Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Note on Accepting Others



I'm in a bit of a mess writing this as I have just 'ugly cried'. Again. Same time, same reason. If I look at the blog post draft I want to write up, I can look at the pretty photos of the beautiful scenery that surrounds me, yet all I can think is "this is such an ugly world". Around this time last year, I wrote a post here on positivity towards those around you. It was meant to be the first in a series of posts on positivity but it never continued since I guess there are some thoughts I just cannot compose on paper or the Internet. I hold up a bit of a barrier. So here is where we go back to square one. Last year's post was completely unprovoked, it was just a change of attitude or way of thinking which has, no joke, changed my life and improved my difficulties with social skills and being close to other people. This year is different though. I can complain about all these problems circulating my mind and I can let them eat me whole, like they are beginning to, or I can do something about it. So I am writing a blogpost to share my opinions with all you lovely people. Warning that I have been doing a lot of reading lately so I apologise in advance for any metaphors or book quotes and I also warn that there is a chance that a lot of you will disagree with my opinions and that's okay too ! 

Slap me, why not, for writing 'all deep' now, but we are growing up in a time where negativity has really taken over and is often considered the trendiest of all. It's become trendy to hate yourself, hate everyone, hate everything. Pick yourself apart, pick everyone else apart and while you're there, why not pick anything to exist apart too ? And it's sad really because everything has a reverse effect - See yourself in a bad light, see everyone else in a bad light because they're competition. See everyone else in a bad light, you sure as heck are going to see yourself in an even worse light ! Your criticism of others will affect your criticism of yourself and the other way around ! Ugly isn't a facial feature, it's a personality trait and you don't need good eyesight to see it. Beautiful isn't a facial feature either and you also don't need good eyesight to see it. Somehow over time, people have found it more comfortable or fitting to spend a whole lot of time expressing their hatred for someone rather than expressing their admiration for someone else. People have found it easier to dislike someone rather than like them when they haven't got to know them enough to develop a proper opinion. And somehow over time, people have forgotten to create their own judgement of people and instead, base their judgement of people off the opinions they hear from others. In no way am I trying to scream "LOVE EVERYONE" here or tell you that it's wrong to dislike certain people in your life because guess what- we're all going to meet people who either we taken a dislike to or they take a dislike to us and events are going to occur where someone crosses the line for the one hundredth time and you say 'hey I can't put up with this sh*t anymore' but that in no way gives you a sparkly ticket to begin viciously gossiping out in the open or treating that person how they treated you because that's called crossing the exact same line and stooping to an even lower level. Bitching is a horrible past time and I don't agree with it. But that doesn't restrict you from having an opinion on that person - rant to a close friend or two in private over a bloody coffee, vent your frustration through a pen into a journal, cut them out of your head and life if they're bothering you that much ! Disliking someone doesn't make you a bad person just as liking someone doesn't make you a good person - it's all in how you handle a situation. 

Back to the 'ugly and beautiful', a lot of the time people tend to see the ugly before the beautiful. We seem to think that a human being can only be one or the other and not both. We seem to think that a human being is a 2D cardboard cut out with 2D feelings and a 2D personality. We seem to think that a human being is obliged to behave the way we want them to and the way we personally do. What we seem to forget is that we're all diverse characters and there are endless amounts of sides to every one of us and we're all staring through warped mirrors at ourselves and one another, seeing different versions of each other. We're left feeling disappointed and angry once we encounter a flaw of someone we think to be trait perfect and we're left conspiring and feeling duped once we encounter kindness of someone we think to be the opposite. I'd liken creating new friendships to setting up a flatpack from IKEA or somewhere (except you've no instructions in this case.) - it starts off as 2D but it has to be built up, in order for it to function. All very toxic, confusing but in the end, worth it. So I'm sitting on these rocks, completely frustrated and upset, thinking "so there's good in bad people and there's bad in good people. Wouldn't that make them all the same ?" At the same time, I'm looking out and I think about when I first came to this spot three weeks ago and how much longer it took me to get up on the rocks and how differently I perceived this place. And then I think of how differently I perceived people. 

The thing is, being a teen and creating friendships is both the best and worst mix. I mean, you can't understand everything going on with yourself the whole time so how are you supposed to understand what's going on with someone else ! It all revolves around the word 'acceptance' because that's all we want - to be accepted, to feel understood and part of something. You want to be accepted but you can't accept yourself so you pick and choose who you accept and that's often influenced by those you want to be accepted by. But accepting a person isn't the same as liking or disliking a person so you may as well accept them anyway as you don't have control over them to change their behavior whether you agree with it or not and unless it's affecting you directly or someone close to you, it's sometimes best to move on if you don't agree with it. 

What I'm getting to is again, my whole 'mantra' that everyone has a flaw. Everyone has both positive and negative traits, everyone's personality is made of beautiful and ugly, nobody is an entirely morally good person and nobody has never hurt someone else. But we're all looking for everyone to be these one hundred percent perfect people who are never going to hurt us or make a decision or opinion we disagree with and we're in denial to the fact that everyone including we, ourselves, are flawed and I feel that's one of the biggest problems as well - picking apart the flaws of others, to distract ourselves from our own. The majority of people have more good in them than bad and sometimes unfortunately you encounter people who are the opposite so you just move on and don't let them affect you.  I tend to see the good in someone before I see the bad and I get used to it leaving me being a bit naive sometimes or feeling a little surprised when I do see the bad but like the metaphor I used last year, we are not in court and we are not a jury. 

