I have a paragraph as follows:

When you accept yourself as you are, you will be less prone to jealousy, worry, blame, guilt, regret, lies, insults, and even compliments. Thus, you will appear more certain (you will be more confident). For example, hearing compliments or insults from somebody else will not make any difference if you know yourself or trust your own opinion the most. So when you notice someone who reacts strongly to other people’s remarks, even compliments, they are nonconsciously admitting their lack of confidence and self-esteem. Besides being the simple thing to do, there are more benefits of accepting yourself unconditionally. Once you have good relationship with other people without having relied on any external value for your attractiveness, you also know for sure that they like you instead of your external value.

Can you explain the meaning of expression "Besides being the simple thing to do? Thank you!

  • 2
    One of the benefits of "accepting yourself unconditionally" is that it's "the simple thing to do". There are other benefits besides (as well as, in addition to) this. It's a rather odd thing to say, since it's not obvious to me that unconditional self-acceptance is axiomatically "simple". But even if the referent really was something that could reasonably be called "simple", idiomatically we'd nearly always go for the superlative besides being the simplest (or easiest) thing to do. Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


Besides being the simple thing to do ...

This is an example of a gerund phrase constructed from the "to be" verb. For example:

It is a mouse -> Being a mouse (it likes cheese).

It is the simple thing to do -> Being the simple thing to do ...

So the phrase says something is the "simple thing to do" -- meaning it's less complicated or less demanding than, presumably, not doing that something. We already know that the author has been talking about "When you accept yourself as you are", and has already discussed why he thinks it's more simple, but to be sure we have to look later in the sentence to know what that something is in this sentence. Again, we see "... accepting yourself unconditionally" so we know the author is still on the same topic.

Meanwhile the "besides" tells us the author is going to add more stuff to his argument. So to rephrase the sentence:

If you accept yourself unconditionally, it is not only more simple (as we previously discussed) but it also has other benefits (which I will subsequently discuss).

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