Monday, 21 November 2016

How to live a life of hell: become a contrarian.

How to live a life of hell: become a contrarian.

Most people like to live a peaceful idyllic life,  avoiding confrontation and arguments. However, this is not the case for me! Due to me having a critical mind and finding it hard to “bite my tongue” I live the life of a contrarian. A contrarian is someone who rejects popular opinion or practices. It is not that they  disagree with everything but they may have an opinion which seems controversial which they are not afraid to express publicly.

Some people view me as a troublemaker - I just like to cause controversy or play devil's advocate for the sake of it. I can tell you this is not true! But I have never been afraid of questioning figures of authority in any circumstances whether it be school, Irish dancing or family. Figures of authority tend to resent me and wish to “teach me a lesson” .

I have always asked seemingly absurd questions for my parents and teachers to deal with for example at age 3 on a long journey home from a trip from the back of the car I asked my mum: “If God created everything, then why did he create the devil?”  right then my mum knew I was going to be a nightmare. My dad use to constantly tell me “One of the ten commandments is do not argue with your parents”. I then learned the ten commandments aged 7 when making my First Holy Communion and noted to my dad that he was wrong and the  commandments actually stated “thou shalt respect thy mother and father”, and explained that if you respect someone you should argue or debate with someone because you care about their opinion. Fun times lay ahead!  

But why am I like this? Why are contrarians the way they are?

Intelligence + Courage = Contrarian.

One of the main reasons is intelligence.  A basis of intelligence is one's ability to decipher accurate knowledge from other types of information. Scientifically this is called critical rationalism. Critical rationalism put in practice is contrarianism: when a contrarian encounters new information their cognitive reaction is to verify information and test it. So when I am told information no matter who it is, I always do my research to make sure they aren't lying to me. It is also the reason why I am eccentric like other intelligent people, because we feel less compelled to comply with society norms. On the other hand, this makes it very difficult for me to trust people, I alienate people and appear like a paranoid conspiracy nut case. But like Britney, "they say I'm crazy" and I'll do something crazy anyway because "I really don't care!"

But how come not everyone who is intelligent is a contrarian? Because it has a cost - it sucks because often the contrarian does not benefit from it often they cause social problems for themselves. They have to have the courage and not be afraid to argue despite what may be a negative outcome; though it may have a positive outcome in the future for the rest of society.  They are highly inventive because they are not afraid of seeing things from a different perspective - for example in Irish dancing if have sometimes done movements which are not normal at the time but yet a few years down the line everyone starts doing them, so other people get the glory and I don’t.  Similar to artists whose artwork is not appreciated until they die.  “Creative ideas usually get a weak reception, at least initially," says psychologist Robert Sternberg, provost of Oklahoma State University. "But contrarians give their lives meaning by attempting to change the way things are to the way they think they should be." According to Sternberg - The more creative an individual the more likely they are to be a contrarian.
Therefore the second reason is courage or bravery. They are brave because due to publically challenging ideas there is often inevitable ostracism and punishment.  Contrarians are more concerned with truths (what is right and what is wrong ethically and scientifically) than popularity. Thus a contrarian is an intelligent critical thinker with a lot of courage.

Why is it that Contrarian ideas can backfire? Why do even intelligent people want to reject logical ideas?
They like to stick to the status quo!
Fred Hoyle explains that humans reject new ideas due to being “victims of dogmatism” and their tendency to argue from pre-set ideas. Even scientists and other intellectuals have a tendency to be biased and wish to stick with the status quo. When someone's life has become very devoted to one idea it is very difficult for them to accept a new idea. An example of this that I have experienced was in festival Irish dancing: the “Mulholland” and other more traditional festival teachers being very resistant to  some schools incorporating feis movements and doing open platform feis; I find when you think about this objectively and logically it is very silly as those movements didn’t exist when Patricia Mulholland was alive and neither did those competitions on top of this Patricia Mulholland made her dancers curl their hair and wear wigs if their hair was too short. 
A second example was when I decided to add some spins into my lead around as I noticed they had come into fashion due to being a keen spectator of other Irish dancers. My teacher  and his assistant made a huge song and dance about this, apparently "I looked like a princess" and doing high kicks in a kilt is far more masculine. Strangely enough, two years after leaving this school he had put plenty of spins in other boys dancing.  Unfortunately, even eight years at university does not guarantee that you are the "sharpest tool in the shed", especially if you are better at going on holiday than attending the feis. Thus the new truth whether be in science or any other field is often rejected to preserve fragile egos and hold their principles whether they are moronic or not.

