“Don’t put me on a pedestal, for I am sure to fall. Just love me as I am flaws and all.”
– Author Unknown
It is great to admire, respect and look up to those who are excelling in some area of life or be impressed by someone’s exceptional wisdom. To be sure, another’s brilliance can inspire us to new actions, and encourage us by the heroic acts that they do.
However, appreciating someone’s talents and abilities is certainly much different than putting them on a pedestal and idealizing them in some way.
While it might seem flattering to put someone in an elevated place, it actually isn’t fair to them or us. When we hold others in a glorified position, we are holding them to a higher standard than those less exalted, and often seeing ourselves in a lower level position.
This imbalanced delegation of power can cause us to diminish our own special skills, while at the same time, placing exceedingly unrealistic expectations on the object of our affection as well.
Mirroring certain attributes we appreciate and admire in someone else isn’t necessarily harmful unless we are trying to be someone else or copying their way of life in exchange for our own.
Though we hear that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it can take on a negative twist when it blurs the lines between our lives and the one we emulate.
Equally destructive is the adverse reactions experienced when the object of our admiration doesn’t live up to the high expectations or character of whom we created them to be. The ensuing judgments of them can become harsh and disproportionately out of focus as well.
So, instead of putting someone on a pedestal, we can look to achieve a more balanced perspective by simply appreciating their talents and abilities while at the same time equally appreciating our own as well.
Assess if you have placed someone on a pedestal, and use it as a signal to rejuvenate aspects of your own life, and to treat yourself as an equal.