We all need to feel accepted, to be valued, and some people and organisations take advantage of that need. The website defines acceptance as

Favourable reception; approval; favour.

We have no doubt all read horrific stories of people targeted and brain-washed by cults, and they succeed because of our need of acceptance. If the people involved felt truly accepted, they would be less likely to be taken in both those seeking out vulnerable people.

We shouldn’t have to agree with others in order to be accepted. Most of us have been in situations where leaders or organisations have demanded that we agree with them, or tow a party line. Strangely enough, those who use the words of inclusion are often the ones who only include others if they agree with their inclusiveness.

We only need to watch gangs of youths to realise that they will do anything to be included, but it isn’t only youths who behave that way – adults are just more subtle.

Secure leaders can cope with people who don’t agree with them; they don’t have to manipulate or control others.

But how can we escape that need of acceptance?

Firstly accept the person you really are. Don’t criticise yourself and expect too much of yourself.

Recognise that everyone won’t always agree with you.

Work out whether you are agreeing to things because you want to or because others expect something of you.

Check your feelings – what do you really think?

Know what really makes you happy.