10 things you don’t owe anyone at all (even if you think you do)

We often find ourselves bending over backwards to meet the expectations of others. We get caught up in the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ that society imposes on us, forgetting that there are certain things we don’t owe anyone.

It’s important to remember that you are your own person, and you have the right to make choices for yourself, without feeling guilty or obligated.

In this article, we’ll be discussing 10 things you don’t owe anyone at all, even if sometimes you feel like you do. These points will remind you of your individuality and the fact that it’s okay to put your needs first.

Let’s begin our journey towards self-awareness and personal growth. Because at the end of the day, your life is yours to live, not someone else’s.

1) Justification for your choices

Here’s a hard truth: you don’t owe anyone an explanation for the life decisions you make.

Too often, we find ourselves justifying our actions or decisions to others – as if we require their validation or approval. It could be about the career path you’ve chosen, the person you’re dating, or even your dietary preferences.

But remember this: it’s your life. These are your choices. You don’t owe anyone a justification for them.

Sure, there might be well-meaning friends, family members, or colleagues who offer unsolicited advice or question your choices. It’s human nature to seek consensus and approval.

However, it’s crucial to understand that at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with your decisions, not them. So why should you need their approval?

Stand firm in your choices and remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for them. Live your life the way you see fit. Because ultimately, it’s yours to live.

2) An apology for being yourself

There was a time in my life when I felt compelled to apologize for my quirks, for the things that made me…me.

I remember I used to worry about being too loud, too quiet, too ambitious, or not ambitious enough. I constantly felt like I was stepping on people’s toes by merely existing.

But here’s what I’ve learned: You don’t owe anyone an apology for being yourself.

Embrace your unique traits and quirks, they’re what make you who you are. If you prefer staying in and reading a book on a Friday night over going out partying, that’s perfectly okay. If your dream is to travel the world and write, instead of settling into a traditional 9-5 job, that’s okay too!

It’s your life, and you don’t have to apologize for living it your way. It took me a while to understand this, but once I did, it was liberating. Now, I freely express myself without worrying about what others might think or say.

You are the protagonist of your story. Be true to yourself and never apologize for it.

3) Being constantly available

In today’s digital age, where our lives are intertwined with technology, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being constantly available. Emails, social media notifications, and messages can consume a significant amount of your time and energy.

However, did you know that this constant availability can lead to burnout? According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, employees who were expected to be available even after work hours reported higher levels of stress and were more prone to health issues.

You don’t owe anyone 24/7 availability. It’s crucial for your mental and physical health to set boundaries and take time out for yourself without feeling guilty. It’s perfectly fine to disconnect, recharge and dedicate time for self-care. Your wellbeing is important.

4) Living up to others’ expectations

This one can be a tough pill to swallow. We often find ourselves striving to meet the expectations set by our parents, peers, or society. The pressure to fit into certain molds can be overwhelming.

Here’s the thing, though – living your life according to someone else’s blueprint will only lead to dissatisfaction and unfulfillment.

You don’t owe it to anyone to live up to their expectations. This is your journey and you should navigate it based on your values, desires, and dreams.

It’s okay to defy the norm and march to the beat of your own drum. After all, this is your story to write, not someone else’s. So why not make it one that you’re proud of?

5) Sacrificing your happiness for others

It’s natural to want to make the people we care about happy. But, it becomes an issue when it comes at the cost of your own happiness.

You might think it’s noble to put everyone else’s needs before your own, but this self-sacrificing behavior can lead to resentment and burn out.

Remember, you don’t owe it to anyone to sacrifice your happiness for theirs. It’s not selfish to prioritize your needs and wants.

Go ahead, take that solo trip you’ve always wanted, pursue that hobby you love, or simply say ‘no’ when you don’t feel like doing something. Your happiness matters. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

6) Forgiving before you’re ready

Forgiveness is often seen as a virtue, a sign of maturity. It’s a beautiful thing, but only when it comes from a place of genuine readiness and not forced obligation.

You might have been told that “forgiveness is the key to healing” or “to forgive is to forget”. While these sayings might hold some truth, they can also pressure you into forgiving before you’re truly ready.

You don’t owe anyone forgiveness on their timeline. Healing takes time and everyone moves at their own pace. It’s okay to take the time you need to process your feelings and hurt before deciding to forgive.

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, not an obligation to others. It’s about releasing yourself from the burden of resentment and hurt. But it should never be rushed or forced. Take all the time you need. Your emotional health is important too.

7) Fitting into societal norms

I was always a bit of a square peg in a round hole – never quite fitting into societal norms. I grew up in a culture that valued traditional career paths like medicine, law, or engineering. But my heart was always drawn to the creative arts.

It took me a while to understand that I don’t owe it to anyone to fit into societal norms. It was a tough battle, going against the grain, but it taught me the value of authenticity.

Whether it’s your career choice, your lifestyle, your relationship status, or even your fashion sense – you don’t have to conform to societal expectations.

Your life is unique, so why should you try to fit it into a standard mold? Embrace your individuality and live authentically. It may not always be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.

8) Being in constant agreement

We live in a diverse world with a myriad of perspectives and opinions. It’s natural to disagree at times. But often, out of fear of conflict or to maintain harmony, we find ourselves nodding along even when we don’t agree.

Here’s the thing, though – you don’t owe it to anyone to always be in agreement with them. It’s okay to have differing opinions. In fact, it’s healthy and can lead to growth and learning.

Of course, it’s important to express your disagreements respectfully and constructively. But never suppress your viewpoints just for the sake of appeasing others. You have a right to your beliefs and opinions, and they should be heard and respected too.

9) Changing who you are

This is perhaps the most essential point of all. You don’t owe it to anyone to change who you are.

We live in a world that often tries to shape us into something we’re not. But remember, you are unique, with your own set of strengths, weaknesses, values, and dreams.

Never compromise on your authenticity to please others. Because at the end of the day, the only person you need to be true to is yourself. Your self-worth should never be tied to others’ approval.

Embrace your uniqueness and celebrate who you are. After all, there’s only one you in this world, and that’s your superpower.

10) Your personal space and privacy

In our increasingly connected world, the boundaries between public and private life can sometimes feel blurred.

With social media and technology allowing for constant accessibility, it’s easy to forget that we all have a right to our own personal space and privacy.

You don’t owe anyone access to every part of your life. Whether it’s your time, your thoughts, or your personal space, it’s perfectly okay to keep parts of your life to yourself. This isn’t being secretive or standoffish; it’s about maintaining healthy boundaries.

Some may feel entitled to know every detail about your life, from your weekend plans to your deepest thoughts. However, remember that sharing these details is your choice, not an obligation.

It’s important to protect your mental health and well-being by setting these boundaries.

If you need to take a step back, spend some alone time, or simply choose not to share certain aspects of your life, that’s your prerogative. Your personal space and privacy are yours to guard and respect.

Final thoughts: Your life, your rules

In the grand scheme of things, your life is a vast canvas, and you are the artist holding the brush. Every stroke you make, every color you choose, shapes the masterpiece that is your life.

An important concept to remember is the Latin phrase “Sui juris” – of one’s own right. It signifies that you are capable of managing your own affairs and making your own decisions.

No one else should dictate how you paint your masterpiece. You owe it to yourself to live authentically, respecting your own boundaries and decisions. It’s about understanding that it’s okay to prioritize yourself, your needs, and your happiness.

So, as you navigate through the journey of life, remember these ten things you don’t owe anyone. Because at the end of the day, it’s your life. Make sure it’s one that you’re proud of.

Remember – “Sui juris”. Your life. Your rules.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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