"Just be yourself! If they can't handle you, they're not your real friends and you deserve better."
"Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the sake of friendship and change for the better."
Don't get me wrong, I am all for people being themselves. At the same time, I also am for self-improvement and for people to be considerate and not complete douche bags. Sometimes you just gotta sit someone down and change them. And yet you shouldn't change people. Letting them be who they are is real acceptance! We all want people to accept us for who we are, so be a great friend and accept others!
Obviously the real answer is kinda in-between. If someone is down and out and needs a buddy, cheer them up and accept them for who they are. If someone is being a pretentious jerk, you politely pull them aside and take them down a notch. It all comes down to context.
Here is another classic example. "Give to the poor" and "Help the poor help themselves." Obviously you should help those less fortunate than yourself. I hope we can agree on that. But you don't want to just solve all their problems or else they could become dependent. So, where do you draw the line? Unfortunately, we are really, really good at simplified epitaphs (and arguing about them, see politics) and really crummy at figuring out the in-between point. At what point do you stop simply giving stuff away and start weening them towards self-sufficiency?
At what point do you stop just receiving and start giving to a community?
When do you draw the line between bending backwards to make amends and putting your foot down?
How do you discern the inflection between taking an active role in pouring out resources to making sure you take care of yourself?
What are the signs that you should keep off the knee versus power through and strengthen it?
No idea. I guess that's just something you learn and apply case-by-case.
The world isn't black-and-white, it's full of color.
PS: From my new favorite blog:
A lot of the time people think I’m saying you should be yourself, and that’s not exactly what I’m trying to express. The idea that you should be yourself gives off this whole negative thought process endowed by laziness and staying in one place, not pursuing something more. That’s not what I believe. I believe in growth. Growth is beautiful.