So one of my new favorite people right not is definitely Alain de Botton. Alain de Botton is a well-known, writer, philosopher and the inventor of the popular Youtube channel called “The School of Life” all about philosophy. His talk called “Why you will marry the wrong person” has easily become one of my new favorite talks of all time. It is packed with alternative view points of a vast amount of topics, from addiction to anger to love and much more and I definitely recommend you watch it:
Now among the wide range of topics he touches on there is one that has been on the back of my head and that I have been pondering about. He says that in a relationship (and I would say in any kind relationship, not specifically a romantic one), we must learn to become teachers. You must not believe than when someone is trying to tell you something about yourself, that they are attacking you. In reality, according to Alain, they are trying to make you a better person.
We tend to believe that true love means accepting the whole of us. According to Alain, it doesn’t. Because we’re humans, we have flaws, and we definitely have areas we can improve on.
Criticism is merely a wrong word that we apply to a much nobler idea which is to try to become a better version of ourselves.
Plato also touched on this issue, saying that we should let our lover change who we are:
Personally, up until now I was against this idea. I believe that we should accept a person for who they are, and even if we believe they have flaws, we should accept them and allow them to change them in their own time (if ever). Because everyone’s ideals are different, and what I consider ideal maybe totally different and incompatible for someone else.
But after watching Alain’s talk, now I’m not sure. I mean, he is right, no one is perfect, that’s for sure. Maybe the answer is a combination of the two, point out things we believe our significant others can improve on, and if they don’t accept it, accept that they don’t accept it.
I personally believe I am a very difficult person when it comes to accepting. I tend to focus on other peoples ‘flaws’, and they often become deal breakers for me. Maybe it’s time I try to improve myself.
I’d love to hear your opinion on the topic. Should we accept others for who they are, should we try to change them? And if they don’t change, should we move on? Please help me out here.