Today I’m going to be continuing my discussion about common misconceptions about the advanced relational skills I teach. I’m going to talk about the advanced relational skill of emotional acceptance and empathy.
A big criticism of acceptance is that people think it’s about being a doormat.
It’s as though people think I’m teaching, “Yes, be a doormat.” “Be super accommodating.” “Roll over and let your ex walk all over you. Let everyone walk all over you,” right?
I want to clear up this misconception about acceptance by addressing two things:
First, emotional acceptance and empathy are NOT about being a doormat.
Second— which we’ll get into another time— is that emotional acceptance and empathy are not the be-all and end-all of the advanced relational skills I teach.
There is also composure where you have to be true what you want and what you stand for. But you’re not going to be able to get there unless you are first able to emotionally accept and welcome what is actually happening in reality.
Now, this brings us to today’s topic which is about emotional acceptance and empathy.
I want to clarify this whole point that emotional acceptance and empathy is absolutely not about being a doormat. It’s not about saying yes blindly and letting somebody walk all over you or anything like that.
Acceptance and empathy is really about getting real with what’s actually happening.
So many times people emotionally resist things that are actually happening. Maybe you’re still in love with your ex or you met someone and you find out that they’re dating somebody else. Oftentimes, this can cause people to resist and push away what is actually happening in reality.
Understand that when you say, “No, I can’t believe you’re dating somebody else, this is terrible. Why is this happening, why does this always happen?” you’re not changing the fact they’re still dating someone else, right?
By resisting the fact that they are dating somebody else, you are not changing anything about reality.
It is still happening. The fact that you are freaking out and panicking and resisting it is not adding anything to the situation. It is not changing the situation. It is not making any difference whatsoever to what is actually happening out there.
If that is the case, then why do you resist it emotionally?
It’s because sometimes we’re not emotionally OK with reality.
When you can be emotionally OK with what is real then you can emotionally welcome in and accept what is happening.
This doesn’t mean being a doormat and saying, “It’s great you’re dating other people. That’s awesome. It would be amazing if you were dating a million other people and I was on the sidelines waiting for you to have a spare Sunday afternoon.” That’s not what I’m suggesting at all.
What I’m suggesting is that you just get real about what is happening because when you get real about what’s happening, you are in a much better grounded and composed place to actually do something meaningful about it. For example, you find out that this person that you like is dating somebody else.
You can, resist and push it away saying to yourself, “I can’t believe this is happening. I’m just going to look away and pretend it’s not happening.” “I’m going to freak out, panic, tell myself some story about how men or women are dogs and you can’t trust them.” You can choose that but it’s not going to change reality.
But if you accept it, you’re it’s more like, “That’s not what I want but that’s what is really happening.”
You’re not pushing it away. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s what’s happening out there.” You’re going to take a deep breath and accept that it’s happening.
That’s why we call it acceptance.
From there, you can move on to the next relational skill and decide what you’re going to do about it. But first you have to accept reality. If you’re pushing it away and resisting it, you’re not going to able to do anything different about it.
Here’s how acceptance actually helps to create a stronger connection between you and your ex, in any sort of interpersonal situation.
This is how acceptance works. And, it doesn’t just work on big things like when you find out that they’re dating somebody else or something big. It happens in the small moment-to-moment things.
For example, let’s say I’m a single guy and I’m out on a date with a woman.
Now, I could be out of touch with emotional acceptance and empathy with what is real and I could see her as someone to put up on a pedestal.
I could believe I have to, “be real nice and pleasant so she’ll reward me with sex because I’m a good little boy and I’m a good pickup artist who knows how to do canned routines and all this bullshit.”
That’s going to pull me out of reality and cause me to resist reality.
Sure, she is a woman but more than that she is a human being.
As a human being, she has emotional experiences just like I do. When I accept that and realize that she is a human being who has emotional experiences just like I do, suddenly, I don’t have to perform for her like a pickup artist.
I can have an actual, legitimate, real, open and honest conversation with her about the emotions we’re both experiencing.
Suddenly, we’re connecting in a much deeper way than if I make up some BS story about how my ex-girlfriend is a super model and she’s jealous in on effort to, “demonstrate higher value.”
When you are able to connect with somebody on an emotional level and have a deep emotional connection, what’s happening is that you are accepting them where they are at. You’re accepting the reality of them.
When you are resisting the reality of them, you’re buying into labels that you put on people. Labels like, whether this person’s a man or woman, this person is this the key to my happiness, this person can validate me or invalidate me or anything else, right?
This applies to external things as well too. Like when you find out somebody’s dating somebody else or somebody said something about you that’s less than flattering or whatever.
I hope this clears up this issue about emotional acceptance. Acceptance is absolutely not about being a doormat.
To learn more about how to get the relationship you want whether that’s restoring things with your ex or meeting the person of your dreams and getting commitment from them or anything in between, please head on over to my website and fill out the quick quiz.
Then I’ll send you customized tips, advice and strategies to on your journey to happiness. Take care.