Tuesday, January 31, 2023

How to Accept Events You Can’t Affect

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It can be much harder to accept manifestations of the external world than it is to accept ourselves. There are situations that we cannot influence. What if we try to come to terms with the weather, the actions of others, and world events?

How to Distinguish the Inevitable From the Avoidable

To accept events, understand whether it’s possible to influence them. That is, to divide responsibility and competence into one’s own and someone else’s.

A person can influence it:

  • One’s own behavior, choices, actions, and deeds.
  • One’s emotional state.
  • One’s attitude toward events and other people.

These variables are the basis of our adaptation to the world around us and can be used to control the situation.

A person cannot influence:

  • Other people’s actions, emotions, and thoughts.
  • Any external events, be it bad weather, a company going bankrupt and losing a job, price increases, etc.

This is something that cannot be controlled, the very inevitability that only remains to be accepted.

Why It’s Important to Accept the Outside World and Its Inevitability

People can’t always clearly define their area of responsibility and tend to expand rather than narrow it. And as long as there is a firm belief in controlling a situation, acceptance is out of the question.

As a result of this:

  • Time is lost. For example, if the car battery is dead, you can endlessly try to start it (as if the number of attempts will fix it) and be late for work, or you can immediately call an emergency service or a cab and make it on time.
  • You lose your energy and your emotional drive. In the car example, you will still get to work, either in a flustered or calm state.
  • Positive changes don’t occur: you are completely absorbed by the failure and cannot move on: for example, you freak out and even decide to stay home and play at 20Bet online casino instead.

What Keeps You From Accepting the Situation

Psychological Immaturity

Children are prone to the illusion of omnipotence, but as they grow up, they go through a natural succession of disappointments. Some things are easy to part with (e.g., that Santa Claus doesn’t exist), and some things are much harder to part with (that parents are mortal, youth passes away, etc.). Modern trends tend to support childhood illusions, so the impression is created that a conditioned person, by taking a “magic” course, can achieve incredible success. It’s as if people can’t afford to be disappointed and stay in illusory hopes, far from reality.

The sooner you give up childish illusions, the easier it will be to put up with the inevitable things. Positive thinking is great, but it shouldn’t turn into magical thinking.

Perfectionism and Comparing Yourself to Others

A healthy desire to be better is a good thing, but perfectionism is always about inflated expectations and forming unrealistic scenarios. Perfectionists often become perfectionists either in childhood – due to inadequate demands from parents or teachers, or later – as a result of peeking at the success of others. 

Each person has his own opportunities to achieve certain goals and his own limitations. It’s important to accept them and compare yourself, not with others, but with yourself: what has been achieved compared to yesterday, not with John or Sarah.

Total Control

The overwhelming desire to control everyone and everything is primarily related to the fear of uncertainty, that is, just the very inability to accept the inevitable, and rigid personal standards. Even aerophobia can be attributed to the fear of losing control over one’s life, since the airplane is piloted, not the passenger.  

It’s best to work through the desire for control with a psychologist. However, the first step will be identical to the step to acceptance: divide your zones of responsibility because it’s impossible to control what you cannot influence, and relax. The pilot’s job is to fly the plane, the passenger’s job is to follow the rules of the flight.

Guilt

There is adequate guilt and toxic guilt. Adequate guilt is an evolutionary process necessary to make up for the damage: you break someone else’s vase – you feel guilty – you buy a new one. That is, it arises in the area of personal competence. In case of toxic guilt, the damage was not done, but the surrounding people or the person himself/herself suggest the opposite. A striking example: the mother blames her daughter for the fact that her father left the family. The girl develops a sense of toxic guilt, which prevents her from accepting her parents’ divorce and the divorce situation in principle.

The way out of any feelings of guilt can be found through psychotherapy and, again, separation of competencies: for example, the child isn’t responsible for the actions of the parents.

How to Get Over Events That Can No Longer Be Changed

Give Yourself Permission to Feel Emotions

It’s okay to feel angry, sad, or anxious while looking at the rain outside the window or tracking the exchange rate. Emotions are a crucial part of accepting a situation, the important thing is to experience them, not dwell on them.

Set Small Goals and Develop a Plan

When it rains too long, don’t think about the weather for the week ahead. It’s much more productive to create a new route to work, considering raffic and taking care of an umbrella and rubber boots.

Ask for Help

If you feel unable to take on global events alone, don’t hesitate to ask for help. A conversation with a close friend will give you the support you need, and a session with a psychologist can help you sort out the reasons for rejection.

Take an Example From the Japanese

The Japanese in the case of the inevitable say: Shoganai. It’s the ability to find emotional balance, i.e., not to expend energy on suffering, but to channel it into finding a way out. For example, tsunamis and earthquakes, which incidentally occur in Japan on average every seven years, are shoganai, after which one shouldn’t fall into denial but build new houses and cities.

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