It’s inherent human nature to want others to like the things we like. This is especially true in relationships.
Wanting our partner to be ‘just like us’ is just a method that provides validation of our own self-worth, ideas, and opinions. Subconsciously many people need the validation of knowing that there are others who share their opinions and beliefs.
This can either be a blessing or a curse; some people want others to act and behave the same way they do so badly that they will get frustrated, angry, and even venomous toward other people who do not share their own habits or beliefs. In relationships, this turns into control and contempt, which will devastate the relationship. They don’t like what you like so you look down on them, they don’t agree with you and your values so, therefore, their standards must be lower than yours… if only they saw it the way you saw it, their life would be better, right? We want to believe that changing their mind or habits to conform to what we think is right or wrong is the best option for them.
The truth is, this is just a deep need for self-validation. A chance to prove that our own self-worth, habits, opinions, and ideas are worthy of recognition and repetition.
For example, you hate sports, you think it is a major waste of time, money, and energy; and therefore anyone who does like sports is wasting their time, energy, and money. You can take it a step further… people who like sports are stupid, in fact, you loathe anyone who likes sports. You can even turn to hate when you see someone who likes sports. This downward thinking mentality of needing to validate ourselves by forcing others to be like us has caused so much hate and violence during the course of human history is amazing.
The ability to see people as equals despite the difference is a position of strength of mind and character. Mentally strong and stable people respect other people’s opinions and beliefs. They do not use frustration, anger, or hate to bend others to what they think is right… this is a position of weakness and insecurity.
Seeing that someone is different than us, and loving them anyway, is strength.
Seeing someone is different from us and becoming frustrated, angry, or hateful because they do not share the same values, habits, ideas or opinions is weakness and insecurity.