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“You do you”: Meaning, Usage & Examples

“You do you”: Meaning, Usage & Examples

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We don’t all have the same interests and values, and that’s completely fine. As long as you aren’t hurting others, you shouldn’t be judged very harshly for your interests.

Yeah, one person may love extreme rock climbing, and another person would rather do literally anything else. Neither person is wrong; they just have different interests.

One day, your friend tells you about her plan to swim in the Caribbean. You’re not a strong swimmer, and you really don’t like the ocean.

When she asks if you’d like to join her, you respond, “No Thanks. That doesn’t sound too fun to me, but you do you!”

What Does “You Do You” Mean?

When someone says “you do you,” they’re expressing their feeling that you are allowed to do whatever you want. While they may not have the same interests or agree with your approach or values, they will say “you do you” to either express support or show that they will not try to stop you from doing whatever you want to do. You can use this phrase whether you agree with, disapprove of, or feel neutral about someone’s plans or preferences.

How to use the expression “you do you”

You can use “you do you” to express your support for somebody’s decision. This usage of the term is especially common when the other person’s plan is under a lot of scrutiny.

As in the example below, saying “you do you” can be very comforting to somebody who is dealing with doubt or criticism.

Sophia: It sounds crazy, but I just bought a ticket to Japan. I’m finally going to pursue my dream of climbing Mount Fuji. Most of my friends disapprove, but I don’t care about what anyone else thinks!

Pierre: You do you, Sophia! You shouldn’t listen to the naysayers anyway. I’m so happy for you!

However, you don’t need to agree with someone for this phrase to be appropriate. If someone disapproves of another’s actions, they may say “you do you” to show that they won’t try to convince that person anymore.

While they may disagree, they recognize that the other person can make their own decisions.

Oskar: I’m totally prepared for that English test tomorrow morning, so I’m going to go out and drink with the boys.

Dmitri: Whatever, man. That’s really not a good idea, but it’s your life; you do you.

Finally, “you do you” can be used in a totally neutral context. Often, when people are presented with a decision, they’re afraid of being judged.

With that in mind, this phrase is especially useful when you’re giving someone a choice and want to make it clear that you won’t pressure them to make a certain decision.

Maria: Our school vacation is coming soon. Do you want to go on our road trip with us, or would you rather use that time to catch up on your studies? I understand how hard this semester is, so there’s no pressure to come. You do you.

Ibrahim: Thanks for the invitation! I will think about it and give you an answer before tomorrow afternoon.


When Is “you do you” appropriate?

Some older people may not understand this term so well. If you don’t think that someone will understand the term, then you might just want to tell them that they can do whatever they want.

However, this phrase has a pretty simple and straightforward meaning, so it should be very easy to explain.

While this phrase may be fine in most informal environments, you may not want to use it at work. In a workplace, you’re supposed to work together to achieve a common goal for the business’s benefit.

Therefore, while you might disagree with a coworker’s way of doing things, saying “you do you” may imply that you think that someone is making a decision for their own personal benefit.

Naturally, that can be very insulting, and such callous use of the term may affect your professional relationships.

Also, you shouldn’t say “you do you” when someone is doing something that is clearly wrong or dangerous. If you think that someone’s plan is especially bad or harmful, then you should try to change their mind.

While confrontation may be uncomfortable, “you do you” does not suffice in every situation, so you should tell them what you think or contact the proper authorities to stop them from making a bad choice.