It was Maya Angelou that said, “if people show you who they are, believe them.” It is as of recent that I have truly begun to understand how profound and significant that statement applies to my life.
“If people show you who they are, believe them,” Maya Angelou
In the past and sometimes presently, it’s easy for me to see what I want to see in people. I can ignore certain realities in a person’s characteristic. The effect of this is I don’t let go when I should. I would entangle myself in a romantic relationship that won’t last. I would hold on to friendships that weren’t friendships. I would get disappointed at people for being who they are.
Now, I am learning to accept people for who they are. This means that I question the situation and events. I understand and acknowledge certain traits and characteristics in others. I admit the roles that people have in my life. I then choose whether or not I want that person in my life to occupy the role that they do.
There are some tips that I have which help me accept what is.
Admit What You See
As I mentioned above, in the past I would ignore what I saw in the hopes of what I wanted. For example, in a romantic entanglement, I would ignore that the person was unreliable. I would ignore that I felt negative around them. I would ignore that my feelings for them weren’t really there. At the end of the day, the person would continue to show who they are until I finally had to admit what is and let go. When you admit what you see, it frees you. You decide to do what is truly best for you. When it comes to people in your life, you can’t live in your imagination. Admit what you see.
Let Go of Expectations
A way to accept what is in people is by letting go of expectations. When you let your expectations go of others, you become open to accepting them for who they are. You accept the role they occupy in your life. An example would be for friendships. In the past, I would want more from my friendships. I would want to be able to talk and confide more. To hang out more. It is now that I can realize that the people I wanted more from were constituents, not friends. I had to understand the difference so that I wouldn’t feel hurt when I couldn’t get a deeper connection. I would have to know and accept the people that were confidants or constituents.
If you’re still unsure about the concept of differentiating the roles that people play in your life, the video below helps.
T.D. Jakes shares how to understand different types of people in life.
Don’t Impose Ideas on Others
Back in the university, I had the mindset that I knew everything. I had the mindset that I was always right. Well, I wasn’t. It wasn’t a good mindset to have because then I was always in a rush to speak my mind. I would not be attentive. I wanted people to hear my great ideas. This created distance and at times conflict between others and I. It deterred me from getting close to others. It deterred me from understanding and accepting others. It’s hard to accept others if you’re only fixated on how you’re right. On how you see the world.
We have to be open to another idea. We have to be open to a different perspective. We have to be open to seeing someone for how they are because when we don’t impose, we learn. When we learn, we gain insight. That insight can help us to lead a life where we feel more connected, loved and happier.
Do you have some tips on how to accept people as they are?