Not everyone understands the growing cultural trend of getting tattooed. Some people find it absolutely appalling, way too painful to even consider, or think that a tattoo means they can never have a strong, professional career.

But for those of us who like tattoos, these supposedly negative consequences of body modification don’t faze us at all. We enjoy and learn from our tattooing experiences and now you can learn from them, too.

Here are 10 life lessons you can learn from people with tattoos:

1. Your standards are the only ones that matter

tattoo 7

Of course not everyone will think that your new chest piece is as gorgeous as you do, but why should that matter?

As long as you love the way it looks and feel great about yourself because of it, those stares on the street are laughable.

2. First impressions aren’t always right

tattoo 12

Anyone with tattoos or a heavily tattooed friend can tell you this life lesson is true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched perfectly nice, loving, and intelligent people get judged because of their ink.

Having tattoos and knowing people with tattoos teaches you to not place value on appearances and, instead, spend more time getting to know new people.

3. Pain is temporary

tattoo 13

This, for sure, is something every tattoo-ee can attest to. Regardless of your pain tolerance, you’re bound to encounter one tattoo that hurts like a B. But making it through a painful tattooing experience just makes you more proud of the end result.

Sometimes we forget that painful things can lead to great things, but I think tattoos are a fabulous reminder of that.

4. Fear of new experiences is overrated

tattoo 5

Getting your first tattoo can be scary for a lot of people. It’s something you’ve never done before and, let’s face it, it is a substantial commitment.

But people who go through with a tattoo in spite of their fears feel better about themselves afterwards and are happy with the experience. Most of them even go back for more.

5. Meaning is subjective

tattoo 6

No two tattoos have exactly the same meaning. Every person molds their own ideas, experiences and memories into their tattoo and what it represents.

To judge someone based off of what you think their tattoo means is completely pointless.

6. And not EVERYTHING has to have a set meaning

tattoo 15

One the other hand, it’s also pointless to just assume that every tattoo a person has means something amazingly unique and special to them.

Lots of people get tattoos just because they like a pattern or concept and that’s it. Many people also get tattoos just for the sake of getting more tattoos. Not everything needs a universal purpose to exist. Some things exist ‘just because.’

7. Money isn’t everything

tattoo 14

One of the biggest critiques people have of tattoos is about how much money they cost. Granted, each tattoo parlor is different and runs by its own prices, but a decent color tattoo is likely to cost you a couple hundred dollars. So what?

Not only do you get some cool artwork that you get to keep with you forever, but you also get a lasting memory and fun experience that you can tell people about for the rest of your life. I’d call that priceless.

8. Nothing is ever a mistake if you are true to yourself

tattoo 9

Another life lesson tattoos teach you is that ‘mistakes’ don’t matter if you believe you were true to yourself. Maybe you have to wear concealing shirts at work to cover up your sleeves. So what?

People are so quick to deem tattoos a mistake if their owners need to cover them up from 9 to 5 later in life. I call it a win-win; not only do you get to keep the job that you want but you also get to keep getting tattoos. That sounds pretty good to me.

9. Being outrageous is fun

tattoo 1

While staring at a stranger’s tattoo can be rather obnoxious, sometimes it’s kind of fun to get stared at. Especially if someone is staring at a tattoo you’re particularly fond of.

Most people don’t get tattoos just to show them off, but showing them off can be pretty fun once in a while.

10. Being who you want to be is the only way to be truly happy

tattoo 11

Lastly, one of the biggest life lessons you can learn from people with tattoos is that doing what makes you happy is the only way to live a truly satisfying life.

Why be the kind of person someone else wants you to be? Why do that?

Be who you want and no one else.

Featured photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33303283@N03/9319309647 via sandra.scherer

Love this article?