ACCEPTANCE, understanding, appreciation, inclusion, and being valued; all states of feeling we crave for in a social world. But the world is also a harsh place where we all get to experience the opposites of these five states of feeling.
Five feelings we hate feeling:
1. We hate feeling rejected – the feeling of rejection is akin to abandonment, which speaks of the absence of care and/or conditionality in love. If a person needs to do something specific to be loved, they quickly discover they’re not worthy of love on their own terms. Acceptance on the other hand is about unconditional love.
2. We hate feeling misunderstood – this was a particular weakness I had that I felt quite vulnerable about – until I met a biblical counselling professor who suffered the same weakness. I discovered we all suffer it to some degree. None of us like it when people assume they know us or understand us when they don’t. Understanding a person is one of the quickest ways of building intimacy in the relationship.
3. We hate feeling unappreciated – everyone does things that are appreciable. Being recognised, or having our work recognised, is important. When others are recognised and we are not we cannot help noticing the partiality. Appreciating people for the small things they do is a great way to elicit respect.
4. We hate feeling excluded – like feeling rejected, not being included sends a clear message we’re not good enough. The Pharisees loved their exclusivity. And anyone playing the same game reveals their insecurity. Note the paradox: the insecure exclude others, making them feel insecure, to feel better and more secure about themselves. Secure people on the other hand have no problems including others, especially the outliers.
5. We hate feeling undervalued – nobody is worthless, for all have supreme worth, but we can be made to feel worthless. It is good to discern those who have worth issues and find ways to truly value them.
The simple message is this: when it comes to other people accept them, understand them, appreciate them, include them, and value them.
Wherever possible, as far as it depends on us, we should surround ourselves with people who are about acceptance, understanding, appreciation, inclusion, and valuing people. Such people are breath, hope, light, and life.
The more we recognise the need of positive feelings in ourselves, the more we’re prepared to invest positive feelings into others’ lives.