An Introverted Actress

Day Fourteen: Squad

I've only recently discovered what it really means to surround yourself with good people. To build a "squad" of people who bring only good vibes, love and laughter into your life. Politeness got in the way of blocking and muting even the nastiest of strangers and when it came to toxic close friendships well, I didn't really know where to begin. Lots of people ask me for tips on how to cut toxic people out of your life and in truth, I don't really know what the "right" way is and if there even is a "right" way at all. It's a tricky one. 

Personally, to those I've been close with in the past, I've given ample explanation as to why I feel it's necessary for our friendship to come to an end and then blocked, muted and deleted. Often, before there's even been a reply. When you get to the drastic point of deciding you can't be around or associated with someone any longer, nothing can or should talk you out of it. If you've decided that for your own happiness and mental well being that a friendship or relationship need come to an end, I've found it's best not to let yourself hear anything that can change your mind. It's difficult but if it's necessary, the relief that follows is worth it. 

Even though I'm twenty-five, I feel like I've only just "come into my own" in the last year or so. Whatever that means, anyway. Almost over night, I started to care less about the opinions of strangers and more about the opinions of the people who knew me. The people in my "squad". After all, how can someone you've never met, form an accurate and valid opinion on who you are as a human? And how could I let myself get upset by these thoughts and feelings, especially as I may never meet the person they belong to? As Anthony Hopkins said, "It's none of my business what people say of me and think of me". I stopped seeking out people's opinions a long time ago and I appreciate it if people don't tag me when they have something negative to say about me or my work (and am completely baffled when they do!). It's none of my business. When it comes to work, the only opinions and criticism I need (and should) listen to are that of my superiors (directors, producers, editors, etc). They are in charge of the production I'm in and their say, goes. I think we can all agree, it would be a little weird if I undermined a director's opinion for that of someone in row M seat 14 who tweeted me in the interval and asked me to play my role differently because that's how they think it should be done, right? Criticism on my professional work from a superior is received very differently from unwanted and unwarranted criticism from a stranger on the internet. Then, of course, when it comes to my personal life, the only opinions I need to hear are that of my loved ones. Whilst it's nice to occasionally reach out on social media and ask for a consensus from a larger crowd or from fresh eyes, ears and voices, I have learned I don't necessarily need it and I am far happier for that revelation.

I have a "squad" of clever, talented, understanding, compassionate and good human beings on my side who I turn to (and who I hope turn to me) when opinions are wanted whether that's professionally or personally and although I learnt the hard way (and I'm still learning), I feel, mentally, much stronger for it. 


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