I'm going to say something here, and some of you aren't going to like it. In order to be in a relationship, in order to have people in your life, you're going to have to change. [Gasp] That's right. Cause I sure hear it often - basically, "Take me for who I am, as I am, or not at all". And to that I say, you sound naive. Very naive.
You compromise when dating (When should we see each other next? What restaurant do you want to eat at? What entertainment shall we watch/do now? etc., etc.) You compromise when you're in a relationship (Whose family are we going to spend Christmas day with? How long do we have to stay? Do I have to do that [fill in the blank] activity you like?) You compromise when you live together (I hate when you leave your towels and clothes on the floor. Oh? Well I don't like feeling like I live with a cop who is constantly on me about things. I don't care if things are messy, and on and on.) You compromise for marriage (Where are we going to live now? Well my mother is ill and needs help. But my career is just starting to take off and I am established here. I want this room to be an office. Well I want it as a gaming room. Yada yada.)
Those are examples of compromise. Maybe now you're saying, "Well I can handle those things. What I'm talking about is him/her trying to change me." But what is change, but compromising for another person, and altering the way you do things to make it easier and more pleasant being with another person. You do it for harmony. You do it to eliminate conflict. You do it so that your home, or your life together, the time you spend together is a thing of comfort, not friction.
We all know that people who live singly for many, many years (and apparently even moreso ones who grew up without other siblings - they get a very bad rap) have compromised the least. It's wonderful to have your independence, and to be able to do everything just the way you want it. But this isn't just about an S.O. This also relates to feeling comfortable with compromise and change, in general. It actually is a useful life skill to have. Rigid thinking stagnates. Entrenched minds do not prosper. One of the keys to life is adaptability. Eccentric people are good for a laugh and do make life interesting for a time, but eventually they just get labelled 'weird.' Another skill is finding ways, coping mechanisms, to pick yourself up after a great setback or tragedy. These are not entirely unrelated to the changes that another person may ask of you.
No living creature stays static. Mother Nature exists on a pendulum - with both bountiful and lean times. And all the wild things that live upon it try and find ways to survive this ebb and flow. Humans have found more complex coping mechanisms, and have used their proprotionally enormous brains to outhink many of these problems. We are thriving, by some accounts and metrics of analysis. We think we are special, the chosen species, deserving of all that we sew. But our lives do not remain constant either. We do not live on a constant upwards tragectory. We are also at the mercy of many forces, and we can be our own worst enemy. We are not perfect, or infallible, or ever truly finished. We can be whole, yes, but it would be arrogant to think that, at any age, we no longer have room for change.
I could give examples, both trivial and significant, but they may not be the examples in [your] head. They may mean very little to you, personally. You are thinking about the unreasonable requests or criticisms you've received. And yes, those certainly do exist. They may, in fact, be common. And you have a right to pushback against these. You do not have to be a chameleon, adapting to any and every person or situation (though I will say that those types of people are often really well liked.) And you are not a piece of clay, to be moulded to someone's image or their idea of their perfect person, whatever they desire. You are a unique, never to be repeated, autonomous individual, and you should be appreciated for that. Anyone who is in your life and can't or won't recognize that may not be someone who needs to be in your life (aside from family and work associates, where you have less choice in the matter.)
But... there is no person, no place, no environment, no future time where you will not have to compromise who you are (not your core values, but many more trivial, less meaningful things about you or your preferences) in order to find harmony and peace in this world. You can't resist this forever. And you can't resent every person who ever asked or expected or hoped for one or more things about you to change. They are not always wrong. And you are not always wrong. Sometimes the change that will be asked of you will be a benefit to you. They are not all selfish to the other person. Some people genuinely want you to grow as a person (be that be healthier, more financially stable, take less irrational risks, communicate more with people and therefore have a richer life sharing it with others...) And if it's not something like this... if it's something so stupid and trivial, then why not just do it? What is the exact request that bothers you so much? Are you resisting for the sake of resisting, because you hate any hint of expectation (you might call it 'oppression'), duty, or just someone not accepting you. I understand. If the person doesn't seem to accept you in general, if they are very critical, if they really chronically nagging, then yes, You don't have to put up with that. But be realistic about who you are, what you are. Is this more about you, or them?
Because this is one truth about life - you will not stay as you are. The you today will not be the you of the future. Thank god. Wouldn't you bore yourself to tears if you were? Wouldn't you get sick of yourself? The brain needs novelty, the brain needs change. So if it comes at the request or encouragement or suggestion of another, does it really matter? One life. That's what you've got here on Earth, at this place and this time. Don't squander it. Your partner, and the people in your life, can make you better. Even people you don't spend time with in person, like for instance people that you meet here on #G@G - they can expand your mind, introduce you to new ideas and new ways of thinking about yourself and the world, if you allow it. But you must first be open to the idea of change. It begins there. I am not suggesting to you to accept the world wholly as it is. Far from it, actually. I believe that conscious, rational, reasoned, well thought-out activism, and open-mindedness and compassion towards others can change and benefit the world, or just an individual. But you also can not only try and change the world around you, without also accepting the possibility of changing yourself.