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touch of painted curls
[self-filter] draft thoughts 
12th-Mar-2004 09:41 pm
dragons
"I respect you as you are, and support your desire to change. :)"

I feel like I've been looking for this statement for years. Sometimes I'd get half of it at a time. I'd say, "It won't affect my opinion of you," or "I love you," or "I don't care about that." Or I'd listen to what the loved one wanted to change, and try to offer helpful suggestions. But these were all failures to some degree.

After writing it, I immediately thought of a dozen times in my life when this is what I was trying to say.

default respect level, default openness. appreciation curves
Comments 
12th-Mar-2004 07:53 pm (UTC)
"you're perfect--and perfection is a process."
12th-Mar-2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
I get this, and the sentiment behind it. :) But I believe it wouldn't have worked in several of the situations I've been faced with. There's more to the story that I haven't written yet. :)

It's crucial that the statement be phrased as an opinion. The difference between "I don't believe you're broken." and "You're not broken." was significant, in one case. The listener may need the independence/freedom that distance provides.

There's also issues with perfection... it risks being taken a flattering lie, even if the speaker believes it. I think even love is a lesser substitute for respect here. I haven't quite worked out why. :)
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