1. Checking in on an ex that isn’t over you, to make sure “they’re ok”
When you’re getting over an ex, time heals all wounds. Every time you “check on them” they remember how great it was to be with you. It sparks hope, if not ripping the wound open again completely. They are not your responsibility anymore, your job is to give them space, their job is to heal.
2. Having sex with someone because they bought you dinner/you went home with them/you’re already naked
I know it can start to feel like you’ve passed the point of no return, and they may even tell you that, but nope. Unless you are a sex worker and they have paid you, this is not your job.
3. Figuring out your whole life problem at 2am
How many nights to do you wake up (or worse, are STILL awake) at 2am and life just seems freaking overwhelming. You are just getting so old! And you haven’t accomplished anything! And you have bills! It is your job to figure your life out, however, this isn’t something that can be done all in advance, and especially not at 2am. Listen to calming music or download a sleep podcast. You’ll be in a much better position to start whittling your issues down in the am if you feel well rested.
4. Smiling at men on the street
When you’re walking down the street thinking about the day ahead of you or your problems with your roommate and a guy you hadn’t noticed before tells you you’re too pretty not to be smiling—it’s not your job to acquiesce. As hard as it may be for this guy to see a woman who isn’t thrilled to be in his presence, your only job in this situation is to walk down the street however you damn well please.
5. Being the mediator of every dramatic family situation
Your family is crazy. As the resident sane person it can be easy to step into the role of perma-mediator. You know how to talk your sister off a ledge when your mom tells her she needs to be nice to her boyfriend, or when your dad flips out because your younger sister is starting to act like a woman. Be a helpful person, sure, that is what family is for, but this is not your full-time job.
6. Living up to your parent’s expectations
You know what is your job? Living up to your own.
7. Convincing people of your opinion
Fun fact: we don’t hold our opinions simply because we’ve been presented with the most logical argument and accept it. We are informed by our life experiences, cultural narratives and our own personalities. Presenting a sound case to someone else isn’t going to cause them to jump ship from these things. Talk about your opinions because it’s cool to hear what other people think and helps you sharpen your own views, but you don’t need to win people over to your side to prove you are right.
8. Being universally adored
If you have a 100% approval rating in your life, something is suspect. A haters job is to hate, and if they can’t find anything to hate about you it means there’s nothing unique or special about what you are doing. You can’t be following your passions without ruffling someone’s feathers.
9. Having an infinite amount of time
If you’re working and have a social life or a family life you are probably already filled up with your time. People want you to volunteer, exercise 30 minutes a day, read a book every week and etcetera. Figure out what is valuable to you and do it, don’t feel guilty when you simply can’t attend your friend’s fourth spoken word showcase of the month.
10. Looking like you stepped out of a perfume ad at all times
It’s great that neighbor lady can walk in stilettos to the grocery store and gracefully carry her bags home with her afternoon Pilates arms. Good for her. It’s not your job to be in competition with her. If you need to wear sweatpants and flip flops because you have still have party tummy from the night before, knock yourself out. No shame in that game.
11. Never making a mistake
Whoever hired you, whoever you are in a relationship with, everyone in your life is aware that you are a human and that humans make mistakes sometimes. It’s not your job to be perfect, it’s your job to do the best you can.