiness derives from me and I'm extremely comfortable in my skin. I'm confident in what I believe and stand by what I say and it's okay if others don't see eye to eye with me. My objective isn't to gain likes from strangers but to encourage people to express themselves.
My foundation is solid and the house I've built upon it is resilient. "Dixon moron" and other insult hurricanes don't even shake my structure but I appreciate them reminding me how far I've come.
I'm finally free.