Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…

While ruminating over this week’s Wicked Word Wednesday: Contrary, I started thinking about the moments when we’re most contrary. What came to mind was a recent post by Matthew Hussey on maintaining standards.

We all have them and we all love to zealously uphold them when surrounded by strangers or people we don’t like. But what happens when we’re standing in front of someone we admire or want to impress? Those neatly defined standards can sometimes go flying out the window.

To impress or not to impress?

I’m sure we’ve all faced this conundrum at some point or the other. When you’re faced with that choice to relax your ‘ideals’ and you think that maybe a little modification in one of your rules won’t mean the end-of-the-world. It’s just one drink, or it’s just one cigarette or it’s just one party, I’ll know when to draw the line… But do we?

Lots of people will tell you that life is too short to focus on so many rules. Yet others will tell you that this is your life and that you shouldn’t settle for anything less than you deserve. So who’s right? Who gets to define your standards and who gets to decide when they should be bent?

I believe that experimentation with standards is one thing and upholding them is another. It’s always a good idea to take a step back every now and then to evaluate if your standards work for you and the life you’re trying to build. But when you’re re-evaluating your ideals to impress someone else, that’s when you know you’re in trouble.

Since I’m still shaping my identity and trying out new things, it’s an interesting puzzle for me every day to figure out which ideals work and which don’t. Matt’s video post forced me to examine my life and to observe just who I was willing to relax my ideals for. (Trust me, it wasn’t a very pleasant realization) But it did make me pay more attention to my ‘ideals’ and those situations where I thought I could be persuaded to relax them.

Are you facing a similar situation? How do you maintain your standards? I would love to hear from you below.

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