With This One Weird New Year’s Trick, People Won’t Judge You
Whenever you do something different, people like to pass judgement and throw resistance in your path. It’s annoying. I’m very familiar with it. Fortunately, you can score a win with people during times of expected change. The New Year’s is a pretty big one.
What usually happens when you try to institute change is that people will try to hold you back, even if they don’t do so intentionally. You should expect it. The resistance to a new you is baked into society. Maybe we’re just more comfortable that way. But the reason doesn’t matter. Just be thankful that we have New Year’s. During January and a few weeks in February, you can try out just about ANYTHING and get away with it. Here’s an example:
Them: “What the hell are you doing?” You: “Just trying out [insert weirdo-level topic] for the New Year. Gotta change it up!” Them: “Oh…uh…I see…well good luck with that!”
Or something along those lines. People will just assume that you’ll just go back to being whatever they thought you were like before, so they won’t give you too much flack for trying something different. If you were just going to do some new stuff out of the blue, you’d get complaints, unfounded concerns, and all manner of resistance.
And there are people that sound like they’re on your side, but may not understand your attempt at true evolution. They’ll actually end up sabotaging you by being friendly. For example, your favorite donut-buddy might say “Oh, you’re working out for the New Year? Keep it up!” After a week goes by, they’ll offer you some fresh ‘n’ creamy donuts because “you deserve it”. Don’t fall for that. You should be working to associate with people that despise donuts. Avoiding food discussions with your donut-buddy might cause some friction initially, but you’ll both get used to it.
Finally, when you actually end up changing for the better along the way, naysaysers won’t really have too much to say about your upgrade. Because you’ve wrapped your change around a holiday or an event, it makes it easier for your peers to not to get too upset about it. The change will make sense in their heads. It doesn’t have to make sense, people just need a ‘why’.
“Jonas stopped eating at Taco Bell.” “Really? Why?” “Dunno, but he stopped after he left that last job.” “Ohhh…I think I know why.”*
*At this point, the person has no clue, but will make up some bullshit rationalization in their head.
So try making a change when your birthday comes around, when an election happens, when you have a child, when you relocate, when you join a group, when you change jobs, etc. You can add symbolism too. Get a haircut, buy new shirts, shop at different stores, rearrange your home, etc. And don’t get too worried about what people think, at the very least, they’ll think you’re interesting while you’re trying things out.
But times are changing, and so should you. Happy New Year’s everyone!