Let's stop lying to ourselves, what other people say and think about us matters. The opinions of others have always been a factor in our lives, and we can't simply throw a middle finger at them, but we do have to wean ourselves off the validation.
I was 29, unemployed, and $80K in debt, (not to mention unmarried) and there were plenty of opinions to go around. I wasn't too strong to care about those opinions, I was too broke. I had real-life problems far greater than the opinions of others, even if those opinions were from people I cared about. Because I didn't have the luxury to give their opinions weight, I was able to improve my life slowly and steadily.
In this social media age, we can count people's approvals in likes, follows, RTs and comments, and that can make it harder for us to make our own decisions. I'm no longer 29, unemployed and in debt (the unmarried thing still bothers my mom, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ), and most of that happened with time and the decision to pave my own path.
I know the times I've had the harshest opinions about other people's lives have been around times I've been avoiding dealing with my own. People are bored, looking for distraction, significance and anything else to avoid dealing with their own shit, that doesn't mean their opinions matter.
Guilt and shame have been horrible tools used to keep people in line, and most of you reading this have been victims of it too. At this point, the dinosaurs using those tactics won't learn from their poor choices, but we can decide to break the pattern and not use those on the people we care about. Don't make people feel bad for making decisions that are best for them, even if those decisions don't benefit you. Instead, support them, pick your battles, and only get involved when someone's safety or well being is on the line (and even then, listen more than you speak). Our lives are OUR responsibility, don't expect those who keep you in cages to keep you safe, you decide the life you want, and you decide the price you'll pay to get it.
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