Showing Off, Distracting, Flaunting and Limiting Myself
I hate attention. No, let me rephrase that. I hate negative attention. Some people might just want to be the center of attention, no matter what. They are loud, they don’t hold back on their opinions, they dress provocatively and they don’t care much about what others really think of them. They know that because of who they are and the way they behave, people won’t be able to look away. And the funny thing is, that I might seem like that sort of person. But I am not. I am an attention whore in some instances, I am hiding sometimes, and every now and then I am just being myself. But it seems like no matter what I do, I often can’t escape the spotlight. Do I consciously flaunt? Or do I only subconsciously seek attention?
The Way That I Look
One area where I really don’t mind attention, and I flaunt, I show off and don’t hide, is the way I decide to dress and style myself. I am goth, and while I chose that sort of lifestyle and look because I love it and I am very much into the music, I know that it gives me a lot of attention. I am proud of that I know how to dress, that I am very capable with make-up and that I got the style down. It is nice to be who I want to be in that area. There were times when I got bullied for it, but I still held my ground. This is who I am, and I am happy with it. So do I flaunt my gothiness? Heck yeah.
One reason why I put so much emphasis on my style is because I want to hide the fact that I am fat. I dislike my body and it is difficult for me to feel sexually attractive. So instead of showing off my “assets”, I more focus on decorating them in a way that their shape and reality is not the first focal point. When someone sees me I want them to think: wow, that is a pretty goth. Not: look at that fat chick.
But I have always been a sort of sexually provocative person. I wouldn’t say in a histrionic way, but more in a subtle, I am aware of what works for me way. Like, I know that I have an hourglass figure so I often wear clothes that accentuate that (and yet again, take the attention away from things about me that are unattractive). I am a good dancer and I know how to wiggle my butt so people get really mesmerized. Back in the day, it was my dancing at clubs that made guys come up to me and hit on me. I wear short skirts, ripped stockings, fishnets, short dresses. So I basically accentuate what looks good on me, not what generally is seen as sexually attractive. And it works.
I feel like I do the same thing with the pictures I post on my blog, and on social media. I have my own style, my own thing, and it might make it seem like I am flaunting, when really I am just hiding what doesn’t work, and putting the spotlight on what works. And it gives me attention. And I like that sort of attention.
The Way That I Think
Another area where I have been told more than once that I am showing off, is my education and my ability to express and discuss intellectually challenging topics. See, here, I don’t work much for it. I don’t think about that I want to impress anyone, I don’t think about how I come across. When it comes to my intellectual abilities, I don’t try to shape them in a way that they would give me attention. But it comes across as if I am doing so.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with showing off that you are smart, educated and that you know things that others don’t. As long as you are not being an ass about it. I hate know-it-alls. but I appreciate curious people. And I also think that intelligence can express itself in many different ways. If the intellectual realm doesn’t work for you, doesn’t need to equal stupidity. I am just lucky that I have abilities that others don’t have.
I dislike that I can make others feels little or uncomfortable when I allow my intellectual side to express itself. There have been many situations when people just looked at me with raised eyebrows because I went on a philosophical rant. Or when I was at university and no one even bothered with an answer to a question the professor asked, because they knew I’d have the perfect one.
There is just an urgency in me, a pressure, a fire, that needs to come out. I am smart, I am educated. And I don’t feel like I need to hide those facts because they could make others feel bad about themselves. There are a ton of abilities and skills that I don’t have, and I don’t run around being jealous because I don’t have those skills. But for some reason, that has often been the sort of thing that I have run into: people assuming that I flaunt my skills to make them feel bad. But really, expressing my intellectual abilities is something I do subconsciously, and is in no way something I plan, shape, or consciously use to manipulate others to like me or to look up to me.
The Way That I Feel
I have so far talked about areas where I get attention, and I am not sure I want to limit the attention that I get. It is positive attention that I am getting. I am being seen as competent, admirable, someone people can look up to and learn from. But when it comes to who I am, deep down, that is a part of me that I very much limit in its visibility. I am talking mental illness and day to day struggles with my physical ailments as well.
The reasons for that are many. But I think I am mainly uncomfortable with people feeling the need to take care of me. I don’t want to be belittled, to be seen as incompetent, a burden or something less, because I struggle. Of course I know I am fucked up, but I don’t need others to know. I cut out basically all of my friends out of my life because I am uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of negative attention.
I have long used my experiences with mental illness and daily struggles, to help others. It makes me a more empathetic and understanding person. I am able to relate to a lot of things. So it helped me when I was managing a community for mental health support, and it helps me still when I am supporting others. I can talk about mental health, without talking about me. I don’t need to be vulnerable, or be ashamed. And I can just avoid being open about what is going on with myself.
And the few times I really opened up, I have been incredibly worried about that people would be annoyed with me, would think I am incompetent. But even more so, I was and still am worried that talking about my own stuff will make people feel uncomfortable to discuss what is going on with them. I get it, I am really really fucked up. On the scale of mental illness and chronic physical illnesses, I am pretty much on the “oh my gosh, how is she still alive”- pole. Yup. And others know that too. So when I speak up, then I might silence others. But everyone’s pain is valid, and everyone deserves to be heard. So do I seem like I flaunt when I talk about my health? Do I limit other people’s comfort to express what is going on with them?
As I said, there are just so many reasons to why I still very much try to limit how much I share about my struggles. You don’t get any daily updates about my life on social media. I will always say “I’m alright” when someone asks how I am doing. I don’t want to flaunt or show off and make others aware of that I struggle more than they do. And I definitely don’t want the negative attention of people feeling the pressure to take care of me, or pat my head.
There are so many different ways in which people show off and flaunt what they find good or attractive about themselves. I like seeing people being happy with themselves. While I very much control how I come across in the way that I look, and how much I share about my issues, there are also areas where I subconsciously flaunt and show off without really wanting to. I think instead of being jealous of those who are confident, we could maybe all learn to be happy that people have been able to find things that they love about themselves, and that they want to share with the world.