Quite often, we hear people saying that “Accept me, the way I am”. But, what does accepting someone the way they are, actually means? Does it mean to accept and tolerate all their nuisances just to be in a relationship? Is this attitude of accepting others the way they are or expecting others to accept us the way we are, at all sensible? Above all, do the people who use this statement, every now and then, “for their sole benefit”, themselves accept others the way they are?
To settle the turmoil of such questions striking my mind, I tried to analyze two personal life incidences, which I observed very closely over the years. Both these incidences revolve around the subject of this blog i.e. accepting someone the way they are and its consequences. Below-mentioned is those two incidences, which kind of clarify all the doubts and help us, reach onto some conclusion that is it justifiable to accept someone or expect others to accept us the way we are.
Incident 1 –
One fine day, a man started chewing tobacco and as it usually happens, over the time got addicted to it. Quite obviously, there was a resistant from the entire family, which included his wife and two children. The initial pleadings within the family, lead to arguments and verbal fights, without any fruitful outcome. The so-called “Man of the House” was too adamant not to leave his unhealthy and a threat-to-life habit, at any cost, even if it means renouncing the entire family.
He declared that “Let me live my life as I want too and if I am forced anymore to leave tobacco or for that reason anything else then I will choose tobacco over the family and leave the house.” Well, the wife didn’t want the relationship to break in that manner so she “surrendered” her genuine request against the egoistic will of her husband. Hence, in this case, the husband was “Accepted the way he was”.
Now, let us quickly move into the present to see if the family is happy at all. The deadly habit of chewing tobacco has grown into a chronic addiction. The husband and wife are not having good terms to the point that even their talking terms have hampered to a great extent. He is no more close to his own children, as the distances in hearts have grown manifolds. I doubt if the innocent hearts of the children will ever be able to forget all this and be close again to their father like they used to be earlier.
This incidence leaves before us a lot of questions to be answered. Was “Accepting the man the way he is” a major reason for the dent in the family bonding and loss of peace of the mind?” Could things be any better, if the family wouldn’t have surrendered to his nuisances and had taken a firm stand against his unacceptable addiction? What if it had been any other family members in his position, would the “Man of the House” have accepted them the way they are?
Incident 2 –
A good friend of mine, over the time, started ignoring me. I mean, I don’t mind walking out of the life of any person, if I or my presence annoys them because I don’t want to hurt anyone by being in their life if they can’t bear my presence anymore. But, in this case, as I was not aware of what was going on in the mind of my friend, so, I tried to be in touch and for that sake texted once in a while to check if everything is fine or not. Well, indeed my texts were replied, although with a delay every time, and without any excitement of talking to a friend.
I started getting the feeling that my presence does not make much difference in my friend’s life anymore. Still, I brushed away those thoughts, thinking that my friend might be going through a bad phase. However, I guess, the bad phase stretched too long because the same behaviour still continues. Hence, unwillingly, I had to take a tough decision a few days back. I conveyed to my friend that I am walking out of the friendship as I don’t want to bug anyone with my presence, as well as, I don’t want to give anyone an opportunity to ignore me.
As my friend is a good-hearted person so an attempt was made from my friends end to try to stop me. Well, we did exchange texts for a few minutes, after ages. Of all the ‘unsatisfactory’ reasons provided by my friend for such behaviour, the most prominent one was that “I should accept my friend, the way my friend is, as is done by all other friends in the list.”
I calmly replied back that “I will be there whenever my friend needs me but I have made my decision to walk away.” I don’t know if my decision to walk away from a friendship just because I don’t want to make myself available to be on the ignore list is right or wrong and I might even sound rude doing that. However, I do wonder whether my friend would have accepted me and carried on with the relationship if I would have behaved in the same manner or not.
Well, I do believe that ignoring others when they make an attempt to be in touch is what kills the relationship on the very first place so there is no point in dragging it any further when we already know that the other person is not interested in keeping the relationship alive anymore.
Now, after knowing about both the incidences in detail, let’s dig deep inside this statement to find out what does “Accepting someone the way they are” stands for, from the perspective of those expecting others to accept them the way they are, as well as, from the perspective of those accepting others the way they are. I hope, by analyzing both the views, we will be able to reach on to some logical conclusion.
Accept me, the way I am – Isn’t after hearing these 6 words in the form of a statement, the first image we get of the person behind those words is of an Egoistic being? A person, who is self-obsessed and who is not ready to even give it a thought that something needs to be changed at her/his end, forget about changing for their own good. Such a person wants others to accept them with all the flaws (if any) but doesn’t want to accept that there could be something wrong at their end. Isn’t it equivalent to not accepting others the way they are by the same person who expects others to accept her/him the way she/he is?
Accept others, the way they are – If, we accept others as they are then we are agreeing to accept all their nuisances just to be in a relationship. Do you think such kind of relationship is going to last for long? Well, indeed it can last for long, subject to us being submissive in that relationship and allow the other person to use us as per their will. However, as a matter of fact, it will be quite suffocating and one will get tired sooner or later in maintaining such a relationship. At the same time, once we start questioning them or pointing out their mistakes, they will very shamelessly accuse us of creating gaps in or breaking the relationship.
Now, my personal view is that it’s always better to take a firm stand against any kind of unacceptable act in a relationship. If you don’t do it now, you are surely going to regret it later on when things go out of hand. Accepting every nuisance of others and surrendering to their will, just to be in a relationship is quite suffocating, to be honest. As far as I am concerned, after a point, I would rather like to sacrifice my relationship in order to teach someone a lesson so that they don’t behave in the same manner to others.
At least, if a few people break out of the relationship, it will teach such a person a lesson that they need to change for their own good if at all, they want any relationship to work on. People should get to taste what they serve to others, isn’t it? At the same time, it is for their benefit that they change their bad habits or work on their flaws to be a better human being in their life, which is going to help them in the long run.
Herewith, let me make it very clear that not everything we dislike or don’t agree to with others tantamount to an unacceptable act. What is acceptable and unacceptable is highly subjective and depends on a lot of things. We might not agree to someone’s decision but this doesn’t mean that we have to break the relationship just to teach her/him a lesson. That would be simply stupid on our part to do so. So, one should be extra cautious and think with a peaceful mind before taking any decision in such circumstances.
I hope we all understand the beauty of a relationship and try to play our part with utmost honesty and don’t force our feelings and thoughts on others. Do remember that only a free relationship flourishes in the long run. “Let’s agree to always mutually accept the correct ways in a relationship and not the egoistic unacceptable ways of ours.”
Stay in touch.