Differences Between Acceptance and Resignation

One of the questions that the philosophy has tried to answer the most is the following: what is the point at which one must stop struggling to change something and start accepting what happens?


One of the questions that the philosophy has tried to answer the most is the following: what is the point at which one must stop struggling to change something and start accepting what happens?

In this article we will see what are the differences between acceptance and resignation, two related concepts that, if we know how to distinguish them from each other, help us to take control of our lives without obsessing about impossible goals.

Differences between resignation and acceptance

The relationship between acceptance and resignation can be seen as between the two sides of the same coin.

If we stop to think about what they have in common, we will immediately realize that they refer to stop trying something. However, each of these words has very different implications for our personal development.

In fact, maturing psychologically means, among other things, understanding the differences between acceptance and resignation, since we do not have to be satisfied with what can be improved, but we can not feel obliged to change what is beyond our control . So, let’s see what it is that allows to distinguish between the two.

1. Acceptance helps us recover

Those events that harm us and that escape our control we wear psychologically much less if we interpret them through acceptance, and not resignation.

Even if two people are the target of the same catastrophic event, as for example a hurricane that destroys your home, the one that experiences it from the moment of acceptance will be prepared much earlier to continue with your life. The reason is that you will feel less tied to the way you think before the accident, which will save you a lot of added frustration.

2. Resignation feeds passivity

Resigning ourselves to something means that we are more predisposed to consider impossible improvements that, in reality, do not have to be.

Although it seems paradoxical, sometimes we look for any excuse not to admit that if we try something we could improve the reality that surrounds us, and resignation is an excuse to pass this passivity for a tragic outcome that gives meaning to what we are living.

3. Resignation does not let us learn from mistakes

Who experiences a negative event from resignation, is limited to focus their attention on the bad. On the other hand, when this undesired situation has partly arisen because of our fault, the acceptance implies accepting this fact and considering doing it better in the future.

In other words, acceptance allows us to draw valuable conclusions from our mistakes, which at the same time brings relief because it is a way of making sense of the discomfort we feel in those circumstances.

4. Acceptance helps us see things with perspective

A person who embraces the inevitable through acceptance notes how the emotional pain he experiences is cushioned, does not cause him so much discomfort. The reason is that he lives that moment adopting a distanced perspective, as if we saw everything moving away from our body.

This shift of attention towards the general situation, and not only towards the bad, is very useful as an ingredient for resilience, that is, the overcoming of crises.

On the other hand, if what causes us pain is partly our fault, the acceptance of that discomfort also implies that we recognize its existence objectively; that is to say, as a factor that helps us that this situation does not happen again. In other words, it shows us that even in those low hours the discomfort has served to win a lesson.

5. Resignation promotes helplessness

While acceptance promotes a way of perceiving what happens in which suffering is not important, resignation causes discomfort to discourage and detract from us, leaving us more exposed to other possible risks.


Much of what we live is more related to the way we interpret it than to the objective fact itself. Therefore, knowing the difference between acceptance and resignation allows us to go through the bad times in the best possible way, laying the foundations for our recovery through a process of resilience.

Whether in a process of mourning the death of a loved one, by lowering job expectations, health problems or something similar, make acceptance our wayLife is essential to not let the typical difficulties of life hurt us too much and restrict our freedom.