ignoring opinions

The IHOb switchover has brought many opinions to their table, but that doesn't stop them

The opinions of others didn't stop IHOP, so why is it stopping you?


Full disclosure, I am deeply saddened by the change in the breakfast chain. Not only is IHOb less attractive to say, but I don't think I'll ever go there for anything other than hash browns. But this brings me to the most important part: my opinion won't change the course IHOP has taken. In today's age, everyone has an opinion about everything. Whether it's politics, your grandma's cooking or the earrings you wore to prom, someone has something to say about it. I find it exhausting having to not only deal with opinions I didn't ask for but act like some of them have no effect on me.

Moreover, thick skin is essential if you want to live a life out in the open. It's all about confidence and how it needs to come from within. No matter how much we like hearing how fun and smart we are, one day someone might disagree and it shouldn't collapse our world. By being your own source of light, you no longer depend on others to make you happy. You make yourself happy. The ups and downs of their opinions will cause little change in the way you live your life. The person you want to be is shaped by your own personal agenda and interests. Listening to those who don't have to live your life is counterproductive. Their opinions should shape their lives, not yours. Confidence is key, and knowing your worth will help steady yourself.

So what's the trick? Obviously, this is all easier said than done, but reminding yourself of who you are and where you want to be is a good starting point. If you want to 360 like IHOP—or should I say IHOb—that's completely your choice. As long as you're not hurting yourself or others, taking a new path is something only the brave attempt to do. With this change comes judgment and criticism. Some may love the new you, others may not be so keen, but ultimately, you're the one who has to live with the changes. Finding who you are is "living a life that some may not understand." It's okay to be who you are. The most important thing is to remember that the opinions of others shouldn't tear you away from a path you would've otherwise taken.

IHOb took a big step, and although people like me look towards its future with dreadful anticipation, my single opinion won't change anything. That's how you need to see yourself: bigger than the opinions of anyone who has a problem with you. And maybe this means taking compliments lighter too. If you allow positive opinions to carry you it might just let negative ones in too. Whatever the answer, just know your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. Let it speak volumes about the way you live and see the world. Maybe someday we can be like IHOb, hearing criticism and moving forward anyway.

Cover Image Credit:

Michael Stern

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Being Ugly

What it means to me


Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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