Self acceptance

Amber - Greenville, Ohio
Entered on March 31, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in acceptance, personal acceptance and the acceptance of others. Being told by parents and teachers and authority figures to accept people for who they are and accept your self sounds easy enough, but to truly do that is one of the hardest things us as humans can actually do. We are always seeking acceptance from others like “do you like my hair, do these jeans look alright.” I find it hard to make new friends because I am such an introvert. My friends are only my friends because we have gone through so much together. We have had the same life experiences. I sometimes reevaluate my friendships. I have 3 close friends which I feel like we can share anything with each other and quite frequently do, but why? We are all completely different people at different stages in our life and we have very little in common except that we have always been there. We have all accepted each other for who we are. Making new friends I am too analytical. Like “well they look funny, well they live too far away, well they look like they have nothing in common with me.” I am too quick to judge, it is instinct. I look at a person and just from appearance and maybe a little conversation, or lack thereof, have already figured out where they are in life and whether they would give me the time of day or if I would want them to. It is truly hard to not judge a person, we all do it. I believe high school is one of the times that they (being authority) stresses the most about acceptance and we (being the younger) say we understand and will accept no matter what. We hear stories of people not being accepted and how they radically lashed out or were lashed out at and we all say “that is awful, how could this happen?” yet we completely ignore it in our own little world with out knowing that we are. Growing up in a small town makes acceptance even harder. There are fewer people that you might have a connection with and you are more and likely to end up on your own. It is always said, put yourself in their shoes. It is very true, it is about the only way you can tolerate people sometimes. Really it is. The hardest time I have an understanding person is when some makes it clear of their mal-intent of me and it is easier just to fight back, be angry, and non-forgiving. “Why do they hate me so much I haven’t done anything to them? I just exist how can that be a crime?” When you go to a gas station and there is someone there waiting in line behind you and for no reason they are ill mannered towards you and think that you shouldn’t even exist? What is that? Are we so wrapped up in our own little world that we think anyone around us doesn’t matter? People have always been this way. We can’t blame it on the internet or our lack of connectivity with real people or the times. People for throughout history have fought wars because they are not accepting of others or their ideas. That is really what it is all about. If next time we just stop and think for a second before responding to that angry person we may think, “Okay why are they mad at me? What caused them to be this way? They aren’t completely evil. They haven’t been completely without some form of happiness in their life.” Then try to be apologetic without apologizing for who you are, but the situation they might be in. Return with not fake sarcastic niceness, which is so easy to do sometimes and make them hate you genuinely, but return with sincere niceness that may make them stop and think about themselves for a moment and rethink why they are angry at you. So even though I have had much experience at being hated, I stop and instead of trying to come up with a quirky nasty comment try, no matter how hard, to be genuinely nice to people. It makes me stop and think, “Do I judge my friends as harshly?” No, I don’t because I accepted them long ago as they have accepted me. We take each other for who we truly are, faults bad decisions, and bad outfits. Of course that doesn’t stop us from a well timed comment or two all in good fun of course. Imperfections are what make us who we are. Only when we see others can we truly see ourselves. I don’t know if that is someone else’s quote or my own I will have to look that up, but it sounds about right.