Sunday Snippet: Dr. Phil McGraw

“At the end of the day, whether or not those people are comfortable with how you’re living your life doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you’re comfortable with it.”

By its very definition, we live in a society that is inherently social. We interact with one another on a daily basis. We encounter strangers and we have our casual conversations with the barista at the coffee shop or the clerk at the corner store. While we like to think that we are remaining true to ourselves the whole time, we also recognize that other people are constantly judging us. They look at the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive and the work that we do, coming to some sort of conclusion about who we are.

You’ve likely been told at some point in your life that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. You shouldn’t care how other people perceive you, because you should focus on being happy for yourself for your own sake. Of course, this is far easier said than done. When you go into a job interview, you dress for success. You want to make that positive impression so that you can get the job. The same can be said about dating.

And even when it really shouldn’t matter at all, like when you’re at a restaurant and the other diners are evaluating what and how you’re eating, you can feel that you are being judged. And, for most of us, you can’t help but to care. We are a social species, so the opinions of others do matter. But this does not mean that you should utterly change your character to fit into the mold that someone else may have for you.

And I think that is really at the crux of what Dr. Phil is trying to tell us with the quote above. I’m not at all a fan of Dr. Phil, but he does have some wisdom to share there. It’s true. At the end of the day, you must be comfortable with yourself and the choices that you make. You have to be happy with your life decisions, from career to relationships to political choices. You have to stay true to yourself; otherwise, you are living your life simply to please others and that’s just going to leave you in a very unhappy position.

The late Kurt Cobain once said, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” Just be yourself. If the other people aren’t comfortable with how you’re living or who you are, then that’s a problem that they’ll have to overcome, not you.