“I accept you.”
There’s a sickness in our culture and society today. About shame. About judgement. About how the billboards portray perfection, no acne, no blemishes, no emotional issues.
Everybody is crystal clear and smiling all the time, like the light shooting through a perfect prism. Rainbows and puppies and all that.
It’s bullshit nonsense.
Acceptance: Nobody Is Perfect – And That’s OK
Everyone gets a bit scraped in life, some more so than others. It’s sometimes inside with trauma, sometimes outside when we aren’t bestowed with the best bodies…
And we are pushed to judge and compare. I mean, how can we know if we are good or doing well if we don’t look to each other?
My business is smaller than his, I’m making less money. I’m less attractive than her. My grades are better…
There’s an undertone in all of us saying we aren’t good enough and we have to keep going. The I’m not good enough feeling lead to shame and an ever-increasing hole of needing to feel validated that just seems always seems to be out of reach.
It leads to anxiety, self-worth and self-esteem issues, depression, and neuroses.
But don’t get me wrong, I think some level of judgement is unavoidable and helpful at certain times. Before dating monogamously we may compare partners, but in monogamy, we accept some limitations of the person in contrast to all their amazing qualities. We need to compare ourselves to others a bit to see how we stand, such as in how we are doing in a journey on creating a business.
But The Question Is – Does Comparison Run Your Life?
There’s a lot of talk about how to make people like you and want to be around you. There are entire movements created to accomplish that, and also classical books like How To Win Friends And Influence People, with useful advice like “everyone’s favourite subject is themselves”. That’s not sarcasm, it is really good conversational advice.
However, I think something that isn’t discussed as much is how to counter-act this huge undercurrent of judgement. This entire sickness.
It is by embodying the belief – by saying in your words and actions:
“Hey you know what, you aren’t perfect, but I like you, and I accept you as you are.”
See, people aren’t used to that. So when you do it, it shocks them, and they throw everyone else out the window, because most people inherently judge.
This is far easier said than done. I mean, do you ever find yourself thinking someone is trashy for going to bars and drinking? For being promiscuous? For dressing a certain way?
What about the person who works a 9-5 job? What about the guy who doesn’t go to the gym?
We all inherently judge and always will. We will always judge ourselves a bit, and also judge others.
The question is how HARSHLY we do it, and how much we can accept our own and others’ flaws, and even celebrate them as just part of the journey of life for each person.
As we keep going on, our identities change to be molded into what we think they should be. We make mistakes, re-calibrate, and hopefully proceed along a more positive path.
People aren’t stupid though, and they will be able to tell if you actually do accept them for their flaws or not, and so will you as you “self-judge” yourself.
I guess the point is that we’re all just looking for connection, love, and acceptance. We create various strategies (some good, some bad) to get them. But this belief shortcuts everything because now, there’s no need to pretend.
Humans are attracted to each other’s rough edges, and sharing our stories of potential vulnerabilities and flaws makes us like one another – We’re not perfect, and that’s OK.
Accepting Yourself and Others
I’ve found some of my most treasured moments are when people (especially romantic partners) have told me about something that has happened to them or a flaw of theirs they thought was terrible or made them bad, and we could work through together how everything wasn’t that negative. I could then share my own and be comforted.
I believe two good people telling each other they are OK and that they actually love each other is some of the best medicine to heal MANY emotional issues and neuroses.
Paraphrasing Mark Manson:
- Every person has flaws and imperfections.
- You can’t ever force a person to change.
- Therefore: You must be around people who have flaws you can live with or even appreciate.
The most accurate metric for your love of somebody is how you feel about their flaws. If you accept them and even adore some of their shortcomings — her obsessive cleanliness, his awkward social ticks — and they can accept and even adore some of your shortcomings, well, then that’s a sign of true intimacy.
It may be our perfections that attract one another. But it’s our imperfections that decide whether we stay together or not – in dating, with friends, and within ourselves.