Monday, July 12, 2010

Everyone Else Knows What's Best

Earlier, I was having a conversation that reminded me of some things that I've dealt with as an introvert (though these things are applicable to other areas of my life, as well). We were talking about work, about how her boss wanted to "promote" her. Though promotion was against her wishes, the boss was sure that it was the best route for her "growth" within the company. She disagreed; she wanted to grow, but not in that direction. The boss always knows what's best, though.

Why is it that everyone else always knows what's best for us?

It just reminds me so vividly of my younger days, and of how often I was preached to -- by friends and family and even strangers -- about growing out of my quietness. It was prescribed as the best thing for me, despite my arguments. I was perfectly happy staying just as I was, except for the fact that it seemed to bother everyone else. If they weren't bothered, then why would they be trying to change me? And if being quiet was good, then why would it make everyone uncomfortable? Of course there must be something questionable in it!

"I like being quiet," I'd say.

"Yeah, but you'll grow out of that. You'll see. And here's what you need to do to get started ..."

I didn't want to grow out of it. But I felt like I was the only one who didn't see my introversion as a problem, like I was the only one who didn't feel like I needed help.

How could anyone know what's best for me, though? I didn't even know what was best for myself. I'm sure no one else knew what was good for themselves, either; yet, we're all so quick to prescribe.

Most of the time -- though maybe not always -- I think we're the only ones who know best. I think we have a better idea than anyone else. Then again, maybe growing up as an introvert has simply made me suspicious of everyone else's opinions.

Who knows?

 

6 comments:

yohan said...

thanks , great :)

Hypothetical said...

Yohan, :-)

Clouds said...

"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others."
— Marcus Aurelius

It is always we ourselves who know best, because only we have access to who we really are. Our mind and feelings are private, our appearance and behaviour public.

People can advise us only through judging our external manifestations, but who we really are is something only we can ever know.

Zeri Kyd said...

Clouds, I like Marcus Aurelius; thanks for the quote. Lots of good stuff there. And I agree that (usually) we are the ones who know ourselves best. Sometimes, though, it's worthwhile to see ourselves as others do. An outside perspective can provide a lot of insight.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with this post so much. I hate the sad look that some people give when I tell them what I've been up to. I remember giving someone a similar sad look when they told me of their relationship problems and they told me to not look at them that way and to get lost. So why do I have to accept that look of pity and their unsolicited advice when I tell them about my quiet though pleasant week. It's frustrating. It's like they don't believe my week could have been other than terrible for being so quiet.

Zeri Kyd said...

Hi Anon, funny. :-) They tell you to get lost? I suppose you could say the same to them. Thanks for the comment.