Everywhere we go, someone in our life has an opinion of something we are or are not doing.
An opinion on why someone is too young to have kids, but too old to be single. An opinion on why going to graduate school is a waste of money or why not going to graduate school will ruin your life. An opinion on whether you should live with your significant other while dating or remain completely solo until married.
Do you want me to keep going? I could probably sit here all day making a list of the opinions shared with me frequently.
Listen people, we get it. You have life experiences and you want to share the 'wisdom' you believe you have acquired. I am not saying it's a terrible thing, but if we don't ask you for it then maybe you should think a bit more about keep it to yourself.
You see, your opinions might be backed by your experience, but I might have a completely different experience. Not to mention, if you are more than 20 years older than me then your experience was surely a bit different than mine. Times change and it is a beautiful thing so let our lives adapt.
If you are the kind of person that loves to smear your advice all over everyone else then you might need to take a step back and detox for a second. Consider that there is a different way of doing things and maybe part of the fun is forming our own opinions and experiences.
There are a few key area of life where sharing is not always caring:
1. Relationships: In case you haven't heard, dating is a bit different than it used to be. Guys rarely ask girls on real dates anymore and you generally don't have the 'what are we' conversation for several weeks if not months. To top it off, online dating and hooking up has added a whole new level of complication to the pot.
So yes, I am 26 and single, but no, you telling me that I should be getting out there more is not good advice. I get that I am getting older and sure I would love an amazing boyfriend to come home to, but constantly reminding me that I am not getting any younger doesn't really motivate me. And no, meeting someone at work doesn't quite work anymore.
2. Children: I can't tell you how many times I have been judged for either being too young for wanting kids or too old for not being on my way to them yet. I hear it all the time that I have my whole life ahead of me and don't rush it. But then I am also told that time goes fast and before you know it you will have lost your chance.
Trust me, I know all of this and don't need your advice reminding me. If I want kids now then great and if I don't then that is great too. Again, it's a personal choice that is pretty big so unless solicited keep your opinions of when to reproduce to yourself.
3. Education: Yes I went to college and got my master's degree. Was that the right path for me? Who knows, but nonetheless it was simply the path I took. I don't run around telling everyone else they should get a master's degree too. In fact, I encourage each person to make their educational decisions after some long personal reflection.
College isn't right for everyone and fitting us all into that same box generally won't yield the best results. We are all different for a reason and thank goodness we are. I certainly am not a fan of a million college graduate clones walking around.
4. Health and Diet: Now this is a big one. You might look at someone at make all kinds of assumptions about their diet. Healthy, lazy, busy, overweight, underweight, unfit. You name it and it's probably been thought.
Just a heads up, that outward appearance and story you create from it is by no means fact. I weigh well over my recommended BMI and yet I am healthier than most of my peers. I eat a great diet and am active, but you might not know it by looking at me. So no I don't need to you to remind me of what I shouldn't be eating, or should be eating, or should be doing. I know my body and I choose what I do with it.
5. Spending Money: All the parents reading this article are ready to scream at me probably. Hey, I am not condoning endless spending and debt, but again it is not my place to tell someone how they should be living their life. Yes, I have had my fair share of lessons already and I might want to share them with someone, but that generally doesn't go well. How do you feel when someone looks to you and says, are you sure you want to buy that? You can just hear the judgment all over that statement right?
I know you might think you're doing the right thing, but just remember that there is no right or wrong way to spend money. You might save your entire life and then get too sick to enjoy any of it or you might spend it all now and then be totally screwed at retirement. We don't know what's going to happen so the best we can do is make decisions based on what we think is right. Not based on what you think is right.
There are certainly plenty of other areas we could cover (social life, traveling, career, sex life). You name it and someone will have an opinion about it. Just do everyone a favor and be a bit more careful about sharing your wisdom.
Let someone ask you for your opinion before blurting it out. Think about how your choices don't always have to be best for everyone else too. Allow us to make our mistakes and experience life. I know it can sometimes be a scary world, but I think we can handle it just fine.
If you are ready to stop listening to everyone else's opinions of your life and figure out your own path, then let's chat! Contact me here to learn more.