Below is a chapter from Rule #2: Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children. Over time we will be posting most of the book, though, should this inspire you to buy a copy, we would not be offended 🙂 Posted chapters can be found in the Table of Contents.

Rule #17: Listen to what some people say (Dad)

An important skill in life is to be able to know which voices should be listened to and which ones need to be ignored. While you must certainly ignore those voices intended to tear you down as a person, there will be voices that will also speak to you in the hopes that you will be built up.

These voices are not always easy to pick out. There will always be the obvious: mentors, trusted friends, family members, and your greatest foam-finger-waving supporters, Mom and Dad—but voices of encouragement and wisdom may also come from unexpected sources. Be open to the wisdom of strangers, suggestions from colleagues, and new perspectives from the next generation—for you never know when something that you say, produce, or share may spark a reaction in another person. Sometimes that spark will be wonderful and full of affirmation, and at other times it will generate challenges and passionate disagreement, but often, when you handle those well, it will help you grow in more ways that you can imagine.

While we don’t want you to define yourself solely based on other people’s expectations, assessments, and opinions, being open to input is an important skill to learn if you are going to grow emotionally, socially, and professionally. So yes, ignore that which is meant to tear you down, but also embrace the voices who are leading you toward being a better person.

So basically, you be you—with feedback.

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