Last month I blogged about how acceptance of self is important and a good thing. Today’s blog post is on how being too accepting can be a bad thing. There are many ways to be accepting or not to be accepting, and either way can be good, or not so good, depending on the subject matter.
Acceptance of what we cannot control helps our stress levels and allows us to focus on what we can change. However, accepting situations – in which we can make a difference – and turning a blind eye can be detrimental, not just to the person or the cause being affected but also to our own self-identity and esteem.
In the past, I used to be too accepting and would allow individuals to tell lies about others, not speak up when there was an obvious injustice happening, and fail to be vocal about what is right or wrong in the face of someone more domineering than myself. As I have gotten older, I have learned to take the higher road and not be so afraid to speak up when it is the right thing to do.
When is the last time you wondered if you should have spoken up or not? How did you feel? Did you feel deflated? Were you left with the feeling that perhaps standing up for that cause or the person in need would have made all the difference?
Sometimes, when we are too accepting of situations, whether it is out of fear of being reprimanded, overridden, or ridiculed by someone with a stronger personality or more information, it becomes a habit. And soon, we don’t even notice when it is the perfect opportunity, or right time, to be speaking up.
Just like anything else in life, a person needs to question hearsay, the “norm,” or information which sounds doubtful. The difficulty is in learning how to develop the self-esteem to speak up when truth is being twisted, a lie is being promoted as truth, or someone is being mistreated.
It is not easy to “call out” the offender. But, you can start small. When being accused of something you did or didn’t do, you can admit the truth and you can own up to what you did or did not do. It’s scary, at first, but over time, you will develop your integrity. As your confidence increases, you will eventually start to speak for others who may still lack the confidence to speak out when needed.
Eventually, there will come that point where you will question if you want or need to start speaking out about subjects in the wider community. Do you remain quiet and accept certain agendas in the public arena? Do you let others do the speaking for you? Are there other ways you can make a difference without being confrontational?
Learning what to accept and what not to accept will depend on many things but, most importantly, how they impact your life and the people around you. There are fine lines between acceptance and becoming apathetic (not caring or being concerned enough), being too outspoken (caring too much to the point of interrupting your own life rhythm), and not knowing what to accept and what not to accept.
For me, I have learned that every situation is different. I try to observe a situation. If it bears immediate intervention, then of course I do my best to diffuse a situation, whether I agree with the subject at hand or not. If the situation does not need immediate attention, I contemplate a course of action, discern my place in the equation, and research as many angles as possible to be as forearmed as possible.
If you are unsure how to proceed, stepping back, giving a situation more time, and even letting someone else assist is more than likely the best plan. Just remember accepting that a certain course is best is not the same as giving up. Acceptance is a personal decision. Only you can decide if you are being too accepting or not. Develop the courage to know when it is right to be less accepting of wrong-doing.
Being too accepting is good if you want to coast through life. But if you are looking to make a difference, then taking action is more appropriate. Most important is listening to our spirit within and following a course of action that honors all those involved. The outcome of any situation should always be for the better.
As always, please check out my book if you haven’t already, “HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within.” It makes a great gift for anyone. It’s a nonfiction, inspirational, easy-to-read, feel-good kind of book.
Please take time to leave me a review, donate a copy to your local library, and even place a copy in a “little free library.” If you do so, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org as I am tracking getting my book into as many libraries as possible. Thank you.