Have you ever had a hard time accepting other people? How about being accepted yourself?
Everyone is different. We have different personalities, different beliefs, different cultures, etc. And learning to get along with everyone else is a journey.
But why do people have such hard time accepting other people?
Is it because they are threatened by differences because they are insecure with their own identity?
Could it be that they are controlling or perfectionists who struggle to accept whatever is going on around them?
Are they intolerant of change and afraid that new ideas will disrupt their current worldview?
These and many other reasons could explain why people have such a hard time accepting other people.
But What is Acceptance, Anyway?
Let’s go deeper into the meaning of acceptance.
Sometimes it’s helpful to have a clear working definition of a concept before discussing it.
The dictionary defines it as, “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.”
Life offers us all kinds of situations, people, and material things to use or enjoy as we grow.
We have the choice to either accept them, or reject them. The only other options are to try to change them, or eliminate them from our lives completely.
However, sometimes making this choice is easier said than done. Sometimes, we are stuck with something that we do not like, but must endure anyway.
And here’s where the real power of acceptance comes in to play: you can choose to accept whatever it is anyway.
Even if you don’t like it. Even if you’d rather change or eliminate it.
When resistance is your only alternative, choose to acquiesce. Go with the flow. Let it be.
Life happens on life’s terms. There is a finite amount of control that we have over our own circumstances.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”-Elbert Hubbard
So what’s it going to be? Continue fighting the universe every step of the way? Or letting go and accepting what the universe is offering you?
When it comes to people, this practice of accepting can be especially tricky.
But, if you’re looking for some tips on how to become better at accepting others, here are a few to get you started:
Why Do People Have Such a Hard Time Accepting Other People, and How Can I Be Different?
- Pay attention to your thoughts. When you are attempting to accept someone else, take a moment to check in with yourself about what you are thinking. Are you focusing on what you don’t like about this person, or how they are different from you? Try to redirect your thoughts to something that will create a more accepting environment in your mind.
- Focus on the positive. Is there anything that you like about this person? Can you find one thing that you respect or find interesting about them? If you come up empty, keep looking. There is always something good in every situation. You just have to learn to find it.
- Avoid black & white thinking. When you form an opinion about something or someone, is it an all or nothing affair? Try to find the grey area. Maybe with some moderation in your thinking, you will find that they aren’t so different or as threatening as you thought.
- Reverse the situation. If you were in their shoes and could hear how ruthlessly you were judging them in your mind, how would you feel? Try to find some compassion, and give them a break. They may not be perfect, but guess what? Neither are you. That fact does not make you worthless or repulsive and it doesn’t make others that either.
The next time you meet someone new, give them a chance. Give yourself a chance too, to practice the above strategies. When you no longer have such a hard time accepting other people, you will find the world to be a much more inviting and enjoyable place.
If these ideas work for you, please let us know! Comment below, and like & share these strategies with others who may benefit from them.
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