Yesterday I spoke about accepting people where they are; of course I am tolerant in the politically correct way that many people are today. I endeavor not to judge people on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc.
But when I think about the people closest to me and the way I react to them sometimes, I realise that I’m not exactly the embodiment of acceptance, a fact that I’m a bit ashamed to admit. Whether it’s getting annoyed at a colleague for playing their music loudly in the break area or getting frustrated with my brother for always being late, I’m frequently in positions where my expectations of what others should be doing cause me not to accept others for who they are.
Acceptance of where other people are means ditching judgment and expectations of how you think people should act.
But how do we do this?
- Watch Your Thoughts. Think about what you are thinking about. To be completely honest, I often think things about other people, judging them, without even realising it. I have been working on on paying more attention to my thoughts and do my best to push them in a non-judgmental, more accepting direction.
- Look For The Positive. Not accepting others is a result of seeing the negative in them. Instead of focusing on why someone is different, why not focus on what is good about that person and his/her choices and actions. My way is not always the best one.
- Avoid Right/Wrong Separations. It is very tempting to see the world in black and white with a right and wrong way to do things, but that’s just not how it is. Things do not have to be right or wrong if I choose to accept people as they are. I’m going to stop labeling my way as “right.”
- Stop Judging Yourself. Our judgments of others are often a result of our personal criticisms. If I stop putting pressure on myself to do things the “right” way, I will also stop putting pressure on others as well. Not judging myself or others is a crucial step to acceptance.
- Focus On The Now. A lack of acceptance can generate from comparing things to the past. I’m not going to think about what happened before and try to live accordingly; I’m going to think about now. Comparing things to the past always hinders an acceptance of what is.
- Reverse The Situation. I ask myself: What if someone were judging me and not accepting me? How would I feel? I’ll keep these questions in mind the next time I’m not accepting others. I will imagine someone constantly telling me to slow down (and how annoying that would be!).
I have some work to do when it comes to accepting others – especially those closest to me. It is so easy to abstractly think of yourself as an accepting person, but when it comes to your daily interactions, really pay attention to them and ask yourself if you are accepting others as they are.
Are you really accepting them? Are you really not thinking your way of doing things is the best way?
If you find that you are not as accepting of others as you would like to be, think about the six ideas above and see if they don’t help you to be a more accepting, more loving person.
The only way to live a positive and present life is to accept what is, something you certainly can’t do if you don’t accept others for who they are.