Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Accepting Another

Question came up last night. Before you can fully accept someone for who they are, do you need to know, or even want to know, everything about them?


Bunny said...

Maybe this is nit-picking the semantics, but you can only ever accept someone for who they are as they are right this moment. You can never know *everything* about someone, but you can only pass judgment on the basis of your own interactions with them. Perhaps the bigger question I want to ask is: why are you judging them for acceptance or rejection? Or are you holding out your opinion of them waiting for some other knowledge about them you don't even know yet?

CMS said...

You can accept a person whenever you want.

But, you can't get to know a person without time. I like what Bunny said... you can only know who they are at this moment. You assemble as many moments as you can and you learn about them.

I guess the bigger concern is the role you accept them for in your life, not whether you accept someone.

Kirsten said...

I don't think its possible to ever know everything about someone, so I think you have to choose to fully accept someone with whatever knowledge you have of them at the time. I have lots more to say on this, but this it is too much to type, and probaby best left for deck conversation :)

Ryan said...

Yea, I like what Bunny said as well about only ever being able to accept someone for who they are right now.

I guess the question was more aimed at a need to know, rather than having to know. For example, when you are in a relationship do you WANT to know everything about that person?

Becky said...

Why do you make my brain hurt so early in the morning????
Bunny has an excellent point I'd like to point out:)
If you want to know everything, can you accept what they tell you?
When I met D, and he may agree with me, we both wanted to know so much about each other....maybe not "everything" at that point but how else do you really get to know someone? Sure you can hang out and talk politics or religion lol...but that ain't gonna do it:)
D and I always talked.....THOSE talks lol....sure I wasn't comfortable with stuff he shared, as I can imagine he wasn't comfy with what I shared....sure it was hard to hear, but if I wanted to know I had to be able to still accept him for who he is and vice versa ya know?
I can accept people for who they are without knowing EVERYTHING about them....hey, I'm friends with you right lol:) (j/k of course)....if I had to know everything about my friends before acceptance, I don't know how many I would really be friends with (no, not you silly!!!)....sounds terrible really now that I read it....
do you have a space limit on this thing?

Ryan said...

Nope, no space limit. :)

This entire question came up in a conversation I was having with someone. She was talking about all the crap women had to go through in order to stay pretty and I said something like "I really don't need to know that stuff" and she said "How can you accept someone for who they are and not want to know everything about them". Thus, this question.

I think that depending on the type of relationship you probably want to know more about the person, particularly the big things. However, I don't think not wanting to know everything about someones prevents you from accepting everything about them.

Becky said...

What's meant by "stay pretty"? Like makeup, hair, fitness?
Ok....maybe it's me....but no, I don't think you need to know about makeup lol....
Dude....I don't even know makeup:)
And hey, beauty is on the inside not that case too...what about people that "put on their face" (makeup, hair perfection)....what not show one's true self and go au natural? Does hiding behind beauty products define who one is? Will you like someone better if makeup makes them prettier?
Personally, I don't understand why women feel the need to make themselves pretty to be accepted or to fit in. Does it show that one may not be comfortable with who they are?
Don't get me stared lol....but get me an Obama sign:)

CMS said...

>>For example, when you are in a relationship do you WANT to know everything about that person?

2 things:

#1 - Be careful what you wish for. If you want to know everything, be ready for it.

#2 - Maybe the other party may want you to know everything for their benefit. So that they know you'll still accept them - crap and all.

CMS said...

Kinda like what Becky said.

Sorry for the repeat :-(

Ryan said...

Thats true. And I think the important crap is necessary. I'm just not sure about the more mundane thing. Although, the more I think about it and sleep on he more I'm starting to think that wanting to know that stuff would lead to a deeper connection.

Bunny said...

I think for the most part the things someone does right now speak so much more to me than a litany of events in their past. I find it interesting and fascinating to learn, for example, about my husband and what events and people helped shape him in to the man today. There are also very, very few things that he could confide in me that would make me change my "judgment" or opinion of him. Maybe he made some bad choices when he was younger (not that he did, just an example) but his actions as a husband and father and my partner for the last 6 years speak volumes to me about the man he is.

Also, I have to say that the notion of "accepting" someone keeps sounding odd to me: do you ever *not* accept someone? What does that look like? Yes, you may choose to spend less time with a person or to change your relationship with them, but they are always and forever who they are, especially if we are considering them to be made up of their past experiences. It just sounds weird to me to think of "rejecting" someone; they are what they are whether you like it (accept it) or not.

SuperMel said...

You can accept someone for who they are right now, but is that the full story? Depends on how long you've known them, and their track record.

For example, suppose I assume a stranger is an active alcoholic based on my observations of his behavior. I accept that, and react to him accordingly (mainly by telling myself NOT TO DATE HIM). But that's just my perception of his actions. Maybe he's just having a hard week and drinking more than usual. I don't really know until I get to know him. And that takes time and a history of interaction until it reaches a confidence level. Then I can assume I know the TRUE person (more or less), not the veneer shown to the general public.

So there's accepting the initial image that's shown to you, there's accepting the fantasy (hoping they'll change into what you want), and there's accepting the true, real person. The last is definitely the hardest, particularly if someone is difficult to get to know. But knowing someone really well, knowing their faults and flaws and what they do to stay pretty and ACCEPTING THE PERSON ANYWAY is the most powerful thing on Earth. At least for me. Reality may be a bitch but staying in it is the only way to go.