Let People Be Who They Are

You let people be who they are. I read this in Then Again, Diane Keaton’s memoir (which I enjoyed, which I recommend.) Goldie Hawn had said it, claiming to have reached a time in her life when this was possible.  It struck me because of what a complex idea it is, stated with such simplicity.

I woke up thinking about this kind of acceptance, what it means to let go of my expectations of others (and myself).  There have been many times in my life when I have wanted to question people, their motivations, why they behave a certain way.  It’s not something I do often (though of course I have, we all have, haven’t we?)  If someone is unkind, should we not tell that person?  You kicked the puppy!  Why did you kick the puppy?!   

I wonder, how important is it to question who a person is, to fight it?

I don’t know.  It’s complicated, like I said.  Not so simple, right?  What do you think?

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7 thoughts on “Let People Be Who They Are

  1. I find this to be an interesting question after the post I just posted about people who do horrible things. Yes, acceptance and love for all, but zero tolerance for those whose actions hurt others. Or puppies 🙂

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  2. I find this to be an interesting question after the post I just posted about people who do horrible things. Yes, acceptance and love for all, but zero tolerance for those whose actions hurt others. Or puppies 🙂

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  3. It is impossible to change others, we can only change ourselves. That's where I think the wisdom of that statement comes from. Too many people think they can change others to see their own viewpoint if only they argue loudly enough, or debate long enough or whatever.

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  4. Acceptance is an important thing to some people. I've always strived to not judge others, even when society doesn't agree. It's important to let people be who they are. It's how they learn, grow and change other's lives as well. Not always in the best way, either.

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  5. Hmm…I have mixed feelings about this. I think it is very important to love people as they are. But I hate the “this is just how I am” excuse people give for bad behavior. I guess I believe in loving people, but expecting people to try and be the best they can be. That is what I expect of myself.

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  6. Ew! I like this concept. It sounds really hard, though. I'm always wondering why people act certain ways, do certain things… especially while driving–LOL! 😀

    But I love it. Must start trying this. Thanks, Melissa!

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  7. This is pretty deep and it's also pretty hard to live out….like my mind immediately accepted this as a problem I have, letting people be who they are and accepting them fully that way in interpersonal relationships for example. I'm not thinking so much about accepting wrong viewpoints they might have or bad behavior, but say emotional expressiveness, thoughtfulness, how they choose to spend their time, unwind, what they value in different things, how much they open up, etc. I think you know…placing expectations on people based on how I feel is the appropriate way to act in a friendship is unfair. (obviously I'm not talking about big stuff here but little stuff) I think it's kind of hard in a way because we have certain expectations for ourselves and then we turn around and measure others by those same standards. We love our differences, but we also find them frightening because they make us feel isolated.

    I mean, I'm rambling, sorry, but I think the thing we all long for is to be loved and accepted exactly as we are. So it's a great gift to be able to extend that to others and say, I see you, and I accept you as the person you are, not the person that I wish you would be.

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