Image result for fucking idiot

Why should society thank contrarians?

The world owes contrarians a lot of gratitude. If it wasn’t for the contrarians no ideas would be challenged and thus no progress would be made. Where would the human race be without Socrates, Darwin, Freud, Jesus, and Martin Luther King? Contrarians are fundamental to society due to their creative abilities to see beyond the status quo and courageously challenge teachers, the government and religious figures alike. Establishment intellectuals are only required to back and broadcast the status quo, but are unable to challenge these and thus contrarians are needed to evolve ideas and bring about enlightenment.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

My Review for The Corrs, KT Tunstall and Declan O’Rourke & Culture Hub Issue 8

My Review for The Corrs, KT Tunstall and Declan O’Rourke & Culture Hub Issue 8

Hi everyone! I was lucky enough to get to review the Corrs on Thursday evening along with their support acts. Unfortunately I can’t put my review on my blog but I can provide a link:

I tweeted my review to the artists and Jim Corr replied and re-tweeted it! :)

Also look out for the new edition for Culture Hub which came out last week! In which I have written the comedy article. The magazine has expanded to the whole of Northern Ireland now, thus is no longer “Eclectic Belfast” but Eclectic NI” and is available in most major towns e.g. Derry, Coleraine and Newry.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Could being too liberal be damaging for your child?

Could being too liberal be damaging for your child?

Finding the balance between being your child’s friend and being their parent is a difficult equilibrium to achieve.  Whilst you want to see your child flourish socially and not be a victim of bullying for example Regina George’s mom in “Mean Girls” who claims to be a “cool mom” and is permissive because she want’s Regina to be cool and popular, on the other hand you don’t want to see your child make bad lifestyle choices that may be damaging to their future. What you may not realize is the extent of which the way you parent your child can dictate your child's mental health and future.

From Bobbi Kristina Houston to Peaches Geldof, there has been several recent young deaths that have occurred as a result of a hedonistic lifestyle. The question prevails whether lachrymose incidents like these could have been prevented if they were parented differently? Do these cases indicate that being too liberal could be damaging for your child?  

The four types of parenting styles - which type of parent are you?
1.     Authoritarian - this type of parent is strict and controlling. They have strict rules which their children have to abide by with none or little consideration. “My way or the highway” is the rule of the thumb.  These parents tend to be high demanding but not very responsive. They have high expectations for their children, and if these are not met they are punished.
2.     Authoritative -  This style is similar to authoritarian in that they do have strict rules for their children, however they explain the reasoning behind them and are much more communicative to their children; in this way they are more democratic. They have high expectations for their children, but this is balanced with nurturing and understanding.  
3.     Permissive - also known as indulgent parenting, these parents are responsive but not demanding. They tend to be loving and caring to their children however tend to be very liberal. They are perceived as more of a friend than a parent, as they avoid confrontation with their children's life choices.
4.     Neglectful/Uninvolved - this parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication.  Usually the parents do fulfill the child's basic needs however in extreme cases it can be neglect.

Five examples were being too liberal i.e. Permissive parenting has gone wrong!

