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My family and friends just don’t understand

Sofia
18 years old

My family and friends just don’t understand

j'ai vécu ça

86 autres jeunes on aussi vécu ça

Environmental awareness is part of my daily life, and the problem is that it makes me feel different from others, especially my family and some of my friends.  

* The "Real-Life Stories" are inspired by real emails and text messages received from different young people. We use fictitious names and photos to protect their privacy.

Here's how it went with Tel-jeunes

My environmental awareness is part of my daily life. I have committed to changing my habits; by not eating meat, by reducing the amount of waste I produce by having zero-waste lunches, by not buying new clothes unless I absolutely have to, by buying second hand whenever possible, by not replacing my electronics, and so on. It really matters a lot to me, but the problem is that my lifestyle makes me feel different from others, especially from my family and some of my friends.
What makes you feel that way?
I am often the environmentalist in my group, and my family and friends think that I’m too intense about it. But it is important to me to teach them about environmental issues because I don’t think they are doing their part, and that frustrates me. I often need to choose my words carefully, and I always feel like I’m walking on eggshells.
It’s true that it can be frustrating to feel that something so important to us is not so important to others. Everyone moves at their own pace when it comes to environmental awareness and it’s good to raise awareness among your friends and family about the subject, but you should keep in mind that you cannot change their thoughts and actions all at once. Stubbornly trying to change the minds of people who do not think like you takes a lot of energy, and it can be discouraging when they don’t respond how you want.
It’s true that it gets tiring. I just need a break lol.
I get it! 😊 Are there people in your life that you feel you can really talk to without having to censor yourself?
I have a friend who loves talking about the environment with me. I feel really lucky to have her! We talk about ways to reduce our ecological footprint, and we support each other in our personal struggles. I’m also a member of the environmental committee at my Cégep. We talk about our experiences, organize activities focused on eco-responsible lifestyles, and suggest ways to make our school greener.
Wow, that’s great! And how do you feel when you talk to her?
Less helpless when it comes to the fate of our planet. I guess it gives me hope. We combine our personal struggles to transform them into small-scale collective actions. And I can really be myself. Maybe I should just focus on that.
That could be an option! Talk to those who are receptive to your ideas and who will also help you advance in your own reflection process. I’ll leave you to think about it.
Thanks so much 😊