Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re single: “When are you going to find someone?” In a relationship: “When are you getting married?” Married: “When are you having kids?” Divorced: “Just couldn’t make it work, huh?” Have a child: “When are you having a second?” Have multiple kids: “Well, forget about ever doing anything fun for the next 10 years.” I know this happens to women all the time. Maybe it happens to men, too. I can only speak from personal experience that this constantly happens to me.
Here’s what I know to be true: people are judging you every second of every day and it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If you choose to live your life differently than others, if you make different choices, they assume that your life is somehow a judgement on theirs.
But here is the good news: you are being judged, many times unfairly, so you might as well live exactly the life that you want. Somewhere along the way in the development of our social norms, commenting on someone’s politics or religion became off-limits and commenting on someone’s love life remained hopelessly free game.
My advice to you (and to myself): if they are asking a respectful, tastefully worded question based in true curiosity, fabulous. Let’s have a conversation. You know someone I should meet, great. Please connect us.
However, if they are rudely passing judgement and making you feel small because of your circumstances and choices, then please, in no uncertain terms, walk away. They are not your work to do. I’m serious. You are a gorgeous, talented, stunning human being, and anyone who tries to belittle you because of your life choices doesn’t deserve your time.
Smile, get up, and walk away. You have better things to do and better people to do them with. Insults and rude behavior are never acceptable. In 2017, I hope we can all experience a greater sense of decorum in all of our interactions. In the meantime, go live your best life and leave those judgements right where they belong—with the people who make them.