Imagine how peaceful the world would be if no one needed any praise. There’d be barely any overt fashion trends, unnecessary communications of forced attention, and there certainly wouldn’t be many Instagram selfies. People would simply relax into themselves, recognizing the ‘okayness’ of the moment, accepting themselves for who they are without requiring constant affirmation.

Therein lies the truth of things: everything is, excluding tragedies and whatnot, basically ok. You are ok as you are, and any forced ‘improvement’ is usually just mere vanity. Tragedy is even recovered from in time. The world requires our patience, and, more importantly, our acceptance.

If you can learn to accept yourself, there’s no need to coax others into gratifying your ego. Conversely, you won’t find yourself surrounded with people who make you feel like you’re trading attention for attention, affirmation for affirmation, judgement for judgement.

And, interestingly enough, when you accept yourself, you refrain from adopting behaviors that make you do things to harm yourself and others. I’ve spent many a party or social gathering wondering when everyone is just going to cut the flattery, stop swallowing their anxiety and feigning genuineness, and stop trying to impress one another.

In my experience, the most rewarding and interesting relationships develop when two people decide to stop trying to fool one another into believing a falsely cultivated persona. Accept yourself, accept others. It’s a lot easier than always fighting for attention.