Other people play an enormous role in every person’s life. The connections we have with those around us can be some of the most fulfilling things we will ever experience. In some cases, we can even consider our relationships as a defining factor in our existence.
We turn to those who are there for us in all kinds of situations. To share our joys and ease our worries, in search of support and advice when we have trouble figuring out what will be best for us. The opinion of someone who genuinely has your best interests at heart can be one of the most important things to consider when you’re faced with a problem.
But it is also imperative to know what you want for yourself.
Maintaining your independence, particularly when you’re facing particularly crucial life decisions, far supersedes what anyone else has to say. No matter how knowledgeable or helpful someone else might be, you have to stay as true as you can to what you want from this life.
It is your life and you, ultimately, get to make the decisions that has the biggest impact on you.
While it might not seem like something you’d expect to have to look out for, make sure you don’t get so swept up in your relationships that you forget what you want. Your autonomy needs to come first.
That doesn’t mean that the influence of other people can’t change what you want. Just be certain that you are sure before you commit to someone else’s ideas in favour of your own.
Often, the people who love us the most can have specific ideas about what we want. And sometimes they can be wrong. They might be holding onto something you stopped being interested in a while. They might have an image of your future that doesn’t fit with your own, even if it is bright and happy on the outside. They might just not know.
It can be difficult telling someone who loves you that they don’t know best. But it is – almost always – true. You know, better than anyone else, what is best for you. If they really care about you, they will see it and understand that you have to make your own choices.
This can be even harder if you’re trying to build a life with someone else, especially if you – or they – aren’t quite sure what’s for the best right now.
But the only way you can guarantee you’ll come out the other end with anything like satisfaction is by taking some time to be alone, thinking hard and clearly about what you really want – out of this decision, out of this relationship, out of this life – and being honest with yourself and everyone around you.
Obviously, consider what others have to say. They wouldn’t feel the need to say it if they didn’t believe it would be worth your time to listen.
But always make sure that your final decision is yours alone.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.