Should we accept people for who they are?

There is this saying that goes “We should accept people for who they are”. It is an advice commonly used, especially when it comes to relationships. And what is it about the person that we have to accept? Usually they are traits that people find generally unacceptable, say for example, laziness or untidiness. We don’t hear people saying that we should accept them for being kind, because the idea of having to accept something pleasant is absurd. With that in mind, I find that advice not useful for it does not make things or people any better, and it is just a convenient excuse to not solve the root problem.

Accepting people for their unacceptable traits will not make things better. The person with the unacceptable trait will not change, and even if he or she gets accepted by other people, at the end of the day, that person who remains the same, suffers. Take for example an egoistic person. An egoistic person is someone who may refuse to accept feedback or constructive criticism due to being self-absorbed. Should we accept them for being egoistic? No, we should not. They should be made aware of themselves and the consequences of being such, so that they can be better versions of themselves. If things remain the same, their egocentricity will affect and may destroy the relationships with other people. So we shouldn’t accept them for who they are, we should help them to be better people.

The advice is also just a convenient way to escape the root problem. Convenience comes about due to laziness. The person who gets that advice and acts upon that is not trying his or her best to solve the issue. Likewise, the other party who insists that “you should accept me for who I am” is also trying to run away from the issue, probably living in self-denial. This is another reason why the advice won’t work as the problem will not be solved, and things will remain unchanged.

As with anything, it takes two hands to clap. We should help the people whom we care about, but they too, need to realise that they’re shortchanging themselves and should change for the better. Maintaining a healthy relationship takes time and effort, and nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

And this is a note to self, always strive to be a better version of yourself and more importantly, be grateful.