There is a saying, no two fingers are exactly alike. This is so true. Yet, most people don’t know how to accept people as they are.
People are complex, complicated creatures. All over the world, people tend to spend time closely with loved ones, family, and friends who share the same race, religion, and ethnic backgrounds that are familiar, and being accepting of people who are different due to diversity can be challenging.
Not everyone is going to subscribe to your way of thinking or behavior and that’s okay.
It’s difficult to accept that there’s different ways to get the same things done. It can be frustrating when someone chooses to do things differently than you do.
But, they have the right to experience life the way in which they please.
Understandably, your intention may be to help them or to impart wisdom. That’s okay. You can. But, having the expectation that others have to abide by what you share or that they must agree with it may lead to unnecessary arguments and resentment.
Most people want to be accepted and loved for who they are and if you can provide that safe environment for people to open up, you’d be surprised at the fruitful and honest relationships and friendships you can cultivate.
Let’s talk about some themes that are relevant to accepting people as they are.
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6 Tips On Accepting People For Who They Are
1. Provide Acceptance Through Validation
Sometimes, many of us tend to communicate with people who share similar likes as it is easier to do so when our opinions and values remain unchallenged.
But, in life, you’re going to run into people who hold completely different or conflicting views to your own.
Recently, I got into a debate with a friend on a topic.
Admittedly, I was fired up and passionately dismantled their position systematically. But, the conversation turned sour and upsetting because the other person felt as if I was discarding their opinions to prove them wrong.
I didn’t feel good about making them feel ‘defeated’ or like their opinion was not validated.
That’s not an ideal way to challenge different views and perspectives.
It is more productive to be accepting of someone’s views and validating their feelings.
Even if you don’t agree with it, a good starting point is to acknowledge the validity of their position. Don’t make people feel stupid or bad about themselves in the process of discourse.
Had I started with a more validating approach and presented my views and opinions by building on the merits of them rather than the shortcomings of the opposing view, the conversation may have flowed more positively and productively.
In general, paying attention to people and allowing them to express themselves freely can be a great way to build chemistry and rapport.
To accept, perhaps, you should try being more curious to understand people’s beliefs, opinions and behavior without immediately passing a judgment.
Also, validate the things about them that you do understand.
That’s a good way to develop some momentum towards accepting people.
Instead of immediately dealing with their differences, find common ground or things that you do accept.
Recognize those things and then use momentum to build a better understanding and more acceptance towards the things that you are unfamiliar with.
2. Show Empathy
In order to accept people as they are, it requires us to be humble and respectful.
Remember that being this way spreads warmth and kindness, it builds self-esteem not only for you but for the other person as well.
Being empathetic to a person’s situation by not judging someone due to his or her past can be encouraging. I would think this kind of broad-mindedness can be extremely rewarding for both people.
Society in general can be extremely unforgiving.
People are exposed to some individuals who are intolerant of others for superficial or immoral reasons.
People who are different due to their religious, cultural or sexual preferences experience unnecessary name-calling, and shunning of people with these differences can be detrimental to society.
I say this because if we don’t keep an open mind, we lose the chance to see or learn the beauty and gifts of someone different.
So what if you don’t agree with their choices?
This is their right.
Besides, I believe that every person is special and has lots of knowledge to impart.
Just put yourself in that person’s shoes.
Imagine how you would feel if you were judged for your choices.
That pain could knock all your self-esteem.
At the same time, I would be remiss not to mention the importance of holding people accountable for what they do if it is harmful to themselves and others.
Showing empathy can sometimes present itself in the form of accountability.
You can be kind in your approach but firm in your stance.
If your intention is truly noble, it will reflect in your approach and to the reception of your efforts.
Everyone is going through some kind of struggle.
Be empathetic and understanding towards that struggle before you launch into ways in which you think that they should change or improve.
At least accept the fact that they are trying and that they are dealing with certain difficulties.
3. Accept Yourself First
Knowing who you really are is enlightening.
This allows you as a person to be able to self-introspect and accept your own beliefs.
Furthermore, it enables us to be forgiving toward others and forge stronger bonds in relationships.
Why, you may ask? Well, because knowing who you really are allows you to be open-minded in accepting other people’s beliefs, opinions, and values regardless if it does not ring true for you.
Every human being is entitled to their own opinions and accepting someone else’s view does not mean surrendering your own.
It’s the basis of true understanding that others are different and that is okay.
Usually, people who are unaccepting of themselves struggle to be accepting of others.
Your own insecurities end up being reflected in others and the way you torment or judge yourself is projected onto other people.
For this reason, it’s important to accept who you are while striving to develop yourself in a manner that is congruent with your beliefs.
A lot of us can be guilty of not accepting someone because very often it clashes with our beliefs and opinions.
When we develop the necessary tools that help us achieve self acceptance, we’ll be able to use those same tools towards accepting people as they are.
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4. Stop Fearing That Which Is Different
A person may feel that if they’re too accepting, it opens the pathway to be exploited or dominated.
This is why this fear-based outlook must be overcome as one can miss out on seeing beauty through the eyes of another soul.
Fear is a useful emotion when channeled during matters of survival and preservation.
It can even fuel you with the necessary direction and energy needed to thrive and protect yourself and those around you.
But, when your natural state is always fearful, you perceive everything through the scope of fear.
Anything that is remotely different appears as a threat to you.
In that case, fear becomes false evidence appearing real.
Most of the time, this fear prevents you from meeting new people, trying new things, forming new connections and trusting others.
Instead of empowering you, this fear based mindset hinders you and diminishes your ability to grow and develop as a person.
Be sure that your beliefs support a healthy outlook on life that creates power in your actions, associations and thoughts.
If it doesn’t, get rid of it and replace your fearful thoughts with powerful thoughts.
You’ll be much less threatened by people and more accepting of them.
5. Be Respectful
When we take the time to get to know someone with their faults, likes, and dislikes, this shows our caring and compassionate personality.
You build a bridge into that person’s world and like a telescope you get a close up look into experiencing, sharing, and learning new things.
This can be a great source of upliftment.
It can teach you as a person to grow emotionally and make valuable life decisions, not just temporarily but life-altering decisions for your future.
Adopting this open-mindedness can impact your life with great positivity.
When you respect others, the natural effect is to be respected.
Respect begets respect.
You’ll notice that people will be far more accepting and loving towards you if you are respectful towards them.
The first step to healing broken bonds is to exercise respect.
When your instincts are to be respectful, you’ll behave in a manner that makes people feel accepted.
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6. Don’t Try To Change Someone
Welcoming people into your life does not mean that you change your values and opinions or change who you are.
Accepting them for who they are is showing love because if you accept another human being with all their flaws and strengths, it speak volumes.
It shows that your strength and positive personality would bring out the best qualities in every person you encounter.
Instead of changing people, what if you were to shift your focus into empowering people or helping people to heal.
Inevitably, you’re going to encounter people who are self destructive.
It would be unloving to not want them to change this behavior.
But, people who are set in their ways have a problem with being challenged to change.
Change is scary for a lot of people.
The unknown can trigger feelings of fear and anxiety.
Rather than selling them on why they need to change to avoid self destruction, motivate them to heal by highlighting all that they can accomplish and create by unlocking their best self.
Our world is diverse.
I urge each and every one of you out there reading this to take a leap of faith.
Trust in humanity, and explore mother earth by stepping out and traveling, the skies and oceans to broaden your horizons.
Indulge in learning about people with different lifestyles. Then only do we appreciate others.
Smile and keep an open mind.
You may surely be surprised.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to accept people as they are. If you have any suggestions or thoughts on this topic, I’d love it if you would leave a comment below.