Don't Mess with Taylor Swift – or She'll Write a Song About It
02/06/2009 AT 09:00 AM EST
"If you don't want me to write bad songs about you, then don't do bad things," Swift, 19, tells Self magazine in its March issue.
She lives by that simple mantra – and a commitment to writing honest songs. "I don't think honesty is ever something you should regret," Swift says. "I figure if I'm going to cover things up and try to hide the way I feel and try to be perfect all the time, people are going to see through that.
She continues: "And also, if you're trying to change yourself all the time to adapt to what you think you should be, you're going to run out of the things to be after a while."
Still, the teen superstar says she's a little surprised by how fervent her audience is. "What blows me away the most," Swift says, "is that anyone actually cares what I have to say."
But that doesn't mean she's unappreciative.
"If I sign an autograph for someone, I don't put them in the category of 'fan' and keep them at arm's length," she says. "If we strike up a conversation and we like the same things and we have the same sense of humor, then they're my friend."