By Kim Leatherdale
January- the month for making and breaking resolutions. Many people make resolutions centered around how they will interact with others. “This year I’ll be nicer… or speak up… or communicate better… or listen more.” “I’ll spend more quality time with my kids (or grandkids.)” “I’m going to create better relationships with my family.”
However, healthy interactions with others start by accepting others. That’s the rub and the more difficult thing to do than change a few words you use.
How do you accept others? Even when they have done something you are unhappy with?
It may sound cliche, but accepting others starts by accepting yourself. You accept yourself through the practice of healthy self esteem. Healthy self esteem recognizes we all have successes and failings. In addition everyone has intrinsic worth which is not increased nor decreased by actions, words, or thoughts- it just exists. The founding fathers were right, all men (humans) are created equal.
When you wrap your head around intrinsic worth of self and realize everyone has it, than acceptance becomes easier. No one is better or less than another. We can be upset or pleased by someone’s behavior, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are a human being with worth.
As a couples’ counselor, I can attest to the importance of acceptance in relationships. No one person will ever give you all that you want in a relationship. Be they spouse, child, sibling, friend, parent, or colleague, every person has successes and failures. If you can’t accept that truth in yourself and others, you’ll never be able to have an authentic relationship.
About the Author: Kim Leatherdale is a licensed professional counselor and relationship blogger. She offers on-line, phone, and in office counseling and relationship coaching. For more information visit her website: CreatingRewardingRelationships, Facebook page: CreatingRewardingRelationships, or Twitter account: HappyCoupleXprt “