Being acceptant doesn’t mean you’re a wimp

Some of us might feel that we need to have a permanently tough exterior. Some of us have surpressed our feelings with great efficiency, especially those emotions that we might deem as softer or more compassionate.

Some of us react really badly to what others say or do. We might be offended, feel tricked, have our pride hurt, be contradicted or feel humiliated. I believe that the list is infinite and I understand that I may not have mentioned one of your specific irritation triggers.

Something is said or done and the 'angry person' often goes on the attack.

Striking out may not be actually physically punching someone. Sarcasm, put downs, showing contempt, foul language and ridicule or even blanking someone are all ways of going on the attack.

“I see things - like how they dress and talk and walk and the TV programmes they watch and … well it really gets me. They are so wrong and stupid. It winds me up... winds me up... so I let them know.”

Some people just let things pass by and don't seem to get wound up at all. Some of us hardly react at all to what others say or do. We are rarely upset or feel deceived. We may have our pride hurt or be challenged, but we let it wash over us.

Something is said or done and the 'acceptant person' seems to remain relaxed.

“I see how others dress and talk and I’m sometimes interested in the ‘what and why’ of their lives and some of the time I just think ‘each to their own’, I relax and get on with my own life. They’re different, but they’re not wrong.”

In my opinion people are not one thing or another - not just simply angry or calm.

There are loads of variables and mixtures in people's tempers. The fact remains that some people cope in a more even and grounded way, whilst others become agitated and lose it.

I used to be firmly in the angry club. Sometimes people didn't even need to say anything to annoy me. Even what I thought they might be thinking aggravated me.

“I used to hear other people talking, “Can’t you be more acceptant – live and let live.” Back then those words didn’t seem to apply to me. Acceptance…? Acceptance…? What are they on about?”

My problem with this acceptance idea was it made me feel like a wimp - a pushover - a fool.

It did not sit easily with me.

  • Acceptance of another persons point of view
  • Acceptance that others were only different and not wrong
  • Acceptance that others accepted me
  • Acceptance that my frustration was mostly coming from inside me

And the big one

  • Acceptance that I have weaknesses

“My instant reaction was, “F**k Off”! I knew who I was and saw myself as a strong, unemotional and effective man. I didn't need to be liked as long as I was respected. I couldn’t see any weaknesses there.”

That was the problem - I couldn't see any weaknesses because I couldn't see myself at all.

After some considerable time and a bit of a struggle I became more self-aware and understood that it takes a strong man to recognise and accept his own weaknesses.

I accepted my weaknesses and my weaknesses melted away.

“Being fixed and rigid in my outlook had made me more defensive and aggressive; twisted my guts and tangled my mind. Being more fluid and acceptant has helped ease me up and give me a fresh way to be me... the real me. I’m no longer fighting with that pain inside and I have more calm headspace.”

Being acceptant has helped make me a stronger man.

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