How to Be Accepted for Who You Are

Three Methods:Seeking ValidationAccepting YourselfFinding Support

You may feel unappreciated, or feel like you don’t fit in. This feeling is common, as we all strive to belong and feel included. Just remember that there are people out there who care about you and accept who you are. But most importantly, the first person that you need to please is yourself. Be kind and love yourself. Show others how you want to be treated. Find support in yourself and those you trust.

Method 1
Seeking Validation

  1. 1
    Ask for acceptance. Depending on the situation, you may have an opportunity to voice what you're feeling to others about being unappreciated or feeling like you don't fit in. Sometimes this can help others to understand where you're coming from. This may work best with friends and family, rather that classmates or co-workers who don't know you.[1]
    • Be polite and calm when you are asking for acceptance. Show that you're trying to find some common ground between you and others.
    • Consider saying, "It seems like we might have gotten off on the wrong foot. I hope you can accept what I'm saying and where I'm coming from."
    • For a more direct approach, consider saying, "I hope that you can accept me for who I am. And I will do the same for you."
  2. 2
    Validate others. Help others to understand what acceptance and validation look like. Be present and pay attention to others’ needs. By modeling this behavior, you may help others to understand how to act in return.[2]
    • Listen to difficult things that others are going through. Try walking in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from.
    • Learn to sit with emotions rather than feeling uncomfortable or judged. Consider using this an opportunity to connect with others.
    • For example, if there’s someone in your class that feel is less accepting of you or others, and you see that they’re having a difficult time, think about if there are opportunities to connect with them in a real way. Offer to share something with them. Or simply tell them, “I know it’s been a tough day. I totally understand. I’ve had a tough day too.” Even if they don’t reciprocate, you’re showing them what validation and acceptance look like.
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    Avoid being defensive. Rather than immediately reacting and assuming the worst, have an open heart. While some people may be outright mean, others may not realize that they are making you feel excluded or unappreciated. Before you react, take a step back and take an objective view on the situation.[3]
    • Realize that one bad interaction may not define your future interactions with that person or other people.
    • Avoid withdrawing yourself emotionally from the situation, particularly among people that you care about. Consider taking a risk and trying to make the situation work rather than feeling doubtful. It’s hard to be vulnerable, but sometimes it can help to show others what you’re feeling.
  4. 4
    Accept that not everyone will like you. And that's okay. You can’t control how others think or act, but you can control your own thoughts and actions. Learn to accept what you can change and what you can’t. Aspire to love and cherish yourself as a person, and share that love with others.[4]
    • Focus your efforts on those who care about you. Don’t worry about those who ignore you.
    • Keep and hold onto positive people. Avoid trying to be friends with those who are negative or treat you poorly. Rather than wishing they would be better, use that time to be happier with yourself.

Method 2
Accepting Yourself

  1. 1
    See yourself as worthy. You are a worthwhile person. You have many things to offer. Have confidence in yourself that you are just as deserving as the next person. Avoid dwelling in the past or comparing yourself to others. Consider these ways to remember your value and worth:
    • Look at yourself in the mirror. Instead of focusing on the negatives about yourself, name three things that make you feel good about you.
    • Complete a brief self-affirmation exercise. Write down in a paragraph about the positives you see in yourself and your abilities to achieve a target goal. If you are seeking acceptance from others and yourself, you can focus on this. Use an active voice. Keep it in the present tense, and be positive.[5]
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    Define yourself based on what feels right for you. While you may want to feel like you belong, it’s also important to be honest about what feels right to you. Being a people-pleaser can be exhausting. Find out what matters to you. Define yourself based on that.[6]
    • Don’t feel like you have to change who you are if it feels untrue to yourself.
    • For example, if your friends want to go shopping and you'd rather be doing an art project, think about what matters to you at that time. Maybe you want to be able to spend time with your friends, but you also want some alone time to do creative projects. Be clear with your friends about the value of both time with friends and time to do your art. Good friends will understand that not everything revolves around them.
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    Be kind and genuine. Model the behaviors that you wish to see in other people. Give yourself to others and they will likely give back in return. If others do not reciprocate, avoid feeling upset and sad. Remember those people in your life who do give back and show kindness. We all wish to be treated with respect and honesty. [7]
    • Actively listen when others are talking.
    • Put away the devices and focus on the present when you're with other people.
    • Be courteous and say, "thank you."
    • Say good morning and good afternoon to people. Greet others with kindness.
    • Be empathetic when others are having a difficult time. Give them support through words or hugs.
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    Practice self-care and love of self. To be accepted by others, first you need to accept yourself. Learn to recognize your good qualities. Praise yourself for a job well done. Validate yourself. But also allow yourself to hear the good things that other people say about you. [8]
    • Use words of self-affirmation. Consider saying to yourself, “I accept and love myself” or “I am secure and confident in who I am.”[9]
    • When you’re feeling like you don’t belong, redirect your negative thoughts to positive thoughts about yourself and your life. Think of three things that you like about yourself and your life.

Method 3
Finding Support

  1. 1
    Find people that make you feel accepted. Avoid the people that make you feel worthless. Spend more time with the ones who give you love, kindness, and support. While it takes time to make friends and find genuine people, there are many out there.[10]
    • Talk with a trusted friend or relative about feeling unaccepted. Sometimes being open about what’s bothering you will help you feel less alone.
    • Consider joining a group with like-minded people. It could be a social group at school, or an interest group in the community. Talk with others about what you’re going through.
    • Tell those people who accept you that you appreciate them. Show them that their love has meaning and value.
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    Find ways to relax and let go. Instead of desperately seeking validation from others, find ways to cope with your stress and anxiety about the situation. Focus on what you can control—you. Learn to take a difficult situation in stride. Here are some ways to relax:
    • Listen to music.
    • Find a creative outlet. Write. Draw. Paint. Build. Sculpt.
    • Step away from the situation. Take five deep breaths. Inhale slowly and hold your breath. Exhale slowly.
    • Take a walk. Go for a hike. Ride your bike. Swim. Go for a run. Get active.
  3. 3
    Be healthy in mind and body. Being happy and confident is also about taking care of your mind and body. If you don’t treat them right, no one else will. Exercising your brain and eating healthy can help you feel more confident about who you are and how you’re viewed by others.
    • Eat healthy foods that help your mood. Eat more fish. Get your daily greens. Reduce the caffeine and fatty foods.[11]
    • Consider meditation or yoga. Find ways to clear your mind of negativity.
    • Get good rest. Sometimes being sleep-deprived can affect how you see the world around you. You may feel more judged or stressed.[12]

Article Info

Categories: Personality Traits and Attributes