6 Keys to Accepting Others

You get the most out of dropping your offense and accepting others. Way more than they will. Sounds crazy, yet it is true. We live in a world where leaders promote their side of the story by condemning others. This habit has trickled down to all of us to the point that we condemn others at the drop of a hat. It is so common that it is hard to stop it, or even see the destructive effects it has on our friendships. It can start with something as simple as disagreeing with the bumper sticker on their car!

Accepting others is the solution to condemning. Accepting others is one of those traits that starts with you, extends to others, and ends up blessing you in the end.


How do we reverse the norm and learn to accept others?

Step 1: Ask “Why”

Simon Sinek recommends start with Why in all actions to find your true motivation. Ask yourself, “Why?” don’t you accept someone.  Keep asking Why till you get to your motivation. If the motivation is pure and good, then you have a valid reason to criticize. This is rare.  When my motivation is based on negative reasons, mostly it revolves around something I want to prove or defend.

Step 2: Believe it will bless you.

The next time you start to feel that non-accepting feeling growing within you, do all you can to stop it and stay present without judgment. Then notice what happens inside you. Likely, you will feel relieved and freed up.

Step 3: Accept yourself.

Accepting yourself is far easier to say than do. Our self talk can so quickly point out all the areas and ways we are screw ups. How to stop it?  When I am confident about who I am, the gifts and talents I have to offer, and my purpose, then I have less reason to defend myself by putting others down. Instead, I can put my talents and offerings to work in my church or community. Best of all,

For me, I like to use my gifts to bless others. On a practical level, where do you give of yourself? If your only outlet is work, might I suggest you find a different spot, like Boys and Girls clubs, or reading programs at schools. Not to do more, but to find a place where you can come alive as you give of yourself. The absolute best spot to start to give more of yourself is your spouse. You bet, is it also the hardest. Does it have the greatest rewards? Yes!

Step 4: Ask yourself how a big a deal is this?

We struggle to accept others because we believe what they are doing is a huge deal with significant ramifications. We believe that this thing is going to cause great pain. Really? A good exercise that I have used is to finish the logical conclusion of what will occur if this issue continues out. The LOGICAL conclusion, not the unknown fears. We often focus on the worst possible conclusion, rather than give the person the benefit of the doubt.

Step 5: Stop dwelling on the negative.

Please stop dwelling imperfections. These thoughts lead to confusion and bitterness about the other person. Put the good stuff in there. I was given a great exercise many years ago and it has proven true every time. When I am really upset at someone, I write down 10 things I appreciate about that person. Sometimes it can be super hard to get to 10. Amazingly, usually by about number six, the issue has shrunk and the person is seen as a normal person.

Step 6: Walk in their shoes.

What are they dealing with?  What are their limitations? Many limitations come from past hurts. When I know the path of pain others have walked, I no longer believe they are simply doing this to make my life miserable. Additionally, I gain empathy and understanding for their journey and see them in a new light.

For full disclosure, at times I can’t turn off the critical talk in my head. I go to bed thinking about it. When I see the offensive person, my stomach gets a knot or I want to punch them. For me, this is not the ideal life. It takes real work to change what I think about them. When I reach the point of accepting them as they are, solutions to the issue open up like magic. The biggest blessing at that point is that the weight comes off my shoulders, my heart turns to caring for the other person, and the problems are separated from the relationship.

One simple step to take from this article would be to practice listing positives about the offending person. Watch and see how the weight is lifted from your shoulders!

Question: What other tips do you have for accepting others?

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