Life Gets Better When You Learn To Accept People For Who They Are

by Kristin Allen

We have grown up in a generation where everything is at our fingertips. When we don't like something, we change it.

This had allowed us to become more efficient and independent than generations before us, but has it jaded us to the point where we have to change everything we don't like? Even relationships?

I would consider myself a run-of-the-mill Generation-Y girl. I want what I want, when I want it. I don't think that makes me a bad person; I just know what I want and I figure out how to get it.

But, could this be my downfall when it comes to relationships with family, friends and guys?

My guy recently told me, "You can't always get what you want." Okay? It's not like this is a new saying. I mean, it's literally a song title. However, I had never looked at it negatively before; I thought knowing what you want and going after it is a sign of a strong woman.

But, does being a strong woman mean ending up alone?

Cue my period of self-reflection, sad music and drowning my feelings in a sea of chocolate and gummy bears. Upon coming out of my coma of feelings, I decided to give this philosophy a try: Life gets better when you learn to accept others for who they are.

How's it working out? Beautifully.

When you quit trying to change someone, you have so much more energy and capacity to understand who that person is.

You can understand his or her view points because instead of judging this person for not feeling the way you do, you can comprehend what he or she is feeling and why he or she is feeling it. It opens up the lines of communication.

Everyone is different and unique. I know that's common knowledge, but it's so easy to get caught up in yourself and forget that other people might not think, feel or act the way you do, and that's okay. It's what makes us special.

I think for most of us girls, we deal with this mainly in the form of guys. Say he's a perfectionist and because of that, it's hard for him to make a decision because he's afraid of making the wrong one.

You, of course, take this to an extreme of, "You should do this! Do this! Do this!"

But, does your opinion help him? No! It's his choice; pressuring him to do what you want only adds confusion, stress and pressure. It's his life and you can't live it for him, just like he can't live yours for you.

When you accept this person for who he or she is, you essentially give up that control, but you have to be willing to let go of it to make the relationship work.

Nobody wants to be bossed around, and that's definitely not how a relationship dynamic should be. It should be two people coming together with different minds and opinions, challenging each other, but still accepting the differences between you and working together to solve problems.

This philosophy doesn't apply just to guys, but to all relationships -- friendships, coworkers, parents, siblings, etc. And, this definitely doesn't mean just sit back and be railroaded by the other person.

Relationships are a partnership; it takes two to tango, right?

It's easy to take that initial step and say you're going to do something, but committing to it is hard. I am constantly trying to step outside my own mind and think about how my comments or attitude might affect someone else.

Life becomes so much better and easier when you let that control go and just accept people for who they are. When you accept them, you become more open to new friendships and moving further in existing relationships.