We hear it all the time but what does it mean? I think it means that people are just people so accept them as they are. That’s great, but I also think there’s more to it.
I grew up in what can only really be considered a bubble. Most people had the same political, social, and religious opinions. I happened to be a punk-ass-looking kid with purple hair, too much eye makeup, and a whole lot of black clothing. Not to mention, I was someone who spoke up for feminism and gay rights. Let’s just say I wasn’t popular with a lot of people. I’m pretty sure most parents thought I was taking their kids behind the school to smoke weed, talk about sex (or worse!), and generally cause corruption.
I wasn’t. I was a really nice, harmless person and what was hurtful was that people weren’t seeing me for who I actually was.
This has happened in my young adult life too. I recently had a thorough falling out with someone I used to consider a friend. The most painful aspect of it was the realization that she never accepted who I actually am. I did not meet the expectations of the person and friend she wanted me to be.
I’ve been on the opposite side of that as well, thinking I knew someone, when I really didn’t.
After discussing this with others I’m learning my experiences are not unique. This happens to people all the time.
To be fully in any relationship, be it friendship, love, or family, you need to see the other person for who they actually are and you need to let them see you too. Choose to care about or love someone but recognize they’re faulty humans. It’ll be a substantially more honest and fulfilling relationship than putting someone on a pedestal.
It’s awesome to see the good in someone. It’s great if they have traits you like and want to be around. That’s probably what drew you to them in the first place, but don’t let seeing the good block you from seeing the whole person or cloud reality about them. Be objective. Everyone has quirks and a little bit of a dark side. A good practice is to weigh if those things are big enough issues to keep that person in your life or cut them loose.
That friend breakup of mine revealed some of what could have helped us be better friends but also revealed her dark side and the realization that I had no need to keep someone like her in my life. Lessons learned. Now I know to meet people where they are–accept them–but also recognize when they are no longer worth keeping in my life. I hope people can be honest enough to do the same with me.
What about you? Have you ever put somebody on a pedestal or thought you knew somebody when you really didn’t? Were they worth keeping in your life? What lessons did you learn ?