How Pete Wentz From Fall Out Boy Taught Us How To Be Both Anxious & Confident At The Same Time

Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy is one of the overly sung and then abruptly unsung heroes of an entire generation. Not only did it take the baton from Green Day in ushering “emo” into the mainstream, he demonstrated a super rare ability: to be both incredibly anxious and incredibly confident at the same time—giving voice to an anxious youth generation that didn’t understand how the two could be possible.

How Pete Wentz From Fall Out Boy Taught Us How To Be Both Anxious & Confident At The Same Time

The bassist and lyricist was often criticized for hogging the glory from his bandmates namely from Patrick Stump who not only wrote all the music, but also sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. Yet, Patrick, perhaps a musical genius at making radio hits for the mega pop-punk band did not have the personality to be the leading man for at the time biggest rock band in the country. At the same time, Wentz admitted that he tried to kill himself while on tour during the band’s first album, has spoken about his crippling bipolar disorder, and used to write lyrics about different heavy duty medications he was on.

How Pete Wentz From Fall Out Boy Taught Us How To Be Both Anxious & Confident At The Same Time

So, how did he accomplish being anxious-confident and how can anxious people learn not to try in vain to eliminate their anxiety, but, instead, master and work with it?

“Light a smoke, yeah, one for giving up on me…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Making fun of his own sad feelings. At the same time, pointing to his own sense of importance in this mystery girl’s life that she “gave up” on something she clearly had worked for and cared about

“My insides are copper, I’d kill to make them gold…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Admitting that he feels insecure and that he wants to feel valuable inside. Yet, the ability to admit this is, itself, confidence

“And when it all goes to hell, will you be able to tell me you’re sorry with a straight face?”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Anxiously fearing things will end poorly, but taking the aggressive stance of calling the girl out for being fake

“We’re only liars, but we’re the best”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Kind of obvious…saying they’re bad people but they’re great at it

“You only hold me up like this, ‘cuz you don’t know who I really am…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Stating that he clearly sees he’s being put on a pedestal either by a girl or by his fans, but that he feels he’s different and if the person knew that they wouldn’t feel the same

“She says she’s no good with words but I’m worse…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Tongue and cheek, he knows he’s good with words because the sentence is lyrical. By being self deprecating he’s also being confident without being cocky

“Am I more than you bargained for? I’ve been dying to tell you anything you want to hear, ‘cuz that’s just who I am this week…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Saying he’s a lot to handle that he’s fake and moody, but again he’s so comfortable admitting these things it’s almost like he’s bragging

“I’ve got a sunset in my veins, and I need to take a pill to make this town feel ok…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Not the best lyric, but admitting to his own bipolar disorder in a confident way

“I don’t blame you for being you, but you can’t blame me for hating it!”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Anxious because he can’t just accept this person as they are, but at the same time saying he has the right to his emotions

“Fix me in 45…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Talking about how therapists usually try to wrap their patients up in 45 minutes and how it obviously takes longer than that—kind of judging the profession.

“I’m the leading man and the lies I weave are oh-so intricate!”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Mocking himself while also propping himself up

“you’re someone who knows someone who knows someone I was near with I just want to be a part this!”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Admitting that he wants to be liked and included and that he’s good at it

“and all of the fathers warn their daughters to stay away from me…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: Characterizing himself in the bad boy motif

“he tastes like you only sweeter…”

How it’s Anxious Confident: not his line but one he used in a hit song which is one that produces anxiety in the receiver but produces confidence in the speaker

“don’t you know who I think I am”

How it’s Anxious Confident: title not a lyric but obviously realizing he’s both full of himself and also knows he’s full of BS

The Takeaway…

The takeaway to me is that it’s always important to believe in yourself even if you don’t love who you are at the time. That seems like a contradiction but hopefully these lyrics show how it’s not. Believing in yourself can mean a number of things…for Wentz its believing in his own sense of importance and ability to brag about his insecurities. The lyrics could be triggering to people with anxiety, but I think instead it shows anxious kids how they can realize they’re anxious about stuff but instead of curl up into a ball just accept that feeling are hard, they sometimes take things too seriously, and just keep it moving instead of create a negative complex around it. It’s possible to be both anxious and confident and I think it’s not a bad goal to aim for…

How Pete Wentz From Fall Out Boy Taught Us How To Be Both Anxious & Confident At The Same Time

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What Girls Said 1

  • He’s also an award winning author. At least one of his books is on the AP list.

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What Guys Said 1

  • Talented guy. Enjoyed this ode to him.

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