I think of the times I voted with the crowd, joined the popular club, wore what they wore, held back what I really thought. Does a lifetime of little compromises make me feel sad? Yes.
Why is it wrong to let others help us make our decisions?
After all, they may be smarter. They may be luckier or have insider knowledge. If a decision goes bad, we can blame them. If it is a really horrific, awful decision we have made--such as smoking cigarettes every day or the SUV we bought knowing it was designed to roll over easily--there may be a class action suit involving millions of people like us. This is a really horrific, awful decision turned kind-of-good. 'Good' because so many people choose so poorly that it can't be anyone's fault. It just happened.
That is one way to feel better.
How do we resist others' decisions? Like most skills, it takes practice. Our self-determination muscles have gone flabby, so we need exercise. Try the "10-Second Stall." Faced with any decision or choice--big or small, but not immediately life threatening--stop for 10 seconds, look around you, and think about what is driving you to this particular decision. Who will benefit? Who will lose? Are you deciding for the good of yourself and those you love, or for strangers? Answer these questions, and at the end of the 10 seconds, begin again.
Do this often.
To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, follow your bliss, not others'.