Sometimes we fall short of giving ourselves the kind of love and respect that we deserve. And quite unfairly, people are quick to pick up on this and wield them against us. Ultimately, we find ourselves settling for less than we should. Now, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t fret. I was here for a LONG time as well, and it took a while to get myself off this path. And if I can, you definitely can. So I’m sharing my secret(s) with you, feel free to practice them too! Enjoy:
1. Not accepting apologies if they’re not followed by action.
2. Placing self-care on the top of your priority list; being more ambitious about your wellbeing than making other people money.
3. No longer playing peacemaker. No longer being a martyr for other people’s wars. No longer feeling the need to be the person who has to smooth over any situation that gets out of hand; becoming someone who can stay in their own peace while other people act foolish.
4. No longer idly nodding while other people complain about their lives. No longer participating in conversations that are largely negative, or exist at the expense of someone else’s reputation.
5. “Ghosting” on people who you don’t actually owe an explanation to. Yes, the mature thing to do is tell someone you’re no longer speaking to why you’re no longer speaking to them. But a lot of the time, the better course of action is just to stop, and this is particularly important with people who would be combative or aggressive in response.
6. No longer justifying actions. No explaining why you’re dating someone, or why you left your job. No more rationalizing things that do not require rationalization. Other people do not have to approve of your motives for your life choices to be valid.
7. Not answering texts right away. This is not rude, this happens because you need to be a person sometimes, not a brain dead consumer attached to an iPhone, scrolling while at dinner, consuming your mind and life with other people’s business.
8. Going home when you want to go home. Not going out in the first place when you know that you really don’t want to go out. No longer feeling the need to make elaborate excuses for this – a “no thanks, I’m just going to chill tonight” is not a question up for negotiation, it is a statement.
9. Taking control of your narrative. Correcting people when they misspeak, or have incorrect assumptions about you and your life.
10. Breaking other people’s expectations. You owe nothing to what other people want and expect you to be. Their perspectives of you are limited, and they are narrow. Conforming to them keeps you small.
11. Changing your mind. You owe nothing to your younger self. You are not failing because you are no longer chasing a dream you’ve outgrown.
12. Staying out of arguments online, because the world’s problems are not going to be solved in the comment section of your uncle’s Facebook timeline.
13. Stepping into arguments online, because complacency is what’s gotten us here.
14. No longer engaging with people you dislike. You owe nobody your energy, and realizing that is not the same thing as being impolite.
15. Not drinking yourself into an oblivion when you’re upset.
16. Not subscribing to the idea that pacifying yourself with any form of over-consumption is a viable coping mechanism.
17. Not caring if other people think your lifestyle or choices are cool or correct or wise or not.
18. Sharing whatever it is you please online, as often as you please to.
19. Being creative and not caring how other people respond to it.
20. Saying “no” when the answer is “no.”
21. Saying “I don’t know” when the answer is “I don’t really know.”
22. Showing off your body whether other people think it’s “healthy” or “desirable” or not.
23. No longer being mean to other people because you have a problem with yourself.
24. No longer trying to convince everyone to like you.
25. Kind of falling in love with the fact that everyone doesn’t.
26. Taking responsibility for your life. No longer sitting by the sidelines waiting for someone else to give you an opportunity or pity you so that you can feed off of their attention.
27. No longer prioritizing people who only make you an option.
28. No longer playing the victim.
29. No longer holding yourself back with poor habits, laziness, and an unwillingness to develop grit.
30. No longer valuing how other people see your life over how it actually feels.
So, from today, enjoy your independence and be unapologetically proud of it!