1.     Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina

Although the love between Whitney and her daughter was apparent. It was evident from the reality series “Being Bobby Brown” and other sources that Bobbi Kristina was spoilt and perhaps Whitney was too permissive with Bobbi Kristina as a teenager. There was also questions of neglect from her father (Bobby Brown) as she seemed to become completely estranged from him after her parents divorce. Although after pictures of Bobbi Kristina emerged of her taking a substance supposed to be cocaine Whitney did punish her by cancelling her 18th birthday party and gifts. Unfortunately as we know Whitney died and two years after so did Bobbi Kristina.

2. Lionel and Nicole Richie

After Nicole's adopted parents had a very public breakup. Lionel spoilt Nicole as a way of making it up to her.  Nicole became addicted to cocaine by 18 and later to Heroin which she was arrested for possession of at 23. She also was arrested for a DUI and suffered from Anorexia and Bulimia. Nicole admitted that because she was given everything and saw everything, she created drama in a dangerous way to escape boredom.

3.  Dina and Lindsay Lohan

Dina became known as “Party mom” as she was seen going out clubbing with Lindsay Lohan that seemed permissive of her daughter's drink and drug taking. Lindsay made a panicked call to her dad in 2012 claiming her mom was on cocaine, which later she denied the claim. The pair unsuccessfully attempted to sue Fox News for claiming they took cocaine together.  Lindsay has been arrested and been in Rehab numerous times. Although she seems to gradually be getting her life back on the right track over the past few years.

4. Britney and Lynne Spears

Lynne relieved in her memoir “Through the Storm” how she encouraged Britney to date an 18 year old football player when she was 14 because it would make her more popular who then she allegedly lost her virginity to. She also turned a blind eye to Britney beginning to experiment with drugs at 15 when she was recording her debut record, thinking that it was normal for teenagers. She also permitted Britney drinking as young as 13 but she didn’t mind as long as she was present. Britney later suffered a very public meltdown in 2007 due to stress and drugs in which she was sectioned and infamously shaved off her hair.

5. Bob and Peaches Geldof

Peaches was the second child of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates who died of a heroin overdose. Bob was said to raise Peaches and her sisters very liberally, often being left to their own devices and only stepping in when things got out of hand. Unfortunately he was too late to step in when the 25 year old died last year, he blames himself for her death.

According to the World Health Organization mental health is a state of well being in which a person can recognize their own abilities, is able to deal with normal stressors of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Good mental health in teenagers is characterized by good adaption in family, society and school environment. Psychologist Dr. Robin L Goldstein explains having responsibilities gives humans a sense of purpose which is beneficial to one's mental health.  Therefore giving your child household chores can add to your child's sense of purpose; although they may argue about doing the dishes at the time it teaches them about pride and responsibility which they will be grateful for in the future.

A study by the University of Ethiopia in 2012 found that students who rated their parents as authoritative had higher academic self-efficacy than their counterparts who perceived their parents as non-authoritative. Having confidence in oneself in turn had a direct positive impact on their child's performance. This is backed by a study by John Hopkins University in 2009 which showed that the more a student believed they were capable in their academic studies the more they were likely to succeed. This may in turn be a continuous cycle of ever-improving confidence and performance.

A study by the Catholic University College of Ghana in 2013 added to this, illustrating that one’s parenting style had a direct affect on a child's social development. The study showed that a parenting style based on reasoning, understanding and trust (authoritative) had a positive effect on a child's social skills whilst a rigid parenting style based on force and threat increased the likelihood of the child developing anti-social behaviour.

Goldstein points out that being too critical over your child can be devastating to your child's mental health. Advocating an authoritarian parenting style and being too critical over a teenagers academic performance can make the child feel hopeless about the future and add to them feeling like a failure. A teenager may feel depressed and therefore unmotivated to study and keep up with demanding academic responsibilities. A parent's anger and criticism can add fuel to the fire.

Alcohol and Drug Use in Teenagers

When it comes to alcohol and drug use it is difficult for a parent to stop completely. Many parents do not want their child to be bullied or isolated for not participating and therefore teach their child to drink responsibly. A study in 2015 by Brown University in indicated that having an authoritarian parenting style makes it more difficult for students to adjust to college life. That in turn increased the chances of alcohol problems, and which in turn predicted higher GPA (Grade Point Average).

