The Subtle Art of Giving The Right Amount of F*cks

Over the last few months, I’ve been experiencing relentless, consecutive and hard-hitting revelations and changes. Many that have made me question my moral compass, ethics, relationships and the way I exist and behave within my personal and professional relationships.

I grew up with a clear framework of what’s right and what’s wrong, but I’ve also always had a strong conviction in what I believed was right and wrong for me. The latter, as you’d expect, is formed around my beliefs, character and personal understanding of the world around me. I’ve never felt the desire to convince everyone in my personal life (or otherwise) of my beliefs, goals and motives because it has always felt like it was – frankly – not their business(?!) I have been content with the way I have been growing as an individual and while I accept that oftentimes guidance, support and checking is necessary and/or conducive, I also expect those around me to be aware of the fact that I will openly take what they have to offer, assess it in my own time and alongside my own conviction and then do what see fit. I respect and trust the people close to me to make their own decisions, and although I do not hesitate from offering my opinion when it is requested, I acknowledge that the last step is theirs to make. Therefore, I find it quite natural for me to expect the same respect and trust in return.

The reason I have been contemplating this at this intensity is because I have been discovering that people generally are not happy with what you do unless it aligns with what they want for or from you. This doesn’t have to come with malicious or vindictive intent. More often than not, it comes from people who deeply care about you and your wellbeing but are being (un)consciously hindered or clouded by their own fears, insecurities and personal experiences. That, as you’d expect, is perfectly normal because (par exemple) for me to form an opinion on something or give advice, I’m simply drawing from the experiences I have had and how they turned out or made me feel in order to prevent others from experiencing the hardships that I experienced.

It’s unsurprisingly simple as that.

On my flight back home, at the end of last month, I read the book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck’ by Mark Manson (highly recommend!!!) in the span of 3 hours because I simply could not put it down. And like most things, it came at such a perfect time of need. Due to many reasons I will not get into right now, I was raised to be a caring individual and because of my desire to overachieve at everything I take on, I think I accidentally tried to overachieve in the caring department. That brought me to a place in which I offer people perks that they don’t deserve simply because I insist on treating others the way I wish to be treated. And sometimes, thinking people in your life are undeserving of things you offer them does not have to be an evil thing. They probably deserve other things you are offering them. And you’re actually saving yourself, them and the relationship from a lot of resentment by only offering what you are prepared to offer, without bitterness or regret looming over your heads.

Many people, myself including, find themselves offering others too much of what they think they need while receiving 1/4 of what they, themselves, need in return. This in turn builds up a lot of toxicity that could’ve been avoided had both parties communicated their truth to the other and agreed on either offering said things or not and – instead – building a different form or shape for their relationship to exist within comfortably. We’re very often trapped in what we think our relationships should look like; with our families, siblings, partners, friends, and colleagues. And that is setting yourself up for failure because the layout you’re trying to impose isn’t customized for you or your personal relationships. You can’t expect to spend a lot of money on a King-Sized bed for your 25m2 studio and have it fit! It won’t and it wasn’t going to from the beginning. No matter how much you wanted it to.

Instead, I’m trying to get on a path of looking deeply at the relationships I have in my life and assessing them for what they are, and not what I want them to be. When you get ahead of yourself, you’re stuck in disappointment, whereas when you accept everything for what it is and then begin thinking about the best and most realistic ways to improve or change, you are then on a journey of progression. After all, we’re all a work in progress and we will continue to be just that until the day we die. No matter how much we achieve or how many people we have left by our side at the end of the day, we will never get to our ideal self and therefore we will never find our ideal relationships, homes, jobs, lifestyles, etc. You will only find another work in progress. This is where intent and hard work comes in. You can only bring or keep people in your life if they are willing to invest the time to understand who you are as an individual – independently from them and what you offer each other – and then put in the effort to progress and grow in the direction you choose for yourselves whilst accommodating for the other and giving woke-support (not judgement!)

This is something I’m only starting to truly figure out without the unconscious inhibitions and unnecessary and distracting angst and bitterness of an adolescent. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that these thoughts and conversations are important and those who avoid having them for their whole lives might be content, but like I said, I’m not concerned about other people. I have a lot of things I’m not content about and I aim to understand why that is the case and what I can do about it in order to be happier and I have a lot of things I’m very happy about that others might not consider positive or an accomplishment. That also, I’m not concerned about. What matters to me is that at the end of my day, I want to put my head on my pillow and think to myself: I am happy with the person I am today and I accept the things I’m not happy about but I am conscious of them and will continue to try to be better until the end of days.

Looking forward to and appreciating all thoughts. At times of change and upheaval, you learn a lot about yourself so don’t close yourself off because of how difficult it feels today. If you walk through it, you’re done with it. If you stand at the barrier and look over at what things could’ve been but you’re too afraid to make that step, that ‘what if’ will stay with you.

I’ll leave you with this – thank you for reading!


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