How To Get People To Accept Me For Who I Am

Updated October 7, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Even under the best of circumstances, it seems that everyone around you just doesn't "get you." When it happens over and over again, it leaves you wondering if there's something wrong with you or with them. "Why can't people just accept me for who I am?" It's a valid question that begs some additional insightful questions. Do you need to tweak some things about yourself? Do you need to change your approach to others? Or do you just need to find the right crowd?

When you want people to accept the true you, it's important to understand that lasting friendship takes time and effort. That means offering acceptance to them as well as expecting them to accept you.

Offering The Best Version Of Yourself

Difficult Feelings May Arise When Others Don't Relate To Us

While it may seem at odds with your ultimate goal, the first question you should ask is if you like yourself. It’s easy for us, as humans, to focus on negative thoughts and qualities and what we don’t have when we compare ourselves to others. If you’re constantly putting yourself down, fixating on your failures, or finding reasons for other people not to like you, it might help to work on your self-acceptance first.

Self-acceptance may seem self-explanatory: it’s accepting yourself for all that you are, both positive and negative. It can be hard for us to accurately gauge ourselves sometimes, though. Your goal is to get the most realistic viewpoint of yourself possible and love and appreciate yourself throughout that.

Some tips to practice self-acceptance are:

  • Celebrate your strengths
  • Practice self-gratitude by listing what you’re grateful for in your life each day
  • Forgive yourself
  • Accept your weaknesses and imperfections (and know that acceptance is simply that: you’re accepting that something is a reality without passing judgement on it)
  • Be kind to yourself. That includes taking care of your body and mind. When you’re talking to yourself in a fashion that seems mean, ask yourself if you would talk to a friend that way.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others (which may mean creating a healthy boundary with social media in this day and age)
  • Believe in yourself

If you’re truly happy with yourself, then you’ll be secure in who you are as you embark on making new relationships and growing with others. Other people’s judgements will matter less. Your additional confidence may also be a draw to the people you’re trying to meet!

As you seek acceptance, remember to be true to your genuine self. While still being genuine, you can also practice kindness with others by being present with them, actively listening, and being empathetic. If some of those skills don’t come naturally to you already, remember that you can always work on them. (One way to do that is with a counselor on BetterHelp.)

What Should I Do If Someone Still Doesn’t Accept Me?

While being happy with yourself is incredibly important, sometimes our best self may not “click” with others. When someone refuses to accept you for who you are, take a step back and review the situation. It's not always the words you say, but the way that you come off to others. Instead of being defensive about whatever just happened, try to think objectively about whether you projected the right attitude, tone, and body language to communicate what you really wanted to say. If you're completely honest with yourself, you might learn that your communication skills need a little tweaking.

It's never too late to go back and say, "Hey, I'm not sure that came across as I intended it. What I meant to say was…"

They may be able to give you the acceptance you need if they know what they need to work on, and they also might be able to give you some feedback on where you can grow for them.

It’s important to know that not everyone we meet in life will accept us for who we are. If this person is important to you, it’sgood to practice self-reflection but, at the end of the day, we also cannot change to please everyone while still being true to ourselves. Know that it’s OK to avoid some people (as much as you can, depending on the relationship) who bring too much negativity in your life.

Accept Me For Who I Am And I Will Accept You For Who You Are

Getting people to accept you as you also means accepting them as they are, even when their political, religious, or other views are in stark contrast to yours. One thing to keep in mind is that none of us know everything in the world and also that sometimes we can grow by adjusting our opinions.

Like with yourself, try to practice nonjudgement as you learn more about this person. If you’re having a difficult time doing that, think about where they are coming from and the good traits this person has.

If they have a viewpoint that is in stark contrast to yours, you can let them know that your views may be different but that you still respect your opinions. You might also learn that you have more in common with this person than you originally thought, and you might also find ways to grow yourself as a person too.

If you end up not particularly liking this person, part of acceptance is still understanding that you cannot control the thoughts or actions of other people.  

Another good way to practice accepting others it to validate people when they are in need. Imagine what you might want in that situation. Listen to that person and empathize with what they’re going through without judgement. While you should always do this from an authentic place, you may also teach others how to practice acceptance and validation, and someone else may be able to help you when you are next in need.

Finding An Accepting Crowd

In reality, sometimes people just don't mix. Expose yourself to a wide variety of people and places. Join a sport or a club. Look for meetup groups in your local area. Attend some events in your community or do some volunteering.

You're sure to find someone within your network that accepts the real you. When you do, be as selfless as possible. Let your best self shine through. Cultivate friendships over time. Those who accept you as you are will become apparent as your friendships grow.

And when you those people who bring positivity and acceptance into your life, keep them close and make sure they know they are appreciated.

All of these processes can come with a lot of self-seeking and self-growth. The expert counselors at BetterHelp.com can help you sort through your view of yourself more objectively, improve your self-esteem, and cultivate good relationship skills.

It’s easy to think that therapy is only for people with serious mental health issues. In reality, anyone can benefit from therapy. Discussing your emotions has been proven to be good for your brain, and 75 percent of people who have tried therapy say they’ve benefited from it in some way. HuffPost wrote an article about some of the day-to-day benefits people might gain, including a better sense of self and purpose, strengthened problem-solving skills, and the ability to cope better when problems do arise. Online therapy likely has the same benefits! The research done so far indicates that for a problem that isn’t severe, common types of talk therapy are just as effective online as they are in a traditional office.

Difficult Feelings May Arise When Others Don't Relate To Us

There are some great benefits to online therapy that you should consider as well. If you’re someone who has trouble leaving your house, whether for physical or emotional reasons or if you just have an incredibly busy schedule, online therapy could be a good option. There’s no need to travel to an office. You can reach out to your counselor anywhere you’re comfortable as long as you have a reliable, secure internet connection. Another great perk is that online therapy tends to be more affordable than traditional therapy.

If you’re interested in hearing more, here are some reviews from recent BetterHelp users about their experience with their counselors.

“Patricia has helped me cope with a lot of childhood traumas, helped me be more proactive about all aspects of my life. Most importantly, she has helped me with self-esteem, anxiety and depression. I'm so grateful for her and how she has added so much value in my life!” Read more on Patricia Mohn.

“Sean has been a great therapist and helped me navigate a very difficult time in my life. I would definitely recommend him to others, especially those that are trying to work on positive and healthy relationships like myself because he’s a good listener and helps keep me accountable to goals I’ve made for self-improvement.” Read more on Sean Miller.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns

Speak with a Licensed Therapist
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