Some liberal parents turn a blind eye to cannabis use among teenagers, as they may have used it themselves and do not observe it as harmful. However Goldstein notes that cannabis is not a completely benign drug. One of it’s most known effects is that it can make you apathetic. Becoming apathetic can in turn have wider implications that  they may become lackadaisical over their academic performance.

A study by the British Journal of Development Psychology in 2015 corroborated the notion that  a  parent should be wary of  the crowd their child gets into, as it was found that it could have a significant influence on their academic performance. The study established that higher achieving friends influenced the mathematical reasoning of lower achieving friends, thus giving verisimilitude to the saying “look at your friends, they are your future”. It was hypothesized that the reason may be that lower achieving friends may feel pressurized to keep up with their smarter friends due to embarrassment or they may take more of an interest in studying due to their new friends.

Helicopter Parenting - Overparenting

Although permissive and neglectful parenting styles are not advocated, on the other hand being too involved in your child's life could also be damaging. Research conducted by Michelle Givetz & Chris Sergin who are leading researches in communication studies found that over parenting could also be damaging. “Helicopter parenting” is a term that describes parents who are overly involved in their children's lives in an attempt to protect them.

Parental control was found to be associated with a child's sense of entitlement but simultaneously negatively affected the child's general sense of self efficacy. Studies implied that parents are needy in replacement of the affection missing from their marriage or own social life, showing that the parents are putting their needs in front of their children's.

The parent may control the child by providing them with gifts but only if they achieve certain grades for example, this has become known as “parental conditional regard." This anxiety driven parenting style has negative implications for a child's personal development and relationships with others. Over parenting has been shown to breed narcissism but also negatively affect a child's own self-efficacy which in turn can affect a child's anxiety levels. Parental behaviour that is psychologically controlling prohibits self exploration and self discovery, and as a result the child becomes attached to their parent.

Throughout all the research there does not seem to be a perfect solution. It is apparent that being very liberal i.e permissive parenting can have parlous consequences for their child's future and celebrities who parent their children in this manner are frequently lacerated by the media for doing so. On the contrary being very strict i.e. authoritarian is perceived as dastardly and can also be very damaging to a child's mental health and future. A parent usually does not want to neglect their child per contra being overly involved i.e. helicopter parenting can also be toxic to a child's mental health.  An authoritative style seems to be what research has suggested to be the best solution, however the guidelines of how to exactly achieve an authoritative parenting style are vague.  Raising a child does not come with an instruction booklet and each child is different, however perhaps being aware of what is suggested could be efficacious both the parent and child.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Comedy Article from Culture Hub Issue 7: May/June

Comedy Article from Culture Hub Issue 7: May/June

The months approaching summer remind me of being stuck inside the library revising for exams or immobilised inside an office sweating in a suit whilst the sun is finally out. It’s always you who finishes their examslast or has to stay at work late to meet the deadline. Then when you come home looking forward to lying out in your back garden or having a barbeque at the weekend, of course the sun has gone and the blissful atmosphere is now replaced by something that is reminiscent of The Day After Tomorrow. To laugh off how frustrating this is or to de-stress from exam season, why don’t you attend one or several of these comedy offerings running alongside the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

May Day features ‘The Comedians Cinema Club’ at the Black Box and was nominated as Best Music & Variety Show 2016 by Chortle and has been Time Out Critics Choice every month since February 2015. Created by Eric Lampaert, the show is filled with alcohol fuelled banter, and the much loved movies are not like you’ve seen them before.

May Day evening brings the Canadian comedian Craig Campbell to McHughs Bar Belfast. He is known as the wild man of Canadian comedy with controversial topics such as sex and drugs discussed during his stand-up. His performance is sure to be hilarious and unique however may leave you in shock if you are a prude.

