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Tiny Bites 06: Imposing Minimalism on Others

October 12, 2017
Tiny Bites 06: Imposing Minimalism on Others

Happy Thursday! (Or, happy whatever day it is when you’re reading this).

On Monday, I shared 6 challenges I’ve faced as a minimalist and how I’ve dealt with them. One challenge I wrote about was getting your family on board with your new minimalist lifestyle. This hurdle, in particular, struck a chord with a reader, so I wanted to dive a little deeper in this week’s episode of Tiny Bites.

Resources and Links:

If you want to go the extra mile, download Anchor (AppleGoogle) and call in with a comment or question to my station! You can catch up on old episodes of Tiny Bites here.

Have you struggled with creating boundaries for your friends and family to respect your minimalist lifestyle? How did you go about making sure your family understood that minimalism is important to you?

Ready for a quick Bite? Press play below or click on the Anchor link to listen to this week’s episode. If you’re having trouble listening to episodes of Tiny Bites, let me know so I can look into it!

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment October 15, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I love this discussion! This definitely needs to be talked about as much as possible in the minimalist community as I think it’s something we all struggle with BIG TIME. I couldn’t agree with your final observation there about potentially coming across as judgemental. There’s such a fine line to walk between speaking up and not stepping on people’s toes. I certainly had trouble navigating that awkward territory when we were in France. There were a few times when things almost got a little tense between me and my mother-in-law because she was trying to buy me souvenirs and at one point I had to put my foot down and actually say, in desperation, “please respect my wishes!” instead of the “I’d prefer not…” approach I had been trying to stick with. I had to recruit my husband in keeping the peace and explaining things a bit further due to the language barrier, and I think in the end it wasn’t too bad. By the time we left I think my parents-in-law had a much better understanding of where we were coming from, and at the airport my father-in-law even said that we should live the way we want, even if people ridicule us or don’t understand why we’re doing it. That made me teary…it’s nice to feel understood by non-minimalists 🙂

    • Britt October 15, 2017 at 10:46 am

      I’m glad the experience ended on a positive note! It’s great that your father-in-law was able to understand your lifestyle and express support. That’s so important! Thanks for listening, Lisa!!

  • Chris @ Keep Thrifty October 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Great episode Britt! You’re right – it can be tricky to navigate being minimalist with family and others when you bow out of their traditions. In the same way we ask others to respect our minimalist lifestyle, we also try to respect theirs – so we’re not opposed to buying gifts for others for events as long as we can do it in a responsible way (both financially and environmentally).

    As an example, we often find ourselves in the position of buying gifts for birthday parties for our daughters’ friends. We tend to focus on the same things that we’d ask for our girls – art supplies and activity-based items rather than video games and toys. It’s a good middle ground where we can still participate.

    It can be tough finding “win-win” solutions, but there’s usually something there if we dig deep enough 🙂

    Thanks for the shout-out – love the discussion on this topic!

    • Britt October 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      (BTW this reply might come off as snarky, but I’m genuinely not trying to be. I love this conversation and your comments. It’s given me a TON to think about.) That’s very interesting! I didn’t realize until you made the distinction but I do tend to be opposed to buying gifts for family (with the exception being for my young step brother). It’s more of a wallet stance than a moral one, though I struggle to see the point in buying gifts at all. My family and in-laws are very blessed and don’t genuinely ‘need’ anything so I find the whole act of gift giving a little contrived. I would rather just spend time with my family then go through the agony of having to pick them a gift I know they probably will forget about anyway.

      That being said, if you can purchase things in a responsible way that doesn’t make you feel bad and is respectful of other’s views – that’s really the best of both worlds! When I absolutely have to provide a gift, I lean towards handmade items (like knitting or candles), things that might actually get some use and require some sweat equity on my part. Thanks for reading, Chris!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.