How To Get People To Accept Me For Who I Am
Finding people who accept you fully as you are can be hard sometimes, and lasting friendships typically take time and effort to build. If you are frequently feeling like people don’t really understand you, you may find yourself wondering, “why can't people just accept me for who I am?” This can feel painful, but there are ways on how to practice self acceptance and move forward. Here, we’ll offer a few tips for how to find people who accept you for who you truly are—including accepting yourself, first.
Tips For Getting Others To Accept You As You Are
Accept Yourself First
It can be easy for many of us to sometimes 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 involves accepting yourself for all that you are, both positive and negative. But this can often be easier said than done. It can be hard for us to accurately gauge ourselves sometimes, and many of us are harder on ourselves than we should be.
Included below are some tips to practice self-acceptance:
Celebrate your strengths.
Practice self-gratitude by listing what you’re grateful for in your life each day.
Accept your weaknesses and imperfections, and know that acceptance simply means that you’re accepting that something is a reality without passing judgement on it.
Be kind to yourself, which 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. For some, this may mean creating a healthy boundary with social media.
Believe in yourself.
If you’re truly happy with yourself, then you can feel more safe in who you are as you embark on making new relationships and growing with others. Other people’s judgements will matter less. Plus, 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, you can always work on them.
Reflect On The Situation
Even when you fully accept yourself, sometimes your best self may still not “click” with others. When someone doesn’t seem to accept you for who you are, it may help to take a step back and review the situation.
There are multiple possible explanations for why someone may not seem accepting of you, and it can help to consider the possibilities. For instance, in some cases, it could be possible that you are misreading the situation or jumping to incorrect conclusions about how they feel. Have they clearly expressed that they don’t accept you, or are you jumping to this conclusion based on shaky clues? In other cases, it could be that there was a miscommunication of some sorts. As you reflect on the situation, do you feel you accurately expressed who you are to that person, or is it possible you said something you didn’t mean or did something that could be misinterpreted? If that’s the case, you may consider reaching back out, apologizing, and clarifying.
Finally, it is possible that, in some cases, this person really does not accept you for who you are. That happens, and it is not a reflection of your worth. Not everyone we meet in life will accept us for who we are. This can hurt sometimes, but we also cannot change to please everyone while still being true to ourselves. If needed, you can set boundaries with people who bring too much negativity in your life.
3. Accept Others For Who They Are
If you are seeking authentic acceptance from other people, it can be important to also offer that same acceptance to others. If you are hoping that someone else will accept you for who you are, but you are rejecting them for who they are, that doesn’t seem like a very fair exchange.
Just as you are trying to practice self-acceptance, try to practice nonjudgement as you learn more about this person, too. If you’re having a difficult time doing that, try to think about where they are coming from and the positive 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 way to practice accepting others it to be there for people when they are in need, rather than just when times are good. Imagine what you might want in that situation. Listen to that person and try to empathize with what they’re going through without judgement. This may help you build empathy and cultivate a stronger, more authentic bond with this person.
4. Seek Out Like-Minded People
Some people click more than others, and some people just don’t mix. If you are having trouble finding people who accept you for who you are, it may help to intentionally meet new people and seek out people that you may have more in common with.
For instance, if you love to read, you may consider joining a book club to meet people with that same interest. Or, if you love to play sports, you could join a local volleyball team or kickball team, for example. Or, if you’d like to just meet a lot of new people in general, you can try out various community events or volunteering opportunities. Exposing yourself to a wide variety of people and places may open you up to new possibilities and new people who you connect with deeply as your true self. And when you meet those people who bring positivity and acceptance into your life, try to keep them close and make sure they know they are appreciated.
5. Get Support Through Therapy
All of these processes can come with a lot of self-reflection and growth, and they may feel challenging at times. For additional support, you can speak with a therapist for help. A trained professional can help you sort through your view of yourself, improve your self-esteem, and cultivate strong relationship skills, among other things.
In fact, research has found that online therapy can be effective for boosting self-esteem. For instance, one such study examined the “secondary” benefits of an online depression intervention. It concluded that an internet-based program for depression “may increase personal empowerment, and improve self-esteem and quality of life.”
If you frequently feel like others don’t get you or don’t accept you, the idea of going to a new place and meeting with a stranger face-to-face may feel a bit intimidating. In these cases, online therapy may feel a bit more comfortable—you can meet with your therapist virtually, and from wherever you feel most yourself, so long as you have an internet connection.
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.
If you are trying to find people who accept you for who you really are, you can try incorporating some of the tips above, such as accepting yourself first, accepting others, and seeking out like-minded people. For additional support, you can meet with an online therapist from the comfort of your home to discuss your concerns and find ways to move forward.
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