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The Importance of Being Autonomous

Being overly easygoing can be detrimental to your happiness. Why? Compliance is all about not making waves, just going with the flow no matter what. It comes from the low-status mindset of thinking that other people’s opinions and behaviors are more important or better than your own.


On the other side of the scale, combative behavior is all about dominating your interactions and getting things your way. This comes from the mindset that your thoughts and behaviors are more important than everyone else’s. Combative people often get their way by using threats of physical violence, manipulation and intimidation.


Both of these styles of communication are about controlling others in some way. When you’re combative, you attempt to control other people’s behaviors, and when you’re compliant, you try to control other people’s opinions of you.


Autonomous communication is not about controlling people or getting your way. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions and the course of your life, and it’s a very attractive trait.


The key principle of autonomy can be defined by the following statement:


“I am responsible for my opinions and my behaviors, and others are responsible for theirs.”


Write this down right now. Underline it. Tattoo it on your face. Let this principle guide your actions and you’ll experience greater social freedom than ever before.


By Devon O’B Ash,