OPO – Other People’s Opinions

Everyone will always have an opinion about what you are doing in life. Some are for your benefit, but most are not. Some are pretty negative and judgmental and the more out of the norm your goal, the more negative they are. Those are crabs in a bucket.

A friend once explained it to me like this:

Crabs, when caught, don’t need a lid on the bucket. One crab tries to escape, the other crabs pull them back in. Lobsters, on the other hand, need a lid because they help each other escape. Most crabs, don’t have the sense to save themselves and they definitely don’t have the compassion to help others escape.

These crabs can and will manifest in every area of life. From trying to tell you how a relationship is or what someone feels for you when they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, to artwork (I don’t get it. You’ll never make money. Get a real job.) when they are only seeing the art or more importantly the career at one set point in time and again, they have no idea what they are talking about, to life choices like living in an RV. Oh, they don’t know anything about living in an RV and are judging it based on their own very limited life experiences? Even something as common as losing weight gets the crabs in a tizzy. [Insert your own dream here] You have to remember where all of these judgments are coming from. The crabs aren’t doing what you are doing. They aren’t in your relationship, in your career, paying your bills, or in your body.

That’s when you say, “Hmm, I never thought of that,” and walk away.

Those people are judging you based on their own rules, their own issues, their own fears. They are afraid you will get something they want or that you will be happy when they are not. They are so busy trying to tear other people down, they don’t realize they could get out of their own unhappiness if they only turned a fraction of that negativity into positive changes in their lives. And frankly, some people just like to see others fail. If they won’t put in effort to make themselves happy, at least they can laugh when people who actually put in effort fail. Then they can sit back, smug and say, “See, they shouldn’t even have bothered. I’m smart because I didn’t waste my time.” They don’t realize, it is never a waste of time. The only thing you are guaranteed in life is time. It may not be a lot and you don’t know how much you have, but it’s yours to make the most of.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, “Does it matter?” Does it matter what they think? Maybe their advice, if they even offer any, is something to take into consideration. Do you want the life they have? If you don’t, their opinion should not matter. Do their actions match their projected values? Is their money where their mouth is? Are they really taking responsibility for their own lives or do they expect someone else to take care of them? Do you even really like them? Should their judgment, which is coming from a very selfish place inside of them, really have more weight than your own heart’s desires? Do they expect to just sit there, waiting? Maybe that is why working towards the life you want bothers them. It points out everything they are not willing to do for themselves.

Fear is a very powerful motivator, it saved us from wild predators did it not? They’re afraid to see that they really do have control over their own lives. You are showing them that. You are throwing it in their face because you are doing something different.

Don’t let their fear, their judgments, their lack of responsibility hold you back.

Try to be compassionate to them. They are the ones who are stuck. You figured it out. Compassionately, get them out of your life as much as possible. If you can’t, change the subject when it comes up. They’ll assume you don’t want to talk about it because you are giving up.

You have are your own lobster, at least in the beginning.

The good news is the more you push through those judgments, the further you go, the less the crabs will have to say. The judgments become weaker and your lobsters become stronger.

You’re going to fail at least a little, probably a lot. There are many things in life worse than failing. Being unhappy as you watch the world go by is one. Especially if you are too stubborn/afraid to admit you aren’t happy. You are the only one you have to answer to before you die. You are the only one to blame if you aren’t happy.

So, look on the bright side, you aren’t a crab in a bucket so


I’ll even share my life’s motto:

If you’re going to fail, fail hard.

*Disclosure:  Taylor Swift is not my sponsor. I don’t have a sponsor. I am my own sponsor.

About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.