Practice Self-Acceptance When You Feel Unaccepted by Family

When you practice self-acceptance it doesn’t matter if you’re not accepted by family.

It would be wonderful if each and every one of us was fully accepted by our family for who we are, what we do, and what we believe in (even if they don’t agree). But unfortunately, many parents and siblings feel they have the right to judge, criticize and advise family members who stray from the path according to their world view.

It’s as though they fear that their world will crumble if the rest of the clan doesn’t act, think, and feel the way they do. Yet in reality, it is our uniqueness that makes us special and creates richness in the world. When family supports us to be our authentic selves, forgives us for our mistakes, and loves us unconditionally, we feel accepted.

So what can you do when you feel unaccepted by family? You can practice self-acceptance. Accepting yourself and your life choices even when others don’t is imperative for living a life of joy and freedom. Without self-acceptance, other people’s opinions become bigger than you; taunting, shaming, or swaying you to make decisions that aren’t a natural fit. When you honor your values, beliefs, gifts and talents, you speak your truth, follow your dreams, and allow others to do the same.

Self-acceptance leads to acceptance of others, which creates a ripple effect into the world. So begin by accepting yourself and your life choices. Here are suggestions on how to do this.

Trust your heart and soul. If you listen to your heart and soul for guidance on what path to follow you will never be led astray. Know one knows what’s best for you except you. When your mind becomes concerned about others’ judgments or rejection, tune into your higher self and trust your heart and soul’s truth.

Refuse to take on invalidation. A person will only feel the sting of invalidation if they take it on. Don’t take your family members’ opinions personally. In reality their judgments have less to do with you and more to do with their own beliefs, programming, conditioning, fears, regrets and insecurities. Stand firm in your life choices and let others deal with their own triggers and reactions.

Stay amused and in a state of non-resistance. What we resist persists, so the minute you tense up against another’s non-accepting tone, comment or behavior, they’ve got you. In order to be bigger than your family’s judgments it helps to be in a state of non-resistance and amusement. Stay relaxed, see the humor in their small mindedness, and remember what’s truly important to you.

Recognize what’s behind others’ judgments. Instead of being hurt or offended by a family member’s judgment of your lifestyle, beliefs, talents or career choices, look at what’s behind the judgment. Judgments come from fear not love. A man raised in the depression era who frets about his children’s financial security will discourage his son from pursuing a career in arts or entertainment. A woman may criticize her husband’s growing interest in a new hobby because she’s worried it will take time away from their relationship. A woman may snicker at her sister’s personal growth journey because she’s concerned they’ll drift apart. Recognizing others’ fears will bring out your compassion and ease the pain of judgment.

Surround yourself with supportive people. Cultivate friendships with people who can see and honor who you really are. Spend as much time as possible in the company of others who have high self-esteem, follow their dreams, and encourage you to do the same.

Love yourself unconditionally. When you fully love yourself, flaws and all, it’s less painful if others don’t accept you or your life choices. Find ways to express love to yourself on a daily basis. Nurture yourself, honor your emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs, compliment yourself regularly, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Even just saying the simple phrase, “I accept myself” feels healing.

What else can you do to practice self-acceptance when you feel unaccepted by family?

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Dear Readers,

I am not able to be on the computer much these days due to my current activities, so I won't be able to respond to comments very often.

I encourage you though, to use the comment section as a place to share your experience, read about others' and to respond to and support each other with your situations.

Take care,

Gini

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4 Responses to Practice Self-Acceptance When You Feel Unaccepted by Family

  1. Georgia says:

    This is a very helpful website, so many people are unhappy due to issues Love Bug address and makes easier to deal with.

    Thank you,
    Georgia :)

  2. Gini Grey says:

    Thanks for your uplifting comment, Georgia! I’m always happy to hear that articles here are helpful.

    Take care,

    Gini

  3. M says:

    I find your points “Refuse to take on invalidation.” and “Stay amused and in a state of non-resistance.” problematic.

    It basically means, develop a thick skin. Which then means our association of love and family is automatically intertwined with cruelty – we expect it. When such family still play passive-aggressive and other games then the “reality” of the situation starts to become messy.

    I think its all very well to say laugh family off – in theory.
    In practice you are just letting yourself open for a lot of hurt, and the problem with our subconscious mind is we dont really no what is affecting us and in what way. We think we have it all under control.

    I have reached the end of the line with my immediate family. I have realised that that same uncompromising unthinking attitude of theirs may also be psychological and emotional issues – ie nutters. When people start lying to themselves and others to avoid taking responsibility, then I begin to question just how “nice” we should be by subjecting ourselves to an unsafe environment. We think they care, and in their own way they do, but really its just years of damage to our own person.

    I have tried so often to communicate my concerns and have been laughed off, ignored and insulted.

    Smile along? Hmm.

    Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

  4. Gini Grey says:

    Hello M,

    I understand what you are saying. Lauging it off, being nice or pretending nothing is wrong is not helpful. Especially when you have a family that is highly dysfunctional. Sometimes the best thing to do is to create healthy boundaries by not being around them and finding friends to be your family so to speak.

    But with “refusing to take on invalidation” what I mean is not taking it so personally that you let it invalidate who you are. When you see that your family members are wounded, in denial, or ‘nutters’, then you know that their words and behaviors aren’t true for you and don’t reflect you who you are. It is still painful not to have the love and acceptance you’d like to have, but you don’t have to add to that by taking what they say seriously. You can have compassion for your family for their own suffering and compassion for yourself for having to put up with them for so long. But then drop it, and focus on what you love about yourself and what you love about them (if you can find anything beyond their behaviors).

    By “staying amused and in a state of non-resistance” we don’t take on their stuff to begin with it. It’s not the same as laughing it off, its more of a state of being. When I am in a light, non-resistant and amused state, I don’t get caught in power struggles, or mind games with my family. I don’t feel as criticized either. It’s as though I am bigger than all of it so they don’t even bother to try and trigger me. It also helps those around me to lighten up and be more conscious.

    Of course, all of this comes from healing our own inner wounds first, otherwise it’s hard not to be triggered. As I have healed my childhood wounds and released the pain, I am much lighter, compassionate and forgiving towards my family. I don’t like to spend too much time with them, but when I do, their whacky behaviors don’t affect me so much as I am in a place of self-acceptance which also helps me to accept them where they are (dsyfunction and all). I don’t buy into their dysfunction, but I stop judging it or trying to change them and let them be where they are, hoping they will become more conscious and healed over time, but not expecting it or counting on it for my happiness.

    Hope this helps to clarify,

    Gini

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