The Question At Hand: How do I learn to accept others for what or who they are? Do things easily get on your nerves or challenge your patience?
One of the keys to learning how to accept people for who they are and how to accept situations for what they are is to consider appreciation.
Appreciation means the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something (consider this, irrespective of you). I italicized the word “recognition” because all we really have to do to appreciate is just acknowledge a generally good quality and then like the fact that in and of itself, it is a good quality, period. C’mon, is that really so hard?
Think about some of the things that you appreciate — some quiet time, someone offering help, a bonus of any sort, a pet, a great friend, an open parking space in a usually busy area, flexibility and so on, right?
Now try to think of all of the things that you can appreciate about people who challenge your cool. Think of a few life situations that challenge your cool. Take your time.
Answer this now — what qualities or characteristics can you appreciate about these people and situations? At first you may think, “NONE!”, that’s a normal reaction, but try to go beyond that. If learning how to be more accepting, tolerant, calm and peaceful are qualities that you would like to further grow into, then you’ve got to come up with more than “NONE!”. HINT: It will probably help to be objective about it — think of the qualities and characteristics of the person(s)/situations in the world at large, in general, irrespective of you. What might others, other places and spaces appreciate about the people and situations that particularly challenge you?
Do you think it’s possible for you to appreciate these qualities, too?
When you discover that there are actually things to appreciate in challenging situations and in challenging person(s)/personalities (and this exercise requires you to discover things), it will undoubtedly help you to limit the blame game and promises to keep your perspective open and clear, as well as your heart open and clear. Why wouldn’t you want that? This is sanity people.
When we can appreciate things and people for what they are, we are practicing acceptance for what is. There may still be comments we want to make, things we want to change, and conclusions to draw, but while we’re thinking all that we can also draw our hearts and minds to what there is to appreciate in people/situations — objective of your personal experience. Again, if it’s difficult to even think about doing this, go back to contemplating the things you yourself appreciate, next take the the leap to contemplating what may be appreciated about this person(s)/situation. Each time that you practice appreciation brings you nearer to embodying the qualities of acceptance, tolerance, calmness, and peacefulness that you desire.