I use to worry a lot about what other people would think. If I am being completely, I still worry about what others think—to a certain degree. What I have finally come to terms with is the fact that my decisions should not affect people the way that they seem to. In general, people spend far too much time worrying about the business of others when they should actually be worrying about themselves. But, I digress.
Other people’s opinions seem to take shape when we begin to make our own decisions. Not the decisions we make as a group, but rather, the choices we make based on our own personal opinion or comfort level. Those are the ones people really get bent out of shape over. Like the time you decided to call in sick to work on a day when you were in fact, in perfect health. You made the mistake of letting one of your friends aware of your shenanigans and BAM! All of a sudden you are met with a reciting of the riot act that you could have certainly done without. I would like to ask said friend exactly how this decision you have made affects his or her life directly. Is it going to send him or her into a coma or some other terrible hospitalization situation? No! Then, shut the hell up and mind your own shit, please.
Hannah Horvath said it best when she stated in season three of girls that it is very liberating to say no to the shit you hate to do. Her words in that episode have stuck with me since then in an ongoing effort to remind myself that I have the right to simply not take part in the things I truly loathe to be a part of in the first place.
At the risk of generalizing I feel the need to point out that many of us are stuck doing the things others want or expect us to do simply to avoid drama or otherwise chaos, in a world of people with high opinions that feel the need to voice them at any given chance. Sure, it would be easy to tune out those insistent morons, but such luxury can only last so long before the sand runs dry, and we are pushed to our mental limits. Thus, the reasons why a majority of us are stuck following a crowd in an effort to avoid anarchy.
But, the tide needs to change, and fast. Having spent the entire duration of my teen years and a vast chunk of the time in my 20s worrying constantly about what other would think about all the choices I was making, I can honestly say I have missed out on a few worthy experiences, and adventurous roads along the way. Noticing this travesty so late in the game is a bummer, but at least it means improvement is the road ahead.
For the love of all things wonderful, make your own damn choices and start to stand up for yourself by simply saying no to the shit that you hate to do. Now, does that mean you should never go to work again or stop wearing a bra, um no, be realistic and don’t sass me in the comment section for being ridiculous in suggesting you take hold of your decisions. Reality and responsibility still need to be considered at all times, it is not something I should have to point out, but there you have it.
The choices I am referring to are things like, not going to the same Mexican restaurant your cousin likes to take you to, speak up, and tell her their guacamole taste like dirty feet and you are perfectly happy with the diner down the block that cost half the price per plate. She might scowl under her breath at first, but later she could come to find that the meatloaf special at said diner really does taste like heaven on a plate. Say no to the shit you hate to do!
Or maybe your roommate is harassing you again to go for a run after dinner, that same run you have been dragging your ass out to every day for the last six months. Instead of grunting your teeth and exhausting yourself before settling down to watch The Bachelorette, tell her you are out, and in fact you don’t want to go for another run after dinner ever again. You hate doing it! The very thought of sweating like a pig in the name of good health does not turn your crank. The worst she is going to do it shrug her shoulders and call you lazy and you know what? That’s fine because instead of pushing yourself through an hour of physical labor that kills your spirits, you can sit your ass down on that couch and waste precious time watching bad TV. Say no to the shit you hate to do!
The list could go on, and if I was feeling particularly preachy I could take us down a deeper path of meaning and liberation in an effort to prove to you further that saying no to the most minor, or to the most meaningful things in your life will eventually ensure a path to serenity. But, I don’t want to do that, and it is SO liberating to just say no to the shit that you hate to do.