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Dialog

Quest for Acceptance

In her Ted Talk “When do kids start to care about other people’s opinion?” psychologist Sara Valencia Botto speaks about her study done on children to get the answer to her question. Remarkably the results of her study are something that we all will find astonishing. The study found that kids as early as in their infant years start taking cues from others responses to their acts and hence chose their actions in public accordingly. Deep down these may result in behaviour development and personality traits. So even before learning to eat and walk independently and comfortably; kids have already started the work in crafting out their personalities. And what is the source for same, our constrained and at times may be very rigid response patterns; that are derived from the age old defined ways of life.
This study and the result actually speak volumes about the effect of sense of reputation and feeling of being accepted have on our choices and behaviours. As such deep down all of us have different intuitive patterns and natural choices. However social acceptance parameters act as a filter between how we feel and how we showcase our feelings.
In a way it is good method to keep the society well behaved and may be picture perfect. However the invasion of this method to minute level in our lives makes life a theatrical script to be acted upon rather than a natural play. There is no one way to live life or for that matter make a choice. Labelling certain patterns as good or bad, characterizing the behaviours is the basic sociological attribute of groups.
During the course of life trying to fit in the acceptable list, we end up being suffocated and bottled up inside. Getting “A” grade from everyone becomes our sole motto in life. It is really sweet to care about others responses and comfort; however it is not our responsibility to satisfy everyone. Leave that to nature. Our natural and genuine self is the best gift we can give to our every relation. Just like people around us have the luck to enjoy our accommodating and comforting part, they have to shoulder the responsibility to make room for our differing opinions and ways. By keeping our natural feelings bottled, we are evading our relations from the depth and maturity.
Standing out and holding to our opinion may not keep us in good books; however we surely will have our bookmark created in people’s mind. One caution here is not to allow this become a stubborn pattern and matter of ego. There should always be scope to see, analyse and accept.
We cannot expect everyone to accept our differing opinions in positive way, but that is okay. With time we learn to live with differences and it will be comforting as well as soothing. However if we start the process of fitting in, it will always be frustrating inside and can never make genuine and comforting connections.
Clear and nice view, howsoever discomforting it may be is always better for insight that a blurred and confused beautiful version.
Look for and invest in relations and people around you, who are ready to allow you to come with your natural self with no filtering. To end it, will quote Brene Brown from “Braving the wilderness” to guide us to continue on our journey of being genuine rather than embarking on the quest for acceptance.
If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in”

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