I recently suggested a show to my best friend. It’s one of the most well-done pieces of media I’ve consumed recently and I just knew my friend (and anyone else I recommended it to) would love it.
A few days later, I asked for their thoughts. They didn’t like it. They told me they’d started it and watched a few minutes, but it wasn’t their thing… that they’d jumped around too, but they just weren't into it so they stopped watching.
I read that text, having just walked into my apartment after running some errands—face mask hanging off one ear, tangled in the wire of my headphones. I wanted to respond that it’s not something you can jump around but something you need to experience start to finish. Thankfully, I had a lot to do that night, so I dropped it.
I say thankfully, because I later realized the audacity of my initial reaction. I absolutely loved the show. And I was sure everyone in the world would love it if they watched it—especially if they just watched it normally, start to finish.
But that night, as I was working on another piece of writing, I realized how terribly annoying it would have been if I decided to push back… if I decided that I knew best what they would like. Because the thing is, they told me it wasn’t their style. And that should be enough.
They know themselves. You know yourself. And nobody should ever feel the need to justify or defend their position, not on a piece of art, a book review, or a movie response. Moments later, I was laughing. I realized how obnoxious I would have felt if I told someone I didn’t like something and they told me to watch it anyway because they know best—which is basically what I wanted to do to my best friend.
So here’s a humbling reminder—it’s okay if someone doesn't listen to the same music as you. Not everyone will love the same comedy special. But believe them the first time. Respect their opinions. And know that you are allowed to know yourself.