I commonly see articles on Facebook and Twitter constantly reassuring people that they are special and perfect just the way they are. I understand that these articles are meant to make people feel better about themselves but I believe that they may be hindering people more than helping them. These articles are meant to fluff up people’s ego and to make them feel good about themselves, but I have also noticed that these types of articles tend to make people feel okay about being stagnant.
“You are perfect the way you are.”
“You don’t have to change a thing about yourself.”
These comments are constantly being thrown around on social media through different articles and posts. If you ever feel as though you need to work on something, don’t worry there is somebody there to tell you that you don’t need to work on yourself and grow as a person. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those statements are not true.
No one is “perfect” the way they are. This implies that every part of you is unflawed and without a need for improvement. I always tend to scoff at sayings like this because it is clearly said by someone who is disconnected from the real world. If you want to be "special" in the real world then you have to have traits that are not common and will actually help you in the workforce. Such as having amazing communication skills, leadership, vast knowledge regarding your field, and having confidence in everything you do, not being shy, having low confidence, or other traits often portrayed as being quirky or cute.
For example, our generation tends to romance the idea of being anxious in social situations. This is not some quirky flaw that makes you relatable, it’s a problem that can interfere with your future. People will tell you that it is okay to be shy and uncomfortable in social situations, and to a degree it is, but if it interferes with your abilities to make work connections then you should seek help to work on it. These articles that flow around will tell you that always being unbearably shy is a cute trait that you shouldn’t worry about.
These articles will tell you that you should disregard any criticism that you may face, even if it could be beneficial. This type of attitude can come back to bite you once you enter a professional setting and are expected to act a certain way. What will your boss think when they tell you that you need to change the way you do something and you tell them that you do just fine or burst into tears because you can't handle their comments? This also goes along with the fact that unless you are extremely talented then you will definitely not be regarded as special in the workforce. Your employers won't care if you have a heart of gold and are shy and sensitive. All that they will care about is how well you do your job.
Another major problem I have with these articles is that they don’t take the people reading them into account. They are meant to target college-aged girls (for the most part), but who’s to say that a murderer won’t get on Facebook and become inspired by your cute little article? “I don’t have to change a thing about myself,” says the hash-slinging-slasher to himself as he kills his next victim. It’s not his fault that he murders, it's society’s fault that they don’t believe in his murderous ways.
That last example may seem a bit silly, so here’s an even better version. What if the person reading your article is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, or Kim Jun Un? Do you really want any of them to become inspired by the article? Trump and Un are cocky enough as it is, and Clinton really doesn’t need any more help with ways to blame society for why she’s not currently sitting in the White House.
In all seriousness, no one is perfect and no one should be content with stagnated character development. We are human. There is always something you could work on to better yourself. Whether it’s your attitude, health, or knowledge there is always something you could be working on. So quit looking for an excuse to spend all of your time sitting at home watching Netflix and start investing time into yourself. Read some self-help books, study your ass off for that big test you have coming up (not just the day before), take an hour out of your day to go to the gym. There is always room for improvement.