Acceptance and Judgement

22 Sep 2020

As I discussed in the Enough post, I really feel like too many people feel bullied into chasing things they don't need, and pressured into achieving a certain level of acceptance from others.

A far healthier approach to life, in my view, is two-fold.

One, when dealing with the concept of acceptance, people need to learn to both accept others as they are whilst also accepting themselves as they are. I think lots of people only see one side here, either being pleasant to others and accepting people as they come - whilst simultaneously being unhappy with themselves - or inversely they have absolutely no time for others whilst completely believing their own hype to the point of pure narcissism.

There is obviously no "one size fits all" approach here, but I feel the answer to being the best version of yourself is to accommodate both approaches on this front: you absolutely should accept the people around you as they are, faults and all, as most of the time those people around you feel the same way you do! Most people are just trying to get on with their lives much the way you are with yours and may well have the same insecurities about themselves that you might about yourself.

However - coupled with the above - you should definitely learn to love yourself as you are. Faults and all. Nobody is perfect, but the pursuit of this unattainable perfection does you more harm than good, and in the age of social media where it seems that everyone else's life is perfect, this is all the more important.

Be good to yourself, be good to those around you. It's an incredibly simple concept.

Two, whilst accepting yourself and others is important, one way that we all arrive at that acceptance is by judging the same people I've said we should be accepting of. And this is something that can also drive you mad: judging others by your own standards. For example, you might think it's incredibly important that your pyjamas are ironed before you wear them, but your friend may not. Does the fact that they don't follow your viewpoint - that, shock horror, not everyone agrees on what is important - mean that their approach is something you should be less accepting of? That they should be judged as inferior to your own perspective? Of course not - but lots of people are quick to judge parts of society based upon themselves, with no thought to the fact that someone else who hasn't had the same experiences and viewpoints as yourself is obviously going to think differently on certain topics.

By all means, set yourself good standards and aspire to them; but don't judge those around you on those same standards. Maybe that person - who's worth you are dismissing because they don't value the same things you do - is actually just doing their best and has higher standards than you in other places.

This ability to step back from judging people and instead learning to accept them as they are - because honestly, few people really change - is key to you being in turn less judged and more accepted yourself.

And hopefully, if more people realise this and think freely, society at large would be a more welcoming place than it is becoming.

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