If I am friends with a sexually friendly female does that mean that I am also sexually friendly? If my friends like to drink, constantly change careers and move from city to city a lot does that mean I will too?
As children, the term ‘money see monkey do‘ or ‘copy cat‘ was used to define if I did something because someone else did it, but somewhere along the lines as an adult it becomes permissible to do what those around us are doing.
While I’m not going outside on a daily basis doing things that “my friends” are doing, I can’t help but wonder sometimes if those around me influence my thoughts, opinions and actions, or am I truly in control of my own choices?
I’m inclined to believe that I make my own decisions, ultimately the choice is always my choice to make. However, are there times when other people’s opinions have swayed me to make a decision I may not have otherwise made on my own? There are. There are several decisions I have made under the influence of others. Some were conscious others not so much.
There are times when we know for a fact something may not be a good idea, yet we find ourselves going through with the act anyway. It could be as simple as going to the bar with co-workers for happy hour, even though you clearly expressed throughout the day, you weren’t feeling well. It could be a boyfriend who asked you to try a sex position you weren’t ready for, but you did it anyway. It could have been a parent telling you to go to college for a career you have no interest in.
Or it could be something you didn’t even notice you were doing like not applying for a job, although you know you could possibly get the job easily with your professional background, not moving out of the area, because you have family there.
The fact is you could always say no to going out after work, but why didn’t you? You could have said no to the sexual position, for whatever reasons fear, discomfort, anxiety, whatever, but you wouldn’t do that, why? You could tell your parents what you truly want to do professionally, but you still enrolled in college for the career of your parents choice- why?
Its simple. Monkey see monkey do- except in adults, “ok you’re doing it, so I guess I will too.” OR the copy cat method- “so and so did it you can too!” You can say no to people without explaining yourself. Yes so-and-so might have done it, but that has absolutely nothing to do with you.
If you are holding yourself back from doing things, seeing people, or going places, you may truly love, it could be due to the fact that you subconsciously are worried about not abiding by the copycat or monkey see-monkey do rule. So what if you aren’t. There is nothing wrong with being a follower at some points in your life, but majority of your life you will need to be your own leader to become the person you want to be. Continuing to follow others will only lead you to be just as the person you are following. or a hybrid of someone you don’t want to be.
As I continue down this road of life, I have learned to create my own lane. I understand now that life is much like driving on a highway. In order for lanes to merge, one lane must cease to exist, leaving whoever merges to either get in front of me and LEAD, get behind me and FOLLOW, or the smart ones learn to merge and move over. At this point in my life when my lane merges, I will always lead, those who want to be down with me, can merge and follow OR merge and move over.
Only I am the lead driver on this highway of life.
Have you ever subconsciously followed a friend? Lover? Family member? Have you ever decided to do something and didn’t understand why? Leave your comments and email me if you want advice and/or would like me to post your story!