By Jonathan 2 Comments

You’re Different, And It Bothers People

Is there anyone who has not had someone say to them the following words?

“Well that’s not how I would do it”

For some reason, I seriously doubt it. As humans, we all seem rather firmly convinced of our own superior knowledge of how to do things. For most of us, it’s not a problem, we simply go on with our lives secure in the knowledge that they way we do life is better than the way other people do life, and that’s that.

But for other people the idea of someone doing something differently than them or, in their minds, the wrong way, causes them no small degree of angst. They just cannot understand how everyone else can be so happy doing everything wrong. It makes them crazy. Sometimes they hold it in and become bitter and angry. Other times they explode on their inferior acquaintances for their failure to be “more like them” and lose friendships.

I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling most, if not all of us have at least one person like this in our lives.

They are critical, they are demanding, they are discouraging, they are invasive, and worst of all they are incredibly well-meaning almost all of the time.

But just because it is well-meant doesn’t mean it can’t be damaging, especially for those of us who have a natural tendency to seek and value the opinions of others.

There is a very real trap here that we must be extremely cautious to avoid, because it is all to easy for us to make decisions based on how we think others will perceive us, rather than based on what is truly best for us.

The ironic twist is that anytime we make a decision to avoid disappointing others, we inevitably become unhappy and, in the end, usually end up disappointing people on an even greater scale.

May I suggest that we all just stop this nonsense and live our lives for ourselves. There is nothing selfish about that, on the contrary, living your best life is the greatest gift you can give to the world.

On the other hand, if you choose not to live you own life there are plenty of people who would be only too happy to live it for you.


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  • Stella says:

    You’re so right about the need to stop striving to what people want and the way they want it. The funny thing is that when you do, they will want even more and still have a reason to criticism and you will become not so happy.

    I have quit living to please others. First thing that matters is are you doing what make you happy, and is that legal?:)

    • Jonathan says:

      Believe me, Stella, this is one of my greatest challenges! Sorry for the delay in responding, your comment got caught in the spam filters for some reason. :)