‘Primal Squeam!’ will be performed at Voodoo 02 and 03 May. The show finds one of Belfast's best alternative theatre companies poking fun at life's foibles (i.e. men). The man in the play is Stewart and a fan of cheap thrills who wants to purchase pornography from local newsagent Wendy. Shot Glass Theatre offers a crude and kinky performance which is a quick fix of what you fancy.

On Wednesday 04 May, Rob Delaney will be performing in the festival marquee. Delaney is the star of the hit Channel 4 show Catastrophe and is widely regarded as one of America's gifted standups. He has made appearances on shows such as Have I Got News for You and 8 out of 10 Cats. The show is called ‘Meat’ because that’s how Rob views humans, and the show has graphic sexual content and explores bodily functions.

The comedic country musician Tina C will be coming to The MACon Sunday 08 May. The performance will feature a mix of love, self-empowerment, geo-political musing and damn fine hollering which will all be incorporated in her fantastic country songs.

On Wednesday 25 May, Queen's Comedy Club in the Student Union will welcome back Abandoman which is one of Ireland's top Improv teams. They combine audience interaction and improvisation to give a unique comedy experience. The show will transform the audiences’ loves and hates into hit songs and captivating tales.

Foster’s Award nominees Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez are coming to The MACon Saturday 04 June with Max & Ivan: The End. Drab seaside towns are plentifold in the UK and the fictional set in the town of Sudley-on-Sea epitomises all the gloom and glumness that a strong tide of blandness can bring in.

The lady of Geordie Comedy, Sarah Millican, is coming to the Waterfront on Saturday 10 June. Regularly appearing on comedy discussion shows, the stand-up writer and star of BBC 2's The Sarah Millican Show won the 2011 British Comedy Award for The People's Choice Queen of Comedy. The sketches narrative follows an imminent coastal apocalypse and follows the lives on an assortment of eccentric locals, including an ultra competitive sister, a corrupt local politician, a conspiracy nut and an hispanic perfume salesman. The main character is Clive, a tabloid newspaper journalist, who has returned to his hometown to make peace with his father and to scrutinize the local corrupt MP.

On 12 June Reginald D Hunter will be stopping by the Mandela Hall as part of his Irish tour with his show ‘The Aluminium Negro’. Hunter is often perceived as being brutally honest as he tackles controversial topics whilst demonstrating what it is like to be a “negro”. Hunter sets out to take his audience on a bountiful romp through today’s politically correct minefield while, at the same time, attempting to shield them from any truths they would much rather avoid.

So worry not about your exam results or take some paid leave from that secure white collar position to sample some of the many smile inducing acts rolling into the city. All the performances are indoors, so our trusty climate can’t get you down.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

2016 Assembly Election - STV vs FPTP and What Party Should you Vote For?

2016 Assembly Election - STV vs FPTP and What Party Should you Vote For?

Tomorrow May 5th and it is election time for the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Assembly is Northern Ireland's dissolved legislature and it is elected through Single Transferable Vote (STV) under Proportional Representation (PR), unlike the general election for the UK parliament which employs First Past The Post (FPTP).

Picture: Stormont - The NI Assembly

Differences Between STV & FPTP

First Past The Post
  • Used for the UK General Election
  • Simple
  • Constituencies elect a single MP
  • Voters can only select one candidate and the candidate with the highest number votes then is elected.
  • Government is formed from a plurality rathern than a majority and thus government is argued to not be an accurate or fair representation of the electorate's views

FPTP is used for the UK general election as the MPs in the UK parliament deals with issues that affect the whole of the UK and international matters known as Excepted Matters or Reserved Matters. It is argued that FPTP is more suited as policies and  laws would be difficult to implement  if more interests were represented. It would be difficult to progress and gridlock or government inertia could be the result: “Too many cooks spoil the broth” is what is argued.

