Humans. We love safety. predictability. So it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people are obsessed with finding acceptance.
Now, I speak not of acceptance in the sense of race, culture, religion or condition but in the sense of character development, intellectual effort and life progress as it were. We often look for, and constantly surround ourselves with friends and people who love us the way we are. Who look over our "quirks" and relate with us all the same. We look for people we can be... safe around.
I however have a serious problem with this because I feel it does more harm than good to our progression and our journey to fulfill our destinies to the fullest. I often go as far as considerion people or.. "friends" who are in such a hurry to accept me the way I am and demand a reciprocation, as enemies. Shocking? Maybe (I'll explain why I do this in a bit) but I personally believe that those who truly love you, must love you too much to leave you the way you are. Especially if "who you are"... currently is nowhere close to the guy you see yourself as in 5+ years time.
This brings me to why I consider such accepting friends as enemies. Think back to when you were younger, you'd notice that if you had parents who truly loved you, they disciplined you in some fashion when you were veering off the path. What you might also remember is that one kid whose parents let him/ her do what he/she wanted. How did that kid turn out?
The mistake we often tend to make is to associate our time for development with the time we are in school or right before we hit 25. We believe that it is possible to ge to a certain age where personal development (character, mannerisms etc.) should be set in stone.(Granted, the longer you've been on a path, the harder it is to change) But I believe that the only excuse you have to stop growing and developing is when you are absolutely sure you have completely fulfilled your destiny and become all that God has intended you to be.
Back to my main point, Any friend that sees me not on the path to becoming the man I've mentioned to that friend over and over again that I'll eventually become, What that tells me is that 1) he/she hates me enough to see me heading towards eventual regret and pain, and still do nothing to stop me. Or more frightening, that the friend can't see me headed towards doom. It's friends like this that are friends with people who have been at and hated their same job for 50 years... When I hear such stories, I imeediately think, What were his friends looking at when he was heading down this path? Chances are he was the "accepting" type friend to those around him as well.
I actively look for people who won't accommodate any mediocrity in my life. I aggressively look for friends who can look me in the eye and tell me the truth rather that "guard my feelings". Such are the friends that yield great men. Problem is, these friends are not very easy to have. A lot of people consider them to be too judgy but they are absolutely essential to you reaching your potential. This obviously means you wont have too many friends. Another principle I'm a strong advocate of.
"Great friends are a rare treasure. "
I personally believe that the only person who should actively play the role of "loving you the way you are" and applying "tough love" where needed is one's spouse and kids when of age (respectfully ofcourse). You need to actively search for those who will treat you differently from "nice strangers" by helping you to become your dream self early enough for you to actually enjoy it and not after a life of avoidable mistakes and consequences of sheer mediocrity.
In conclusion. Toughen up. Leave the "hold my hand & understand with me" sentiment till you're old and grey and people are taking care of you. Thing is, noone ever reached their potential or achieved anything worthwhile without a constant push.