“You should be more outgoing.”
“You should wear brighter colored clothes.”
“You should’ve done music like your sister.”
“You should wear your hair like this; it wouldn’t look as bad.”
“You should go to college at _______.”
“You shouldn’t associate with those people.”
And on the “should’s” and “should not’s” go. Sadly these above quotations aren’t hypothetical like the ones I usually use.
I’m usually perceived as maintaining a rather quiet demeanor (which is what makes that first “should not” so annoying at times), and I suppose I’ve always been that way. If I was more vocal, I’d hate to see how my verbal reaction to the above scenarios would have panned out. Thus, I blog.
I like and appreciate guidance. I really do, but I’m just exhausted and sick from being told who I should be and what I should do, as well as how much “better” I could have been had I listened to all the “should have’s” in my life. Aren’t you?
“You shouldn’t drop out of school.” Okay, I agree with that. “You shouldn’t smoke crack.” Also agree with that. “You should consider all your options carefully.” Yep. “You should have been like _________, and done _____________.” Slow your engine, Speedy Gonzales. I should do nothing of the sort. But thank you for implying that my best is nowhere near being as good as so-and-so’s.
But maybe all these – let’s call them suggestions – are made with good intentions. Maybe if I did take all your suggestions to heart, I would be more like you. Why stop there – if everyone was like you, the world would be a much better place. And once everyone is unique like you, no one is!
Let’s take a real-life example. If I had taken Calculus in high school as I had been suggested by numerous well-intentioned folks, I would not have been able to take AP Psych, pass the exam, get college units from it, and be able to accelerate a year in college. Good job me for having poor Calculus skills and jumping ship within the first week, though it came as a disappointment to some others initially.
Yes, a lot of the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” are perfectly valid, but even still, don’t you think that it’s already tough enough as it is to reach our own personal bests without having to think about the rest of the world? Obviously I care about worldly opinions. Unfortunately, this caring has driven me to obsession, and it’s made me become a person I’m not entirely happy with.
So before you tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do, consider where it’s coming from. Does it come from kindness, or some deeply-rooted need to control things? Not everyone is you. What is good for you may not be good for everyone else.
Maybe I should be more outgoing. Scratch that, I KNOW this is true. But don’t make me feel like some sort of freak if I’m not there yet. Thanks for the suggestion to brighten my wardrobe, but I’ll stick to my darker hues. Excuse me, I should have done music? I am so very happy in my current studies and hobbies, thank you very much. I have no desire to be like anyone else, even if my sister is pretty cool, but disregarding what I have chosen as my path of life is a slap to my face. Plus I cannot carry a tune anyway. Thanks for the tip to get a new ‘do, but although sort of dry at the moment, my current hair may not be desirable but it is manageable. As for the tip to go to that school rather than the one I am not now, too little too late. And finally, do not dictate who is worthy of being associated with. At this rate, they’re much more enjoyable to be around than anyone who addresses me with a pointed finger.
Now after ranting about how people shouldn’t tell each other what to do….you readers – all three-ish of you – have a good weekend. Why yes, that is in fact an order.