Acceptance Does Not Mean Approval

Things happen that we don’t like…it’s just a fact of life. How we adapt to those negative things can make all the difference in the world to how much serenity and peace we walk around with. I’ve never met a person that just plain wants to be unhappy, but I have met many people who are just plain unhappy. I would guess that many of these people are unhappy because they are not in acceptance of the circumstances in their lives. If that’s true, then

how do we find a way from unhappiness and non-acceptance toward happiness and peace (acceptance)?

I have written about acceptance before in a few of my blogs. The reason that I keep “harping” on this topic of acceptance is because it is crucial for peace, to un-attach and let go of resentments, for forgiveness, and for a life of letting others make the choices they need to make to live their own authentic lives.

In my forgiveness blog, I wrote, “I personally don’t believe that someone can betray me. What that person can betray is my values, such as trust, honesty, commitment, etc…As long as this person fell in line (met my expectations) with what I wanted him or her to be, I remained in “approval” of him or her.

As soon as “that thing” happened that I didn’t like, I was confused, felt betrayed, and then “disapproved” of that person.” As soon as I let go of needing to approve or disapprove of someone else, I realize that all I really need to do is accept him or her for being a unique person who is fully capable of making his or her personal choices.

To require or expect that someone fall in line with your values to stay in your life is controlling behavior, yet can give you the illusion that they are willing “to do anything for you.” At the end of the day, if I alter my life in order to gain acceptance from a person or persons, I essentially abandon authentic parts of myself in order to be accepted. When that happens, I will resent myself yet I will blame the person I’m trying to gain approval from…and nothing goes right in the “blame game.”

I know, this relationship stuff is tricky, yet it really comes down to some very basic fundamentals.

You do not have to approve of everything that someone does in your life…what will help (help, help) you though, is to accept the decisions others make as what they needed to make. If they are important to you and it affects you to the point that it goes completely against your values, my recommendation would be to employ open conversation techniques like I discuss in the pink elephant blog.

Relationships don’t have to end if you can find acceptance that others make decisions that you might not make.

You want people to be unique and bring a dimension to your life that enhances it…and even a negative dimension can bring you a necessary trigger so that you can process unresolved issues. Thank you for “accepting” whatever portions you want of what I’ve written here (no need to approve, I promise :-))…it’s my belief and I hope it gives you some steps away from the need to approve toward the freedom of acceptance.

Published by Karen Solt

I am an Emotional Wellness Coach, YouTuber, Blogger, and activist for peace, unity, freedom, equality and connection. I hold a Masters in Psychology (Counseling) and am passionate about helping others. A retired Navy Senior Chief veteran, I have had various life experiences that have created my unique style of coaching. I remain curious about the human experience and am beyond grateful for the life I share with my fabulous dog, Paco. You can learn more about me and my work at,, or you can reach me at

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