What’s the best way to handle negative people who question your life choices?
Cut all ties …
Joking aside, unless you want to live like a hermit, that’s probably the most impractical approach to dealing with negative people.
Although not everyone will put their noses in your business like their life depends on it, there are plenty of people who voice their opinion about your life choices without being prompted.
And a lot of times, they do a good job of making you feel inadequate, foolish or selfish.
So, how do you go about it if you can’t cut ties with them?
5 Ways to Handle Negative People Who Question Your Life Choices
1. Think About Other People’s Opinion … Once
Take other people’s opinion as an opportunity to reflect on your life choices.
There is a time when we feel so certain we made the right choice. No amount of persuasion would change our mind.
But it’s worthwhile to give a serious thought at least once, especially when the opinion comes from those who care about you.
When I dropped out of my Uni after the 3rd year of a 4 year course, a family member advised me to finish my degree course:
It’s only one more year.
I was so eager to start an adventure in a different country that I ignored the advice. I was certain it was the right decision.
Although I was living out my dream in a different county (and started a degree course from scratch), there was a time when I wished I’d listened to the advice and completed the final year.
When people don’t approve of your choices, it can feel like they’re being negative just for the sake of it. But you know a few people in your life who genuinely have your best interests at heart.
Think through all your options, write down the pros and cons, and make sure you’re completely happy with your choice.
2. Stop Doubting Decisions
You’ve thought about your options. You made your choice.
Now take full responsibility for the choices you made. It means giving your full attention to your choices.
You’ll be too busy to care about others’ negative opinions. And others will have less to talk about as they see how committed you are and how much you enjoy doing so.
Every minute you pay attention to them, you waste time and energy that you can put into the life choices you made that make you happy.
3. Create Breathing Space
Despite your best effort, some of these negative people can get to you. You’re only human!
You can’t help but get riled up by what seems like a barrage of “know-it-all”.
It’s obvious some people can’t see beyond their own reasoning.
And they aren’t going anywhere nor will they change their opinion about … eh, anything.
Vent your frustrations through healthy activities such as exercise or ring up someone who is on your side and cheers you and your choices.
I always feel good after talking to my sister because she reminds me of who I am. She knows I don’t live my life to impress anyone but to be happy.
We respect each other’s life choices.
4. Understand the True Motive
Most people who talk negatively about your life choices aren’t happy about their own life and project negative feelings onto you.
They secretly admire you for your bravery. They even envy you.
You’re making choices they’ve always wanted. You’re living the dream life they once dreamed but abandoned.
Instead of being honest about it, they try to sabotage your choices and want to be miserable together so they might feel less miserable than otherwise.
When you understand their motive, it’s much easier to deal with them.
You realise it isn’t about you but them.
5. Talk and Let Go
You’ll come across some people who cross boundaries repeatedly.
And if that person is someone you have to spend time with every day, there’s no other way but to be more forthright: ask her plainly to respect your choices.
No more beating around the bush!
Be nice, but firm.
Accept that you can’t see eye to eye with some people. Set clear boundaries and let them go.
This direct approach doesn’t make you a bad person. You’re being sensible and protective of your dreams.
Choose your counsel wisely. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and help you think through your life choices constructively.
Be empathetic towards negative people who question your life choices, knowing their negative attitude can be a direct reflection of their own life.
Keep a healthy outlet to vent out frustrations and devote your time to making your life choices rewarding and fulfilling.
You’ll soon feel less impacted by negative people who question your life choices.
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