Thanks to therapy, Harry Styles says he’s finally been able to unpack a lot of the things that happened to him during his days at One Direction, and he’s slowly learning to free himself from his need to please.
In its cover story for Better home and garden, the pop star revealed that he first started in therapy about five years ago, but he was initially reluctant to go when he thought it “meant you were crushed.” He said, “I wanted to be the one who could say I did not need it.” But since then, he has seen how therapy has allowed him to “open spaces in itself.” He explained: “I believe that accepting to live, to be happy, to hurt in the extremes, that’s the most vivid thing you can be. To lose the crying, to lose it by laughing – there is no way I think not to feel more alive than that. “
With the help of his therapist, Styles also began digging into where his need to be held by everyone comes from. “In the lockdown, I started working on a lot of things that happened when I was in the band,” he said, explaining that he was encouraged to give so much of his personal life away as a member of One Direction to “get people to engage with you, to like you. ” He realized that there are no baby pictures of him that are not also on the internet. The musician also began to think back to the kind of inappropriate questions journalists would ask him as a teenager, as to how many people he had slept with. And instead of telling them, Styles would instead try to figure out how he could give them a vague enough answer that they would be happy and not annoyed at him. “Why do I feel like I’ve done something wrong?” he asked. He also said he would spend interviews petrified, that he would say the wrong thing, and even when big things would happen to him, he would not feel happy, just relieved.
But Styles went on to say that all this changed with the help of therapy and after signing his solo contract. He explained that when he found out that his ability to make music would not be threatened by anything that happened in his personal life, he broke down in tears after living in fear for years as a teenager that he would violate the “cleanliness clause” of its contract. determined that the entire agreement would be void if he did anything that was perceived as “tasteless”. He said for the first time, “I felt free.” He concluded with a laugh: “My producer keeps asking me when I’m having my big breakdown. The most honest version I can think of is that I by no means grew up in poverty, but we had “Not a lot of money and I had an expectation of what I could achieve in life. I feel like everything else has been a bonus and I’m so lucky.”