[ Reposted with permission from @BTS_ARMY_INT’s Twitter thread ]
We all love BTS. We say we found them when we needed them the most in life and it is true. But we usualy do not speak about how there can also be a bad side to our admiration to them. Where is the line? We have to be careful not to let our love for them turn into unhealthy experience. The lovely @BTS_ARMY_INT wrote the following in a thread on Twitter, but we know how threads can get easily lost or hard to find, so we are publishing her thoughts here:
As I mentioned earlier today, this thread is regarding extreme dependency on the boys, and fans seeking validation through them…this thread did not come out of nowhere, it’s been weighing on my mind for the past few of years. Also, I would love for this to be a discussion.
A majority if not all ARMYs started stanning BTS because of how incredibly relatable their music was. Many of us were struggling when we found BTS, we were depressed, lonely, detached, lost, left behind….on the edge of being gone.
We found songs that expressed exactly what we were going through, explicitly, as if BTS themselves sat down, took down notes while we were telling our story and made it into songs like No more dream, N.O., Tomorrow, Whalien52, Baepsae, Always, The last, to name a few.
Due to this discovery of a gem amongst stones, many of us felt lifted, it was as if our silent pleas and cries for help were finally heard that someone was finally understanding the pain we had been enduring for such a long time.
This discovery lead to the healing of many people, not instantly, but gradually, many even say BTS saved their lives, a statement that cannot be denied, but unfortunately it also lead to the deterioration of other fans, who weren’t strong enough to balance BTS into their life.
Let’s talk about those who started slowly deteriorating, unconsciously, after stanning BTS. As someone who’s been with these boys since before debut, I can assure that I was also one of those who unfortunately went down the deep end after BTS was introduced into my life.
I depended on them for everything, most especially, my happiness and comfort. Whilst stanning BTS, I became antisocial, I stopped talking to classmates, friends, family, I let them replace everything and everyone in my life believing that it was making me more happy and making a positive influence on my life, when in fact i was allowing my emotional attachment and dependency on them remove me from reality and send my life spiraling into pieces.
This type of extreme dependency was due to two things, lack of self-reliance and low self-esteem. When you allow someone to have that much control and influence in your life, whether they’re a positive influence or not, the outcome will never end well and you will find yourself in a very toxic situation. When you reach this state, not only does dependability occur but some fans also cross into a worship aspect. In order for you to truly love BTS you have to first respect the boys as human beings.
At this point you’re not seeing them as human anymore, you’re seeing them as a vessel for your happiness/self worth, you’re idolizing them, holding them to high standards, and when they fail your expectations, cause they’re humans, you become disappointed or even feel betrayed.
BTS are role models, but they shouldn’t be the end-all be-all for our motivation, determination, or goals. In order to escape from this extreme dependency from BTS, you have to first create order in your life, take charge, set goals, have aspirations.
You can start as little as an hour from now. Have an idea of how you want to live. Instead of relying on others for your happiness and blaming them for your misfortunes, trust yourself, push past your demons, fight them and create your own stable and reliable state of happiness.
“When we have low self-esteem we have become so comfortable with our own negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves that we will actually seek out people and situations that confirm those beliefs. It’s the devil we know and it feels familiar and like home.”
“We have become so used to the idea that love equals pain and that what we are calling love is actually us seeking validation and begging to have someone show us our worth”
We unconsciously have this belief that if BTS, an artist we admire very much, who is also at a high status, identifies themselves and their mindset the same way we do, then our entire being is officially validated, as if someone finally noticed that we exist and accepts us wholly. The act of seeking validation also ties into how we elevate BTS in our eyes. Although they’re 100% human, many fans seem to revere them as higher beings. To these fans, if the support they’re seeking does not come in the specific form they want then it doesn’t cut it for them.
The boys must have already understood the potential impact of their international platform. They’re role models for millions. And sometimes we have to stop and consciously decide that what they are willing/able to give us is enough, if not more than.Imagine those whom you love, placing expectations, pressuring you to meet their standards and you wanting to not only meet, but surpass those expectations. That’s the situation BTS is in, not only musically and aesthetically, but philosophically, emotionally, and philanthropically.
We have to decide that what BTS says through their music, speeches, interviews & videos, who they are & to what extent that is expressed to us, is enough. Understand that to be where they are, and to have the impact that they do, is a blessing full of responsibility and pressure.
BTS is not you and not me. They are 7 individuals who are different from us and even from each other. The way they feel about some things, the way they express themselves, how they identify themselves, and the way they cope with their inner conflicts might not be the same as you.
Let’s take a look at the lyrics for Answer: Love Myself. Namjoon wrote the lyrics “It’s just that loving myself/Doesn’t require anyone else’s permission”. Measuring your worth on whether others accept who you are is toxic & lowers your self esteem to the bottom of the pits.
Even in Magic Shop, they say “You gave me the best of me/So you’ll give you the best of you/You’ll find it, the galaxy inside you”. Meaning it was you, that had the strength/perseverance to push BTS to the top, obliterating all obstacles in the way, and making history.
They believe that the same you that pushed them & got them to their best, has strength to help yourself. That you have to believe in yourself, in who you are, that you’re stronger than you think, you can do it, you can and will ultimately learn to love and respect yourself.
As Namjoon said at the United Nations speech, you have to speak yourself. Only you know who you truly are, you can’t let others speak for you, and you can’t let their words affect your self worth.
In order to truly love yourself, you have to accept yourself for who you truly are, all your faults, your ups and downs, your losses and wins, because it all makes up that individual unique you that can’t be compared to others.
Instead of trying to seek acceptance/validation from others, advocate for yourself, instead for trying to drown into BTS’ music & running away from your problems by substituting them into your life, listen to their music diligently and heed their message and actually understand what they are trying to tell you, cause it really is all…just for you.
What do you think? Has BTS been a healthy fan experience to you? Or did you find yourself in a similar situatuon? Share your toughts here in the comment section or on her Twitter profile.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article only represent the views of the author and do not represent the views of BTS ARMY Guide, its partners, the sources used, and/or BigHit Entertainment.