Insight into Self-acceptance

Self-Acceptance Enhances Relationships

The positive impact of learning self-acceptance is that we are able to accept others more.

When we do not judge ourselves harshly, we don't tend to judge others harshly either.

When we have patience with the parts of ourselves we don't like, we will have patience with aspects of others we don't like.

When we don't accept our deepest desires and thoughts, and face our vulnerabilities, it is difficult to have close relationships.

To be intimate with another is to risk exposing the real 'me' to another.

Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? By John Powell

He explores ways in which we may adopt roles and play psychological games in order to protect ourselves from feeling insecure and unvalued.

If there is part of us that we would rather keep hidden, we put a barrier up around ourselves.

Having the courage to instead accept those parts will remove that barrier, and help us to deepen our relationships with family, friends and work colleagues in a healthy way.

In Thomas Harris' book : I'm ok, You're ok,' he describes four ways in which self-acceptance affects our relational style.

  • I'm Not OK, You're OK

This is saying that we are inferior to others.

We can be dependent upon others' approval of us to meet our deep needs – for security, value and worth.

Co-dependent relationships are very often one-sided and unhealthy.

  • I'm Not OK, You're Not OK

This response would be acceptable if we recognise 'there is no one righteous, not even me', (Rom. 3:10).

A negative attitude of critics may, rejection, self-pity and anger towards self, which we then project onto others, can create a wall around a person leading to isolation and distress.

This is not healthy.

  • I'm OK, You're Not OK

A person with this attitude can be arrogant and contemptuous, imagining themselves to be superior in every way.

Alternatively, they can be independent and self-sufficient, keeping others at arms length.

This is not healthy.

  • I'm OK, You're OK

This is the healthy way to relate to others.

When we value ourselves in spite of our weaknesses and faults – which is what self-acceptance is – we automatically communicate to others that they are also acceptable beings of value, just as they are, without pointing out their faults and weaknesses.

People who relate in this way are comfortable in their own skin and comfortable with others – even when there are differences and disagreements.

In order to enjoy good and healthy relationships it's important we receive the grace of God to accept who we are and live out the bodily principle, 'I'm OK, You're OK.'

Personal reflection

Sometimes when things go wrong, which for me can be quite often! We will retreat back into our shells, our own protective little bubbles where no one can hurt us. At the time we always believe that's the best thing to do. However, in my experience this means avoidance and more emotional issues!

As we mature in our lives, we made little changes as we begin to understand more about ourselves, and what we want to achieve. I suppose you could say that we are more laid back, willing to accept ourselves as well as the people we live with!

I think that this post reflects accurately on our culture and society today…

Now it's time for you to be honest and reflect upon yourself and relationships that you are involved in, believe in yourself, no ones perfect!


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