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I love my parents, but I feel like they’ve filled me with a lot of self-doubt. Often when it’s time to make big life decisions, I talk with them and they try steer me towards some other direction rather than the direction my heart has told me to go. Do I need to stop asking their advice, or is there a way to respect my parents while developing the independence I’ve struggled to find?
– Self-Doubt Dude
Dear Self-Doubt Dude,
There are all different kinds of parents, including the kind that aren’t even around. So for starters, be glad you’re parents are alive and part of your life. In addition to their general presence, parents can also have an unbelievably deep impact — or lack of impact — on their offspring’s choices.
Some people’s entire identity is formed by reacting against their parents and defying them. Some people specifically look at how their parents live, and then try to do the opposite. Others seem to follow in their parent’s footsteps exactly and — consciously or subconsciously — recreate their parent’s life. The fact that you have a good enough basic relationship with your parents to tell them about your hopes and dreams is valuable and I think it’s definitely worth maintaining that foundation.