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Zayn Malik Says He Regrets Not Enjoying One Direction Enough: “I Just Took Things Too Seriously”

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Zayn Malik said this week he regrets not taking time to appreciate his time with boy band One Direction, adding that he’s “able to happier now.”

“The main thing that I always feel bad about when I look back over my life is not enjoying the band enough,” Malik said on the Zach Sang Show. “I feel like I just took things too seriously, you know? I’m grateful that I’m able to be happier now. I can actually enjoy things and own my own perspective a bit, you know? Like, glass half full versus it being half empty. That’s my choice.” 

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Malik shocked the world when he departed the mega-popular British boy band in 2015. A year later, the group — which also included Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson — went on an indefinite hiatus.

Malik was, like his bandmates, just a teenager when Simon Cowell formed the group on the U.K.’s X-Factor. He said this week that his younger self “didn’t understand the importance of just trying to be happy.”

“I had this, like, teen angst thing going on — chip on my shoulder,” he added. “I’m like, ‘It’s really cool to be moody as fuck all the time….’ It’s not. Like, you’re just a loser. Let’s be honest, you know what I mean?”

Since then, he said, he’s learned: “You should be a nice person. You should be somebody that people want to be around and enjoy being in your presence, and you should bring light to peoples’ day instead of being this fuck.”

Part of the growth, he added, came from becoming a father to his daughter Khai, whom he shares with ex Gigi Hadid.

“She just makes me happier,” he said. “I have so much love in me that I didn’t have before she was born. She laughs all day. She wants to do the silliest things, and she gains so much excitement from it, you know? She just has a whole fresh perspective on life, [which] had somewhat become gray for me.” 

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