Weighing in on other’s Lives

I have always thought that I was independent.  I began living on my own shortly before my 20th birthday, I held a variety of jobs since I was 14 years old, I’m a fairly free-thinking person.  But at 29, I finally am feeling that my decisions and life choices are all my own.  As friends and family have chosen the paths in life that are best for them and their own families, I see myself doing the same and considering less about what they think or will feel about my decisions in life.  This must be independence.

I feel the same way about grief – something we all walk similarly, yet completely independently.  I had no clue how to handle re-marriage and grief, and some days, I still don’t.  I feel tugs and pulls of my past life and question and worry about how it fits into my life now.  Am I doing it right?  What did so-and-so do in this situation?  What do they think about me doing X in this life?

This morning’s conversation with a friend re-iterated the fact that while we may not do things that are “right” or “correct” in others eyes, who are we to judge that it is a wrong or correct way of doing something?  My life situation is much different than your own and warrants a different reaction from what you would choose.  I’m not right or wrong, I’m just doing what’s best for my situation.  In that moment.

Time has such a bearing on what we decide in a moment.  How I chose to react to my grief 4 years ago is much different than today because of the situations and people I have encountered in life.  Who am I to judge being that I have no idea what kind of background you bring into your decision making?

I find that the times that I judge, I feel miserable afterwards.  I wonder why I feel entitled to weigh into their lives?  I think that’s why I find myself posting less and less on Facebook and Twitter and even on this blog-why do I want others constantly weighing into my life’s affairs?  What are your thoughts?  Do we hand in our opinion on other’s lives far too often because we feel obliged?  Are listening and supporting still values of importance?

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Comments 4

  1. Brenda,

    I think listening, and supporting a person’s choices are of great value. I know sometimes I fall into that trap of trying tell kirsten what do to FIX her problems. She always tells me “I don’t need you to fix my problems, I can do that, just listen.”

    On the other hand I understand your desire to not what to judge other or have them judge your life, and your closest friends really shouldn’t be. But can we really escape our judging others? or is it something we automatically do? Where we might have some control is in voicing what we are thinking.

    Just my quick two cents (impressed I was able to write that with out Keira interruptions.)

  2. I think that if people want your input, and they truly care about you, then they will ask for your opinion and respect it. However, if they do not ask, then listening is the best thing one can do. Sometimes when I listen, I do not feel that I am doing enough to help a friend; however, I can see in their reaction to my listening that they are comforted. They simply need an outlet and talking out loud is therapeutic.

  3. You are right-sharing with others is important, but I hope, as you said, we find that listening is so much more important than weighing in.

  4. It’s so hard to escape giving judgement. Thanks for weighing in. I think listening is so much more important, even though often times I fail at it.

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