ASYMMETRY IN RELATIONSHIPS
“Hey, you need to change your attitude mister. You can’t talk to people like that, you need to be nicer, you need to be more patient, you need to spend your money smarter, you can’t do all the things you want.” You need to change this and this and that. Sound familiar?
Chances are you’ve heard “advice” like this. I used to call it advice (when I was immature) but now I call it borderline manipulation and deception and torture.
And furthermore, why is it that people sit around, pointing their finger at others, telling them what and how they need to change, act, and do that gets them off? Isn’t this judging? Yes. More on that in a bit.
Flying above this landscape you’ll see this – everyone in the world is trying to convince everyone else to change! Why can’t we just accept people for who they are? It should be common knowledge by this day in age that nothing, I repeat nothing, gets accomplished trying to prove points by arguing. The only thing accomplished is further entrenching the person in their “old ways.”
How is it that these people get free reign to walk around telling other’s what is (supposedly) wrong with them? Are these people morally superior to the people they’re trying to change? Or maybe these people are simply “smarter” than everyone else, so they know what’s the best recommendation for the people they’re telling to change. Or maybe, just maybe, these “morally superior” people are just trying to keep the spotlight off themselves, in the hopes that no one notices their shortcomings in life. For whatever reason, it’s not right.
Let me be brutally honest – I’m not judging, merely, rebuking, folks who make it a daily practice to tell other people what they need to change about themselves. Talking about this issue of telling other people what they need to change is akin to immigration – there is no silver bullet solution. Or better, it’s like peeling an onion. Once you peel off one layer, the next one appears.
The Bible talks about rebuking people when they do something wrong: a wise person will listen to the rebuke, and the simple minded will not. Like all things, rebuking can be used as a tool, but repeated use day in and day out begs the question of what the person doing the rebuking is really trying to do?
Cutting against of all this rebuking and telling people to change is judging. I’m guilty of this just like everyone else. And isn’t this EXACTLY what the person telling you change is doing? Nobody, I repeat, nobody is perfect – so telling other people what to do and how to do it or what you would like them to change is judging.
I treat others the way I want to be treated – I don’t tell them what they should change, do, or how to act. I let people be themselves.
That’s what the Bible tells us all to do. Even if you’re an Atheist chances are you fundamentally believe in treating others the way you want to be treated.
So let me ask you a question – would you like people telling you every day the things that are wrong with you and the things you need to change? Of course, you wouldn’t. And you know what? The person(s) telling you all these things wouldn’t like this being done to them either! And this breaks Commandment #1 or the Golden Rule which is “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
I’m just making an educated guess here, but I imagine not one of us wants to live in a world where everybody is judging everybody every single day. Sadly, this is the world we live in. And we can all do our part by simply letting people be, however they are. It’s not our job nor mission to point out everyone’s flaws. Sit back, relax, and chill out.
Life is too short to be worried about other people. And we learned when we were growing up arguing is not the way to change someone.