One of the most significant moments in life is when we are separated from our family.
It is often only when our loved ones are out of reach that we realize how much of an influence they had on us.
It seems that just when we finally have the freedom we’ve been longing for, we set boundaries for ourselves, constantly looking back at what our family would think or say about our actions. And that is OK to some extent.
But the problem arises when we care too much about the family’s opinion, when we are psychologically dependent on their approval, and when their criticism disturbs us too much.
We are born into a relationship, and we naturally seek to maintain and build relationships throughout our lives.
Whether we live in a community with a family or are completely independent, it can be very stressful to constantly weigh what you want and what your family thinks about it.
Mental separation from family is part of growing up and is much more important than physically separating.
This is precisely why it is important to understand why the family’s opinion is so important to us.
Only when we understand why the family’s opinion is so important to us will we be able to distance ourselves from it and make independent decisions about our lives.
Therefore, here are the things you need to know so that your family’s opinion stops weighing you down too much:
Only You Can Live Your Life
You are the only person who will experience all the consequences of your decisions. No one but you will live your life.
Maybe your family would like you to do something more in the whole family’s interest. Maybe someone wants to achieve their unfulfilled ambitions through you, but then who will achieve your ambitions?
It is your inalienable right to create your own life as you like it or not. To respect someone’s opinion, you have to be sure that person has your best interest at heart.
And even then, what that person thinks may not be objectively the best for you. There is no one who knows you better than you.
It Is OK to Make Mistakes
You have the right to make mistakes. Only mistakes that result in someone’s death or serious illness are fatal. Everything else remains to be corrected.
So your family might think you’re wrong about something, so what? Let your mistakes be your best teachers. Nothing can replace authentic experience.
Take responsibility for your mistakes as much as for your success, and you will see that people will recognize you as a mature person, not a person who made mistakes.
It is natural for the family to want to protect you. It is natural for them to sometimes cross the line without realizing that they are doing you a disservice.
Perfectionism is one way to protect ourselves from the uncertainties of life, but the problem is that it also protects us from the beauty of life.
Relax and allow yourself to make mistakes, your family is reacting out of fear and wanting to protect you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to your mistakes and your unique path in life.
Set precise goals and let it be clear to you what motivates you to achieve them. It’s not good to do things just to spite someone or something.
This way, you will achieve nothing except expressing your unchanneled emotions.
To really distance yourself from the family’s opinion, you have to be very close to yourself. You must be clear about what you want and why you want it.
It’s always a good idea to write down your goal and motivation. It is also not good if you want something just to prove to your family that you are good enough, valuable, and important.
When you achieve such a goal, and even if you get the desired approval of the family, you will still feel empty because you will still be far away from true inner needs and desires.
Don’t Share Everything
You don’t have to share everything with your family. It’s perfectly OK to keep some of your desires, goals, attitudes, or plans to yourself when you know your family won’t support you.
It is also perfectly fine to commit to your plans in silence and work diligently to achieve them. That’s not hiding.
There’s simply no need to burden yourself and make things difficult for yourself; not having the support of your family is hard enough.
The more you are committed to realizing your desires and goals, and the more you believe in them, the more you will feel that your need for family approval is less and less important. And that’s totally OK.
Seek Approval From People Who Get You
Theoretically, family is the closest to us. Still, in practice, we often achieve greater closeness with people who are similar to us in character than with people with whom we share genetic material.
It’s normal to care about other people’s opinions but choose to care about the opinions of people who really understand and know you well.
For some people, a college professor changes and improves their lives much more than the family they grew up in.
But first, you must allow yourself to be who you are and do what you love, even if it doesn’t fit into your family’s pattern.
Accept that your family may never understand you. Does that mean you have to please them for the rest of your life?
Of course not, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should care about their opinions about your choices.
Wrapping It All Up
Overcoming the fear of what others will say or think about you, even when those others are your family, is one of the most important aspects of growing up and maturing.
Taking responsibility for your actions plays a huge role – as long as you obediently follow other people’s opinions, you implicitly share responsibility for your actions with those people.
That’s one of the reasons why sometimes it’s so hard to reject other people’s opinions, but ultimately we all have to do it at some point if we want to live a fulfilled, authentic life.