It’s so easy to be hurt by the opinions of others, especially when they’re lobbed carelessly in our direction or—worse—overheard. But we must value ourselves and know our own true worth. My guest Annette Petrick shares some simple wisdom recalling the famous line spoken by Polonius in William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet.”
“This above all—to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Use the audio player below to listen to this 90-second show.
It was a week when I had a number of lunches and phone calls with friends. There was a thread that seemed to go through most of the conversations. My friends were reporting on advice they were giving to others or objections or criticisms they were sharing. The theme seemed to be “I know better than they do.” I started to ponder that concept.
One friend objected to the type of furniture in her mother’s redecorating plan. Another was criticizing her aunt’s choice of movies to stream. One objected to her grandfather’s wardrobe and another was sure her sister was making the wrong hair color choice. One caller was trying to convince her cousin that she was not mourning the right way.
I found myself empathizing with all the folks who had made choices that were now being challenged – by relatives unauthorized to be making those decisions. My critical friends were all a step or two away. They did not live with the folks they were challenging, or see their daily rituals or struggles or joys. They didn’t know the backstories about why they wore those clothes or had that color hair. How did they get the right to challenge the personal choices of others?
When perfectly (or imperfectly) cognitive adults make choices based on their preferences, who are we to interfere, or even worse, try to force our preferences over theirs.
Many reflections on the subject resulted in this story for the Consider This library.What are your experiences? How do you address the issue, when someone thinks they know better?
What are your experiences? How do you address the issue, when someone thinks they know better?
Annette Petrick for Consider This
Annette Petrick is the creative genius and inspired storyteller behind the Consider This Radio Show, featuring dozens of colorful 90-second episodes serving up “timely perspectives on life, love, friends, family, giving back, and giving thanks.” You’ll laugh, cry, rant, cheer, or remember. Be sure to get on her email list HERE to receive a new episode every Sunday morning.