When we have unconditional other-acceptance we avoid feeling self-defeating emotions when our family, friends, and associates display their human fallibility and misbehave or disappoint us. With unconditional other-acceptance we are able to more effectively respond to the misbehavior of others. We can assert ourselves, set limits and boundaries, and also problem solve without the interference of strong negative emotions. Unconditional other-acceptance does not blame another person but continues to hold others responsible for their emotions, behaviors, and decisions. With unconditional other-acceptance we view the misbehaving other as a person who is too complex to rate and who is in a state of evolution. So with unconditional other-acceptance we can hope that we may be able to influence others in a positive way. We do judge their behaviors but we do not judge them as people. This is consistent with the Judeo Christian teaching of condemning the sin but never the sinner.
If we subscribe to a philosophy of conditional other-acceptance we will tend to feel unhealthy feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety when others misbehave. We tend to reason that people are good on the condition they do well and are bad people when they do poorly. This reasoning and the strong unhealthy emotion that tends to go with it will interfere with our attempts to positively influence another person. Our unhealthy anger will block us from seeing and deciding on effective strategies to use to influence another person.
There is a relationship between unconditional self-acceptance (USA) and unconditional other-acceptance (UOA). When we have unconditional self-acceptance we rate our behavior when we misbehave and avoid a global feeling of unworthiness due to this misbehavior. We acknowledge our misbehavior and have remorse instead of guilt. By striving to towards unconditional self-acceptance you are also more likely to have unconditional other-acceptance. We tend to avoid judging others while continuing to judge what they do. We see them and us as fallible humans who cannot be rated as people but whose actions, decisions, and choices can be rated as good, neutral or bad or even very bad. We have both compassion for ourselves and others.
In Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy we suggest striving towards unconditional self-acceptance and unconditional other-acceptance while combining it with a philosophy of enlightened self-interest. This philosophy of enlightened self-interest involves seeing that you have a perfect right to guiltlessly put yourself first and others a close second. A close second is different than a distant second which better describes selfishness. We argue in REBT that sensible and emotionally healthy people tend to be first or primarily interested in themselves and to put their own interests at least a little above the interests of others (Ellis and Dryden, 1987). These sensible people sacrifice themselves to some degree for those for whom they care, but not overwhelmingly or completely. However, in order to avoid sacrificing yourself overwhelmingly or completely you need to have unconditional self-acceptance and to buy into the concept of emotional responsibility. When subscribing to this principle you see that each of us is largely responsible for our own emotions and behaviors. With unconditional self-acceptance and firm endorsement in the principle of emotional responsibility we are able to set limits with others so that we avoid putting up with obnoxious behavior. We strive to positively influence others knowing full well that each us is responsible for our own emotions, behaviors, and well-being. With unconditional self-acceptance we try to influence others in a positive way but we acknowledge that we cannot control others and do not have to disturb ourselves about our limited ability to positively influence others. We then go about attempting to change or influence what we can changed and accepting what we cannot.
Ellis, A., & Dryden, W. (1987). The practice of Rational Emotive Therapy. New York: Springer.