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2. Relating to Oneself

Paradoxically, change seems to happen when you have abandoned the chase after what you want to be (or think you should be) and have accepted – and fully experienced – what you are.
Janette Rainwater (American psychotherapist)

In this area we will consider the two basic attitudes we can have towards ourselves: acceptance and rejection. Shame and guilt are closely related to these attitudes, so they are addressed too.

Acceptance and rejection

These are common signs of acceptance and rejection:



  • Being self-aware
  • Feeling ok about a part of yourself that you don’t like
  • Being open about it
  • Being cool about it
  • Feeling confident even if not perfect
  • Being relaxed
  • Being at peace with yourself
  • Being in denial
  • Feeling ashamed or embarrassed
  • Trying to hide it
  • Hating or being afraid of it
  • Feeling insecure even when there is no good reason
  • Being tense
  • Being in conflict with yourself

Why acceptance is better

Accepting yourself is better than rejecting because we can’t get away from ourselves. Rejection doesn’t make the rejected part disappear; its influence only shifts to the subconscious level and in that way often grows. It also creates an inner conflict that is unpleasant and energy consuming. As Freud noticed a long time ago, not only is the initial act of repressing effortful, but continuous energy is needed to keep the rejected suppressed. On the other hand, acceptance enables you to reduce inner conflicts, and build security and confidence. It is also the basis of personal integrity. And let’s not forget that those who accept themselves are more likely to be accepted by others too.

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PWBC (Personal Well Being Centre)
United Kingdom


PWBC (Personal Well Being Centre)
United Kingdom