In the book, Thanks for the Feedback, author Douglas Stone poses the following question:
When we say “accept me as I am”, are we really just asking for immunity from critique?
More often than not, I think the answer is a clear “yes”. We certainly should try to view others through that lens, and accept people for who they are, but we rarely should say that about ourselves.
I’ve seen it said a different way that when someone says something like “this is just how I am“, frequently in response to poor behavior, they’re silently hiding the second part of that sentence that says “… and I have no intention of doing anything about it“.
- I’m rude to servers at restaurants, but just accept me as I am.
- I yell at the referees at my 8-year-old’s soccer game, but just accept me as I am.
- I show up late everywhere I go, but just accept me as I am.
There are aspects of our friends and family that we should absolutely accept as they are and still love them, but if you ever find yourself defending your own behavior with that kind of sentiment, it’s worth digging a little deeper.