Single Transferable Vote
  • Form of proportional representation which aims to represent all segments in an electorate.
  • A team of candidates are elected - Northern Ireland 6 per constituency, 108 in total.
  • Voters rank list of candidates in the order that they prefer.
  • To be elected they must match a quota which is determined by the number of positions to be filled.
  • If your prefered candidate has no hope of being elected, the vote is then transferred to your second preference.
  • Arguably more fair as no votes are wasted and a wide range of candidates are elected to represent the different viewpoints in a consistency.

STV is used for local assembly elections which deal with issues on a local or city level. MLAs do not make laws. STV is suited to the assembly elections because they are dealing with parochial and community matters and therefore it is good to have different viewpoints represented: “Many hands make light work” is what is argued at local level.

Who Should I Vote for?

People vote for the candidate or party that they believe represents their views best. Due to employing STV there is no need to vote tactically for the assembly elections. An example of tactical voting may be in East Belfast during the 2015 general election: constituents tended to vote for either Naomi Long (Alliance) or Gavin Robinson (DUP) to stop the other being elected.
Naomi Long and Gavin Robinson

In Northern Ireland people typically vote based on whether they are Catholic or Protestant for example Catholics tend to vote for either Sinn Fein or SDLP whilst Protestants tend to vote for either DUP or UUP. People who consider themselves to be non-partisan in the religious divide tend to vote for Alliance.

Realistically in the near future there is not going to be a change in whether Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK or not and therefore voting along purely religious and sectarian lines makes little sense. What you might find is that the party that you choose to elect policies may not accurately represent your political voice and therefore you may end up being misrepresented.

It may be a good idea to do these two tests to see which party you sit best with before you vote tomorrow. They are blindfolded tests and the policies you choose then match with the party that represents your opinion best.  My mum’s boyfriend did a similar test for the 2015 general election, is from a nationalists background would normally vote Sinn Fein (from what I can recall) but the result indicated due to policies he should vote DUP - which was hilarious but showed how misrepresented you could be if you vote purely on religious/sectarian lines.

And concluded that I should vote for NI conservatives 100%. Which wasn’t that big of a surprise to me as I am a big Maggie Thatcher fan.

However, the second one which is more complex -!/
It didn't include NI Conservatives but instead indicated that I should vote Traditionalist Unionist Voice (TUV)which I would have never considered voting for previously, as Jim Allister appears to me as very staunchly unionist and I am only a unionist due to economic reasons. However, what was found was I agreed with more of the TUV's policies due to being economically right winged.
Jim Allister

So why don’t you give it a shot and see what your result is?
And No cheating!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

What do I think of her? I don't think of her - The Reason Why I No Longer Care About What Other People’s Opinions of Me Are.

What do I think of her? I don't think of her - The Reason Why I No Longer Care About What Other People’s Opinions of Me Are.  

In recent years I have become depressed and anxious due to worrying about other people’s opinions on me. I have felt that no matter how nice I am or how much I achieve people will always think negatively about myself . I have started to realize there is little or no point in harbouring other people's negative opinions. I don’t want to be a depressed, anxious mess; I want to be a luminary with great panache: I want to be like Whitney Houston when asked about what she thought about Mariah Carey in 1990.

Recently I have attempted to analyse why people seem to constantly obloquy myself and have tried to defend several of my criticisms through explaining that I am on the autistic spectrum - mildly Asperger's. This didn’t work at all because people who are ignorant of Asperger's (which is most people) either started to believe I  was either a)crazy, b)stupid or c)attention seeking and as a result the more anxious and depressed I became.

Further I started to worry that some people thought I had a drinking problem, as a result ironically I started to drink more.  The more I started to worry about what other people thought about my drinking, the more I was drinking to escape people’s opinions and the more crazy I was acting whilst drunk.

It really aggravated me that some of the people criticizing my alcohol consumption were a lot older than me, yet did not drink less than me.  They may of spread their drinking out more, whilst I would binge drink weekly in a club or party. Although binge drinking isn’t commendable it is very common amongst young people and hardly deplorable.

