Taking people off pedestals

Yesterday I wrote about taking ourselves off a pedestal. Today it’s about taking others off the pedestals we put them on.

When I was younger, I was too trusting and easily impressionable. That came about as a result of a strength and a weakness. The strength was that I easily saw the best in people. The weakness was that I was desperate for the approval of others.

Today, there are no more pedestals. I’m able to look at a person and see qualities in them that I admire and also see traits that aren’t so appealing to me.

The problem with being an ‘all or nothing person’ is that rather than seeing light and darkness in every human being, you can easily fall into the trap of seeing a person as all good or all bad.

If you perceive them as all bad, you treat them like they’re unclean and you keep a distance. If you view them as all good, you put them on a pedestal and worship them. When you’re around them, everything is about pleasing them and making sure they see the best of you.

That’s unhealthy.

I believe the key to being able to see people clearly and fairly is to become more self aware. Take the time to figure out who you are and in particular, what principles and values you will choose to uphold at any cost in your life.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.” Figure out what you stand for. I’ll share about some tools to help with this next week.

The thing about knowing what you stand for is:

  1. You’ll feel more secure in yourself and not have to rely on the other person for validation.

  2. You’ll have your own set of values and beliefs. They become your guiding light instead of the human you’ve been following around.

Go ahead and push those pedestals out from under people you’ve idolised, whether they’re leaders, celebrities, friends or even your parents. They’re imperfect. By all means, admire the admirable. But you do yourself more damage by worshipping them. And it’s unfair on them - they’re just human.