Isn’t it funny how much faith we all put into other peoples opinions of us, even when we know we shouldn’t. From asking about our fashion choices to life advice, we put so much value on the things people tell us; and we often change what we think or know based on what they have said. Sometimes it works out for the better, sometimes not, and if it’s unsolicited advice and you don’t take it, it can sometimes cause huge conflict!
I had a conversation about this subject just the other day with a friend, who had a huge argument with her parents about her grieving process and life choices following the death of her person. They are convinced that the suggestions they are making are the best ones for her, and while their ideas are not without merit, they don’t match at all the way my friend is feeling or how she sees her life going on from here. As she said, ‘until you find yourself in this very position, you don’t get a say on how I live my life’. Absolutely the right message, but still hard to take when it’s your parents that you’re fighting with.
I want to think that I try to be someone that listens to advice and opinions, without giving them too much weight. I absorb them and then filter them to see what fits for me. I like to believe that I’m strong enough that I don’t take it overly personally when someone’s opinion of me is not what I think of myself, but that can be easier said than done depending on the person and the opinion, and the day that I’m having! Some people and opinions matter a whole lot more than others.
For the most part I think I’m doing ok with the choices I am making and the things I am doing. Usually I go with my gut – if it feels good and makes me happy – why not! .. But then again, as I’m typing this I think what a liar I am, because how many times have I written about all of the second guessing that I do!? … I guess I’m just as complicated as everyone else!
In the spirit of being complicated, I did have a moment this week where I called my mum after I had been to their house. I wanted to ask what my German Aunt and Uncle thought or had said about the idea of me dating after a passing comment in a conversation. I shocked myself with the phone call because I really thought that it didn’t matter to me what other people think. I’m doing the best I can – the things that feel ok on any given day. I don’t know what’s right or wrong- only that people say there is no right or wrong! I’m not sure exactly what my mum made of the phone call, but almost before I finished asking she said that she had made a comment to them at an earlier time, about not wanting me to be alone forever, and as long as I was happy so was she. I know this is what she truly thinks, she has said it to me quite a few times, but that day, it was exactly what I needed to hear.
I’m not sure that there was a follow up conversation about the lovely fellow I’ve been seeing, or what any of them thought. Right now I’m ok with it, because their opinion wouldn’t change things for me anyway.