Some of the people also criticizing my alcohol consumption were also regular marijuana smokers - I have tried weed a few times but did not enjoy it as I found it boring and also as a result of my raison d’etre (Irish Dancing) and the fact I don’t intend on getting lung cancer I rarely even smoke a cigarette.

How can someone sagaciously judge what someone acts like when they are drinking, when they are both intoxicated and stoned? On top of this alcohol affects people in different ways, when I am drunk I am quite hyper and want to dance loads - I  don’t really engage in much conversation when I am drunk. Some people when they drink feel relaxed and  obviously if you are drunk and stoned at the same time, you are not going to be as energetic.

It makes me question whether their criticism is judicious and out of a place of concern or is it just because they want me to be like them. Humans have a tendency to criticize others who are different to them and this is how prejudice and discrimination is formed - I don’t judge people on smoking marijuana however the majority of the population would. The biblical quote “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” is my thoughts on this. Although people may be criticizing me out of concern I feel it is making me more anxious and depressed than the binge drinking itself, which results in me drinking more and it ends up being a vicious cycle.

Sometimes people's opinions on you are beyond a joke. Recently my Granny said to me “you weren't that clever in school.” This statement was beyond ridiculous, I started to wonder what on earth the people around me were saying about me, whether it be from someone in my family, extended family, Irish Dancing or from people in East Belfast and Holywood. Why would someone state that?

I got an A in my 11 plus, without a tutor allowing me to go to a top Grammar School. People who attended that grammar school with me would've known how lazy and disorganized I was, I hardly ever did my homework and rarely knew I had a test never mind studying for it. Yet I didn’t fail an exam and as a result of pulling my socks up in upper 6th I still managed to come out with AAC in my A-levels.

As a result of my A-Level grades and my personal statement I received an offer from University of Warwick (which my mum advised me to reject!) and then attended UCD followed by University of Kent which are far higher ranked than any other university any of my other cousins on that side of the family have yet to attend. At university people pondered how I managed to commute back on forth from Canterbury to London two and sometimes three times a week, go to the gym, club and party, play poker and work part time and still achieve a 2:1.

Yet here was my granny stating that I wasn’t that clever in school! I sure you are as confused as I was and I am sure you can imagine how aggravated I was that someone(s) had stated this about me. This  really exemplifies why getting annoyed over what people think of you is a waste of time.  

Trying to control people's opinions on you is  rambunctious and pointless. If people have opinions on you it means they have given time to think and talk about you. This implies that to those people you mean something to them - it means they more than likely are envious of you in someway. As the saying goes “Those who try to bring you down, are already beneath you.”

I have opinions on the Kardashians, yes I think they are annoying as hell, talentless and only famous because of a sex tape, however am I jealous of them in some way? Hell Yes - I am jealous of how much money they have, their fame and the events they get invited to.

Thus if people constantly are bad mouthing you it is probably because they are jealous of you in some way.  In some circumstances criticism and negative opinions are from a position of care, however in most circumstances they aren't. Some people will never be satisfied with you no matter what you do or achieve and will even lie or twist the truth in order to bring you down. The more people envy you, the more people talk badly about you in an attempt to destroy you and it is something you can’t control. This is why famous people constantly have their lives scrutinized because people want to make themselves feel better by hearing something negative of someone they envy.

There is good and bad to everyone, however if you become angry at others opinions of you will end up showing your bad qualities and that is exactly what people who are envious of you want. They want you to become anxious, depressed and paranoid - they want to see you self-destruct.

That is what I have done; I have self-destructed, I have let other people's opinions “get to me”  and that has stopped me achieving my what appears to others as my stratospheric goals. I have wasted time feeling physically and mentally languid due to being depressed and anxious. So for now on I vow to myself not to worry about  other people’s opinions on me as most of the people who are bad-mouthing me are people who I don’t judge, care about greatly or talk negatively; it’s not worth my while getting annoyed or upset. I don’t care what you think of me, because I don’t think about you at all.  What do I think of other people, I don’t think about other people, I think about what I think of myself and that at the end of the day is what really matters.