Because we're in no way to accept flaws, we pounce on them instead and judge people on one simple action or comment ! Like I said last year - People don't always mean what they say and people don't always think before they speak and unfortunately words cannot be taken back and are used against people for god knows how long and all of a sudden you're deemed a bad person. It doesn't hurt to think outside the box when someone says or does something hurtful or unusual. This doesn't mean justifying or making excuses for their actions but you do have to sometimes think "why is this person acting like this" or are they being influenced by trying to fit in" or maybe they're having a bad day and don't even realise that their words or actions may affect someone. It can be difficult to give someone the benefit of the doubt and sometimes it doesn't end well, but it's the effort that counts. If we all treated every single one of each other like s*it and never stopped complaining because of things said in the past, we wouldn't have anyone left - I know I, for one, would have no family, no friends and I'm pretty sure Plum and Truffle, my rabbits, and Tulip the goldfish would be gone too. Words do stick in people's feelings like daggers though and they stick for a long time. And both sides end up feeling like crap as I don't believe people can be so heartless that they never feel bad for a comment they passed. I also don't believe that it's ever too late to apologise and tell someone that you are genuinely sorry for upsetting them. Speaking of apologies, sorry for being extremely cheesy and cliché here and basically speaking of common sense at times. I generally accept and make amends for when people act like s*itheads because there is always a hidden reason behind their actions. I'm probably repeating myself here, but people unfortunately release their built up emotions by yelling and screaming at people - this is what I do when I have a meltdown at home, sorry mam, dad and Evan. People belittle others so they can hide their weaknesses or insecurities feel better about themselves. People go along with treating a person like s*it because it's the easiest thing to do and they won't be the victim next. I'm pretty sure I've been in every one of these situations in the past, everyone has so I don't feel in a place to judge someone for doing this so I suppose I list the excuses-which-still-doesn't-make-the-behavior-right in my head. But that still doesn't make their actions okay. So, please, always apologise. 

I really don't want to sound like I'm ranting here but I guess what I'm saying is to keep a healthy balance when it comes to attitudes towards other people so recap ! There's good and bad in everyone. Don't be afraid to have different hobbies to or to not agree with the views of those around you - it all makes better conversation or debating in the end ! Remember words can sometimes hurt without us even realising and an apology has never killed anyone. Feel free to have an opinion on someone but don't hurt their feelings by broadcasting it. Look out for your friends, but also look out for yourself. If someone's presence bothers you to the point you feel unnerved or if you feel unnerved by someone appearing to feel bothered by your own presence, get yourself out of the situation or ignore them. I'm hoping to have a more lighthearted post on friendship and the likes up during the week and to be quite honest, writing this whole thing has made me feel a lot better and happier when I think of everything buzzing around my mind. I'm pretty anxious that I either haven't got my points across correctly or  have forgotten something and on an important note, if any of my family or friends read this post, none of this is 'directed or aimed at' any of you because if that was to be the case, it would be aimed at myself too. 

I don't know how to end this post so here's a quote from Paper Towns -  a book that has taught me a lot on acceptance and not expecting people to be how you'd like them to be, it has kind of assisted me through the past month and a half - and my favourite Anne Frank quote. 

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it's going with my girlfriend - but I don't give a shit, man, because you're you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that's okay. They're them. I'm too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That's okay, too. That's me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You're funny, and you're smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.”
"Stop thinking Ben should be you, and he needs to stop thinking you should be him." - Paper Towns 

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion,misery and death." - Anne Frank 

7 comments:

  1. This post really spoke to me. It is so true. These days, there is more of a focus on negativity. What we don't have, can't do, don't look like, and so on. It has created this destructive mindset in so many of us....and it makes being happy, grateful, and appreciative near impossible. It's incredibly sad. I hope that other people read this post and decide to love themselves, be kind to others, and make this world a more beautiful place.
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. YES ! Everything you've said it is so true - it's so difficult to keep a posititve mindset. And I really hope so too :)

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  2. Grace, you wrote this so well. I agree with everything you say, wow I just loved this so much! well done for putting this out there, seriously, I wouldn't have had the heart to. xx I'm sharing this post right now!

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    1. Thanks so much Jane <3 means a lot !

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  3. What a great post! It was full of feelings and I think that all, to accept yourself and ne accepted is a big thing. Sometimes prejudiceso can be harD. I know you told in your post about saying something and after asking :why you said tha? In your Brian. That's typical me. All in all it's a really thankful post thank that I was allowed to read it!
    Lea

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  4. What a great post! It was full of feelings and I think that all, to accept yourself and ne accepted is a big thing. Sometimes prejudiceso can be harD. I know you told in your post about saying something and after asking :why you said tha? In your Brian. That's typical me. All in all it's a really thankful post thank that I was allowed to read it!
    Lea

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    1. Thanks so much :D I love your comment !

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Thank you so much for commenting - It makes my day.