Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If You Can't Beat 'Em...


Am I the only who's noticed that we are all hypocrites?

I have been thinking a lot lately about how we are perceived by other versus how we perceive ourselves. Everyday I face the people around me--family, friends, coworkers, strangers--and they look at me and my clothes and my attitude and judge me. And I judge them. That is how we decide who to be friends with and who to stay away from. If anyone ever tells you they do not judge people or you, they are lying. Everyone is judgmental, but that isn't a bad thing. It is when people allow their judgments of others create prejudices that the problems arise, but I digress.

Think of your family. You don't get to choose your family. Sometimes you don't even like your family. But these are people who share memories and experiences with you. Hopefully, your family contains people who are also your friends. People who you think highly of most of the time and who think highly of you. People who you can count on to be there for you.

Think of your friends, the people you choose to spend your time with. Think of why you like them. What brought you together as friends? What has kept you together as friends? These are people you share memories and experiences with. People who are there for you through the good and bad times. People you speak highly of most of the time and sometimes who you vent about if you are not getting along.

Think of the people you dislike. People who rub you the wrong way, who just get under your skin and piss you off. These are the people you would never spend your time with if you didn't have to. These people may be coworkers, friends of friends, in laws, family, or even people who used to be close friends. These are the people who just don't get it, who's flaw outweigh their virtues.

Now think of this: you are a family, friend, and foe to someone. Some people think highly of you and choose to spend their time with you. And some people cannot stand you.

That is a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around because of my people-pleasing nature. But I know I have parts of my personality that annoy others. It's only logical. But here's the thing: when we dislike someone all we see are their flaws. That person is not real to us. They don't have a family that loves them, they don't have friends who like to hang out with them. The people we dislike are terrible without redeeming qualities. They are the worst. These things aren't entirely true, but that's all we can see.

It's the same with the people we like. Their virtues far outweigh their flaws. We are willing to forgive or overlook their faults and shortcomings because we like who they are as person overall. We like who we are with them and we like them as people. And this is why we are willing to forgive them their grievances--as long as those grievances do not become too grievous.

It seems ridiculous that we are willing to forgive the flaws of one person, but not another. It's a double standard, but everyone does it. That doesn't make it wrong or right and it doesn't make us terrible people for being like this. I think it just makes it part of life that we deal with the best we can.


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