In order to feel whole, we must have a sense of being accepted. We strive for acceptance. All of us desire to have our whole selves be fully accepted, warts and all. Many of us work to fit in with what we think others will find acceptable, and in so doing, we diminish, suppress, or learn to hate parts of our self. We long for acceptance. Similarly to understanding, do not confuse acceptance with passively agreeing. We can still expect change, cooperation, and compromise even when we accept greatly.

Actions that cultivate personal Acceptance:

  • Allow your emotions to express with openness and without trying to change them or rush them.
  • Feeling your physical sensations with openness and with the intent to understand, as if they’re communicating something important with you–because they are.
  • Practice observing yourself, others, and the world mindfully–paying attention on purpose to self, people, and things in the present moment without judgment.
  • Practice a breath and/or body meditation.

Actions that cultivate interpersonal Acceptance:

  • Listen without interrupting.
  • Lean in (literally), when appropriate, to show acceptance through your body language.
  • Reflective listening.
  • Practice empathy.
  • Practice sincere curiosity.
  • Be very slow to respond.
  • Stating to the person who has shared with you, “Thank you for telling me.”