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Five Good Reasons For Accepting People As They Are*

There’s a good reason why dogs are considered “man’s best friend.”   They offer us unconditional acceptance! Even when we’re mad at them or mistreat them, they accept us–often with a wagging tale!

Now with people, that’s quite a different story.   We are not nearly as accepting of others, particularly when they irritate us with their annoying habits and traits.

Do you think our pets know something we don’t?

Perhaps, if we considered the benefits of accepting others as they are, we might be more willing to try.

Five benefits of accepting people as they are.

1.   It avoids resentment and dissension.  Who likes being told what to do and how to be?  Not me.  Do you?   Isn’t it really the same as being told that we are not “good enough?”

2.  It brings closeness.   When people know that you truly accept them, trust develops, they open up more to you, and a closer bond develops.   In particular, it improves relationships with our children, our loved one, and family members.

3.  You experience greater personal growth.   When you accept others, your focus changes from them to you, which allows you to work on fostering your unique skills and talents as well as improving your shortcomings.

4.  It enables you to let go of control and enjoy the many awards that occur when you do.

5.  You have more peace and serenity in your life from the above benefits.

I realize that accepting people’s annoying traits, idiosyncrasies and the like can be very challenging.    It is important to remember, however, that accepting people as they are does not mean you have to like or condone their annoying ways, but simply that you need to accept that is the way they are and that you are powerless over changing them.  So why waste all the time, energy–and serenity–trying?

Your assignment this week:  Be more accepting of others!

In the meantime, remember to,

Let It Go–and Accept “What Is!”

and Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral!


*This very post ultimately led (seven years later) to the publication of The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are, which has garnered multiple book awards, including being named a Best Wellness Book of 2018 by Library Journal and a 2018 Book of the Year Award Finalist in family and relationships by Foreword Reviews.

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  • Galen Pearl
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    As others have noted, “dog” is “God” spelled backwards. Notice that this does not work for “cat.” Coincidence? I think not. Of course, this is only true in English!

    • Katherine Vanderfin
      Posted December 6, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Galen; Your article opened my eyes. I have been feeling down due to criticism from others. I don’t think like a lot of people I know and meet. This opened my eyes to look up. There is “one”, who does not call us to conform ourselves to be like others. I had to open my mind up to how He views me. I then realized, I am who He created me to be. So my focus has changed from questioning who I am and how I don’t line up with how other’s view things. I’ve realized, that I need to surround myself with those who believe in who I am. It’s okay if I don’t line up with them.

      • Post Author
        Daniel A. Miller
        Posted December 6, 2020 at 5:19 pm

        Hi Galen, I am so glad you found my article on acceptance helpful. So often criticism and judgement by others has more to do with THEM than us; their fears, their insecurities, their shortcomings,and the like. In my experience, most of the time these people are controllers.

        • Post Author
          Daniel A. Miller
          Posted December 6, 2020 at 5:25 pm

          Katherine, I meant to respond to your comment and inadvertently addressed it to Galen.

  • Heinz Studer
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Indeed, it is so true, and I have been making the mistakes again, not to accept certain people’s annoying traits. All I did was waste my own time and energy and I have been hurting myself. I have to turn things around again, glad to read Danny’s five good reasons. The dog example is brilliant, and I love and accept my sweet Labrador Timi.

  • Barkha
    Posted February 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Wonderful article. My dog, Bruno, in fact is kind of my own role model. She is such a wonderful being. Sometimes when I think of her, I feel as though I’m very little in front of her. Dog’s are amazing, and so are you for writing this article. Accepting others is something I have been struggling with, and now I’ve found a bit more inspiration 🙂

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Thank you for your kind words, Barkha.

  • Makste
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    This is the one of the many things I’d love to work on. Accepting people for who they are without wishing they would behave in a different way. Thanks a lot.

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Your welcome! Accepting people for how they are is challenging because it often requires us to let go of anger and resentment, and as you so rightly say, our wishes about them.
      Like most things, however, the more you work on it, the easier it becomes.

      • Misty Amber Morgan
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:42 am

        I agree. This is true the big thing and key word is when upset LET IT GO. DON’T CARRY IT with you until it HURTS SO BAD. Of we tried to accept people for who they are blind black white disabled or just a neighbo a mom or grandma it doesn’t mean we have to hurt them just accept them or leave them alone. I’m 49 and I feel like my own daughter disrespects and good out of her way to hurt me. I’ve done everything to try to prove my love but it just send to make her resent me even more.

        • Post Author
          Daniel A. Miller
          Posted October 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

          Misty, perhaps you are trying too hard to prove your love for your daughter. Consider letting go of trying so much and see if that helps.

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  • Terry
    Posted April 21, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I am having extreme trouble with this one lately. That is why I searched and found this. I want too be more accepting of other’s differences. Because it is making me miserable and not bothering them at all.

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted April 28, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Terry, I write about this dilemma in my most recent post, The Control-Misery Link. The same is true with non-acceptance. When we don’t accept the differences of others, we’re usually trying to control or change them. And when they don’t change their ways, we become resentful. The late Carrie Fisher said something like resentment is “our taking the poison and believing the other person is going to die.” I have found it helpful to focus on the things I LIKE and enjoy about the person, as well trying to be more humble in the sense that “my way is not necessarily the right way–particularly for others.”

      You can now download a preview chapter from my forthcoming book on the subject, The Blessings of Acceptance, which discusses the keys to accepting others as they are and life as it is.

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