It's no secret that Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez are BFFs. Admittedly, Swift has a lot of those kinds of friendships with everyone from Lena Dunham to Lorde, but her friendship with Gomez has been one of the longest-lasting and most enduring. They survived the likes of Gomez's on-off relationship with Justin Bieber. At this point, I would say that they could survive anything. However, in her appearance on The Talk on Friday, Gomez opened up about advice Swift gave her that not only makes Swift my personal hero all over again but is the kind of advice that we should all apply to our own lives.
"She was actually at my house the other day and we were sitting by the fire and I was talking about relationships and business in my life and she just kind of looked at me and was like, ‘Selena, if you're the smartest person in the room, I think you're going to be in the wrong room,'" said Gomez, according to E! Online. "She thinks I should constantly surround myself with people who are going to make me better, that are going to challenge and motive me. It kind of stuck to me. I want to surround myself with those people."
Don't get me wrong. It comes as absolutely no surprise that Swift gives the best advice ever. This is the same pop star that frequently reaches out to fans on Instagram to give them advice on how to deal with unrequited love and bullying and life and all that good stuff. This is the same pop star that embraced her feminism to such a point that she is supporting fellow feminists like Emma Watson and calling out instances of sexism as in the case of John Cleese. This is the same pop star who called society out on criticizing her for writing songs about her ex-boyfriends when every male star ever writes songs about their exes without the same criticism. Seriously, Swift has gone from having at least one song that's a little slut shame-y on each of her albums to being a total role model.
However, what she said to Gomez is so important because it's something that a lot of people don't really think about. After all, who doesn't want to be the smartest person in a room? In our competitive society, it feels like all you ever want to do is prove that you are better, stronger, and smarter than everyone around you. When you're not, you just compare yourself to people who are and find yourself lacking as a result. Why on earth would you want to start ensuring that you are only in rooms where everyone around you is better than you in some way? How is that going to help your self-esteem?
The thing that's important, the thing that Swift is preaching in life and in singles like "Shake It Off", is that we all are who we are. We're good at some things, we're bad at other things, we will have people who like us, and we will definitely have people who hate us. If we can believe in ourselves enough to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more and grow as people, then we're truly in a good place. If we actively seek out situations that challenge us, that motivate us, that make us realize that we are imperfect but those imperfections don't make us weak, then we can only become better people as a result. Seriously, this advice that Swift gave to Gomez should really be applied to all of us who are stuck in our own ways.
Swift has built an entire career out of sharing her diary with the world in a way that makes it feel like she's our best friend, but advice like this should genuinely make you wish that you had someone like Swift among your group of friends. Those kinds of people are the kind of people that will make you stronger.
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