I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched new romance blossom between friends, only to find a few months later both of them trying to change the very things about their partners they found attractive in the first place. It’s maddening, really. Why do we do stupid things like that? Girls, if you’re attracted to bad boys, why do you expect your bad boys to suddenly grow wings? Or men, if you’re attracted to wild women, why are you surprised when your woman is not Suzy Homemaker? For the sake of sanity … stop trying to change people from who they are to whom you want them to be. It’s a losing battle.
It isn’t just romantic couples who do this, but this strange anomaly (please note the hint of sarcasm) happens in every relationship of our lives – from our friends and families to co-workers and associates. The things that usually excites us about each other, is often the very thing we seek to change upon entering into any serious form of relationship.
I’m learning to identify what I like about someone and why? But then I also think about how that trait would affect me in a more personal level. I.e. – If I admire someone for being career-driven, focused, putting their passion above everything else, then I have to consider that more than likely any social or personal relationship I have with that person will have to come second to their driven passions. It’s shame on us if we want to change anything about them.
I’m not saying I couldn’t have a romance with such a person, but it would be wrong of me to want them to change their devotion and focus from their career to me. What would be healthy is that I appreciate them for who they are, and build a relationship remembering and celebrating those traits into something that would work for us both.
If he likes alone time… give him time alone. Don’t gripe and complain that he’s not spending all his time with you. Plan your time together, but leave room for him to be alone.
If she likes to be silly with her friends, be the life of the parties …don’t expect her to stay home and cuddle all the time. Let her be with her friends, or go watch and admire her spread her wings.
If you have a co-worker that performs miracles with a hands-off approach, don’t stand over their shoulders and micro-manage them. Trust them to excel in the traits you admire in them, and that trust you show them will be returned in the quality of the work they perform.
If you admire the complete openness and blatant honesty of your friend, then don’t get angry at them when they express that same open honesty when it comes to things you don’t agree. Appreciate them for their open honesty, and be prepared to sometimes hear what might hurt your flesh just a bit.
Do I always treat everyone in my life with this form of fairness? No. But, I’m working on it. I don’t want to possess someone, I want to appreciate them. I’m learning to see them for who they are, not for who I want them to be in my life. I can only hope they return the favor.
Till next time,