Letting go, the difference between acceptance and approval (in communication).
There’s a huge difference between accepting something an approving something. I remember learning this was a tremendous epiphany. I wanted to write about this for a while, but I just thought about it a few minutes ago when there was this tiny discussion on Facebook at an event page. It was a nice little conversation actually if I consider the outcome, which was that everyone’s free to speak out, even if you experience it as unpleasant and deplore negative comments. When you speak out, you do it for yourself. That applies to both sides pro or con. Confrontation is rarely gracious and that you don’t want it, does not necessarily mean it’s not what you need as well.
We all see it regularly. People disagreeing on eachother’s opinions, sometimes in a healthy conversation and sometimes in a major conflict where loads of people are involved. Just now I reacted on a post too, because of what I think is important. In this matter specificly about the subject I’m writing about now: that speaking out on what makes you feel a certain way is very important and that it’s not wrong of both sides to disagree. Why? Because there is no way that things you feel (differently) are wrong. There is no right or wrong in feeling. As I must have said quite a lot, feelings have a function. They tell you what’s important. The only thing that does matter is the way (intensity) you express yourself and the ability to accept that someone might not agree with you (which you will overcome). Ofcourse one of the greater things in life is finding understanding, but unfortunately it can not always be found and some people will not be able to understand. That happens. Ofcourse it can feel unpleasant, but it’s not realistic to expect from everyone that they handle things the way you do. Same goes for me! I may think it would be best if people would conversate in a calm way, but I can’t expect it to always happen. Though, letting know how you think about a certain subject is something you should always do, while keeping in mind things as selfrespect, relations and the importance of goals, which will determine the intensity of what you’re about to say.
Lot’s of talk about interpersonal skills, not? So, what do I mean with the difference between accepting and approving related to interpersonal skills?
Now and then (I’ll take the social media discussion as an example) we’re unable to agree with one another. You can either not accept and disapprove (get stuck) or accept and disapprove (move on).
When someone tells you to accept and go on (on a matter that’s very sensitive for instance), it might feel like this person is telling you, you should approve the whole situation, while clearly you don’t.
A situation may feel so wrong, why should you approve? But actually it’s not that you should approve the situation, you are still allowed to think it’s wrong, but accept, meaning you understand that it is what it is and not what (you think) should be. It allows you to take the next step with a clear mind and relieve yourself from intense feelings that come with not letting go of things and being worried about the same thing over and over again. At the same time, while you’re moving on to what’s next, you can still dissapprove, that’s your right! You can say to yourself or someone else: I still think this isn’t right, but you won’t be lingering in that moment anymore. You still follow me?
To me it was explained with a simple thing: a passing of a person. Say it has happenend in the most unfair way. Sometimes people cannot let go of that. They keep being angry or sad, because it really was so unfair. Yes, it was, but staying that way won’t help you either. You’ll have to accept it has happened and at some point go in with your life. It doesn’t mean you approve that it has happened, but you have no way but to accept it has. You can hold on to how it should have been or should be, but you now what? You can want it so bad, but the harsh thing is that it is not going to happen. Once you accept there’s room for moving on.
Here it is once again my favourite line, whoa it must be getting annoying!:
Change what you can change
Accept what you cannot change
and know the difference between them
Back to that interpesonal issue: the endless discussions. Let’s say it’s a very heated one and people are saying really nasty stuff, because it happens a lot people target eachother personally. You’ve tried to make someone understand what you mean, but it just doesn’t happen. Are you going to accept it just won’t, still disapprove what’s been said, tell one last time (with the right intensity) what you personally think is important and (if the case) how you feel about the way you’re being adressed and let go of the discussion without emotions running high? Or are you going to be in the endless conflict where you just can’t accept what’s being said, leaving yourself immensly worked up about it? Remember you’re the only one who suffers from your own emotions. The other person, how mean or wrong you think he or she is, won’t feel a thing of them 😉 Just do what’s best for you. I can imagine not worrying too much will (:
Whoa, long story about acceptance and approval. Hope it’s still comprehensible! I tend to swerve off topic easily. Point of it all: peace of mind :p I believe knowing the difference can help in many situations in general to be in the here and now (present), making room for deciding what’s next, step by step.