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Q: Do you prefer to listen to other's opinions or to make a decision on your own?

A: I feel I have to say that I'm a person who doesn't listen to other's opinions. (What I mean by that is / I mean ) I have live in the way (that / in which) I think I should not others think I should in my whole life, which I think is not always good. I think I need to fix (this side / this feature / this characteristic) of me.

  1. Here, I'm perfectly comfortable using I mean, but I'd like to know if the other one is also possible here.

  2. And I'm more comfortable using that, but at the same time I feel in which is better grammatically. what would you choose?

  3. I think all of these are possible but I feel side is better than the other. What do you think is most natural?

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    "I mean" is better and brief, "that" sounds better, "this side" is also good! But it is "have lived", after "should not" you should use a verb "I should not others think" is not sensible
    – Ahmad
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 17:28
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    You just need a semicolon to make it understandable: "..the way I think I should; not how others think I should, my whole life." Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 6:09

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I reccomend that you never, under any circumstance, use the phrase "What I mean by that is"

Consider the following example:

  1. What I mean by that is, I want to start recycling.

  2. I want to start recycling.

That being said, I have re-written your original text in order to improve grammatical correctness and readability:

I have to say that I am a person who doesn't listen to other's opinions. I have lived my whole life in the way that I think I should; not as others think that I should. I think that this is not always good. I think that I need to work on this characteristic of myself.

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