Everyone is perfect just as they are, as long as you know how you want to position yourself in relation to them.

Stephanie Winn
2 min readJun 8, 2021

Wishing other people would change is an almost universal part of the human struggle. It often comes with a lot of pain and frustration. We release some of that fruitless struggle as we begin to accept life as it is, and people as they are. This maturation process brings lightness, serenity, and the freedom to move on with our own endeavors. It requires the humility to recognize we cannot fully know why things are as they are, or what purpose is being fulfilled by that which seems inane to us. It also asks that we maintain the dignity to validate our own way of being without needing the other to mirror us.

Let’s be clear: accepting reality as it is does not mean maintaining an uncomfortable position within that reality. If anything, taking off our rose-colored glasses enlightens and liberates us. We stop wasting our time and energy on argument, self-doubt, wishful thinking, and unfulfilling endeavors to cajole and coerce. We understand that, for all intents and purposes, “what you see is what you get.” We listen to behavior and take it at face value as an indicator of what we can and cannot reasonably expect from a given person. And then we plot our course accordingly.

Maybe this means someone is no longer in our life. Maybe it means we go “gray rock” to avoid further emotional entanglement with an otherwise unavoidable person. Maybe we mentally relocate “best friend” to “friend,” “friend” to “acquaintance,” “potential future spouse” to “not dating material after all,” “aunt I tell everything to” to “aunt I chat about weather and sports with,” “celebrity I admire” to “celebrity who’s done some great performances but isn’t a good role model.”

None of this requires the other’s knowledge or consent. It’s just a strategy to protect our own peace of mind. We form the right constellations around us as we choose the right proximity, angle, distance and clustering of our fellow stars in the galaxy.

Everyone is perfect just as they are, as long as you know how you want to position yourself in relation to them.

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Stephanie Winn

Counselor, Airbnb host, houseplant collector, barefoot wanderer