Everybody can be described as weird or strange in some way. You know who I am talking about. Everyone has that wierd neighbor who you can’t figure out, or that strange relative that seems to make bad decisions, or the co-worker that says some of the strangest things, or that kid in school who has few social skills. When you picture these people in your mind, how do you feel toward them? Do you enjoy knowing them by letting them be who they are? Or, do you get frustrated or even angry because of the person they are? You may avoid them so that you don’t have to deal with their strangeness.
I am not providing any advice here as someone who has mastered this. There are people in my life today who I can’t figure out. But I keep reminding myself that I don’t need to figure them out? What would happen if I just accepted them for who they are?
A person I have known for a number of years seems to rub other people the wrong way. I see people avoid this person, share their frustrations about this person to other people, and even assume things about this person that no one knows is true (and probably isn’t true).
Even if this person “deserves” it (when I say deserves I mean they are rude, mean to people, are self centered, don’t care about you, etc.), why do I waste my energy avoiding, being frustrated, or spreading rumors? I’ll blog in another post why I think people do this, but the point here is to stop wasting your time and energy. Accept them for who they are.
Even if they are weird, make bad decisions, say strange things, or don’t have social skills. Accept them for who they are.
For some of you who know me, I could very easily be that person in your life. I am not going to change who I am. As Popeye would say, “I yam what I yam”. As I mentioned before, I think being weird is a thing to aspire to.
Questions to ask to determine if you are wasting your time and energy:
- Does my frustration cause any change in the person?
- Do bad decisions made by this person have any effect on me?
- If this person says something embarrasing, what difference does it make? Really?
- Does lack of social skills really get in the way of having a relationship with this person?
- Am I really any better than this person? Maybe in their eyes I am just as weird.
- Can my friendship with this person help them, help me, or help both of us? (the answer is probably yes)
You may find a surprising friendship.
“Is it weird in here, or is it just me?” – Steven Wright
Who are you avoiding unnecessarily? When have you just accepted someone strange for being who they are?