I don’t owe you $hit.
Paid for by A Debt-Free America and Advocates of Autonomy.
(DID YOU VOTE TODAY?)
Often times people find their own place in your life. The spot that makes them comfortable and adds to the mutual pot of happy between you. What happens in some cases is that the longer they sit in one position the more they feel entitled to certain things like: knowing your latest tea, getting invited to intimate events, calling you in the wee. All of which are reasonable for friends/family to receive…. but nobody OWES it to another person.
Who is this for, just friends? No Ma’am or Sir, this goes for everybody. We all have choices, none of us have obligations. The consequences may preclude us from certain benefits but it all boils down to making decisions. The faster we all come to that realization, the easier it becomes to manage our relationships with one another and not take things so personally.
So here’s the story behind the lesson. I am a loner by birth. I can count on one hand the number of family members that I know in my age range. Not for a lack of trying but I spent my childhood building a career in karate that I abandoned like a corporate burn-out after 10 years that kept me on the road or in practice… followed by military service and a stint of “finding myself”.
Because of this I don’t have the tight bond that I hear people talk about with my family. (I love them I just don’t know them quite as much as I know my friends). So when my mom hears me say I won’t change my plans for my birthday to attend a family function in just about the most remote corner of the Earth….. what she receives is
Which is the complete incorrect message. I struggled with her perception for a while because it just started to feel like we could have a great relationship (search “Mustard and the Cops” on Google). Then I found my peace in the lesson I shared above.
Its super easy to let people get into your head and lay guilt on you but it is much more liberating to recognize your right to make a choice. This life belongs to you! Nope, not even your parents get to tell you how to feel…especially when you are extra grown.
The truth is there’s no reasonable compromise. There is no major airport nearby that will allow me to just add a leg to a trip I had planned long before the notice went out. Simply that. No deep underlying thing, it’s just not cost or time effective. However, that lapse in realization almost set back years of mended fences.
So, before you get offended or even feel the need to explain yourself to someone just think: we don’t owe one another anything, and that’s ok.