Before I had heard of the film ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’, I had heard of the word wall flower, and as I was trying to explain how I feel when I am in a social situation, I instantly said “I am a wallflower”. I use it in the lightest sense, because I feel that wallflower gives the feeling that you are completely detached from society. I believe that everyone socialises in different ways. This crave of being able to create and expand on my imagination is something I feed off of. The feeling of finding a small handful of people in my personal life who understand. It’s instinctive to which our society instantly thinks that those who are much more quiet and introverted are harder to talk to. The irony in this case, is that we have so much within our minds that we are bursting to talk about. Being introspective, intellectual and interested are some of the common pieces of the puzzle.
As a person that suffers from anxiety, it’s very hard for me to explain to people why I am the way I am. It is harder to ‘fit in’ because I really do believe with certain people, there are social pressures to somehow relate to the person. When, of course, I just want to take away that extra energy and simply be myself. However, on rare occasions I meet people who make me feel something different, something special and genuine. You feel the breeze of care even when they don’t say a word. You keep quiet in long silences, yet the air feels so calm and lovely. Weeks go by, but when you talk again, there is a strong connection. There are some people who take sensitivity and being quiet as a weakness. Yet, in many senses, it is one of our greatest strengths. I find I am a better listener, I can understand and try relate to the person. It’s sort of the moment when you get to know someone well, you see them in a different light – beautifully glowing or surprisingly dark.
Here are the perks of being a wallflower (or rather – feeling different even in a world of different people):
1. You see the different sides of people. I remember since high school, some people would tell me their problems. However continuous negativity is not a real friendship. There are people who act kinder in a way when I was with them, but surprisingly different and conformed when they’re with their friends. Most people act one certain way to fit in, when in reality, what they truly want in the end is to be accepted for who they are.
2. Time alone is a simple treasure. After several hours of socialising and interacting with people, those precious moments of silence is a gift. A space to reflect, relax and be able to express your creativity without any distractions. Being alone is one of the reminders to ourselves (as I read somewhere) that we are our own company from the beginning to the end.
3. Honesty rather than lies. I am the sort of person who says the truth, even if it’s not the best answer. Which has not always been good in the past, especially on one memory of missing a rehearsal, and answering the teacher with “I didn’t want to go”. I learned a lot from that, because there are many ways to be honest in a kind way. Honesty has helped me get out of hurtful friendships. It is better to be true to yourself, rather than live a lie for others.
4. Reflection on your past and present self. I am sure there are many of you who do this from time to time. How to improve from your past as to be better in the present. Setting goals to achieve and always grow as a person. It is good to reflect on mistakes, but remember that they should be a lesson to learn from, rather than regret on. Moments happen, but time will always pass..
5. Having a handful of people you trust. From past experiences I was too trusting of other people. It was simply part of my personality to trust people who were friendly and kind. The lesson learned was that often it’s easy for people to take advantage of you for the wrong reasons, even if you are friends. Having a small amount of very close friends you trust, is far more meaningful than dozens of friends you don’t really know. Put trust in people who have only love for you and likewise.
“If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too. I want them to be able to do whatever they want around me.”
― Stephen Chbosky,