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Sunday, March 13, 2016


(c) 2016 Kimberly's Insanity

Tolerance is one of those necessary skills to have in your arsenal of coping skills because, let's face it, we can't always pick the people we spend time with (i.e., work, public settings, etc.), and we can never pick who we are related to. Tolerance, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, is, "The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with." 

The important thing about learning tolerance is this...without it we end up feeling frustrated, unsettled and often angry at people and situations that are beyond our understanding and control. As humans, we are wired to need people in order to feel alive and whole, (which is why solitary confinement at prisons, etc., is a punishment, not a reward) and we generally choose who we want to spend quality time with and who we want in our personal lives (outside of family of course). Do we always get along with the people in our lives who we work with, ride the bus with, stand in line with, etc? No. Often times we become frustrated by others' habits and opinions because they just don't mesh with our views or the way we do things. We get frustrated by the person at work who always has to prove he/she knows everything and has to be right all the time, or the person in one of our circles who has to control everything, or the martyr who thinks life never treats them fairly and has to complain all the time, or the person who judges everyone and everything around them quite vocally, to name but a few. 

Life is not a competition and one person is not better than another...we are all good at different things and the trick is to value a person for who he/she is and to cherish those traits that make us different from one another, especially in those who frustrate us the most. We need to find the good and positive aspects and remember that we all have these things in common...we are here, we share the same planet, we have the same basic goals, and we will die...counting the similarities, the things we have in common, is the best place to begin to learn tolerance. Below are some other suggestions to help you build tolerance skills:

1.  It's none of your business. Memorize the phrase, "It's none of my business," as your go-to phrase. This will keep you free from becoming involved in other peoples' situations that don't have anything to do with you and thereby shield you from outside stress. In this way you will build tolerance for people and situations that would otherwise annoy you.

2.  Come from a place of love. When confronted with situations and people that create stress and/or drama, remember that we are all here on the same planet, struggling through as best we can to make life wonderful and find the meaning of it all. We have so much in common and if you approach these situations and people from a place of love and empathy, you will create can't be helped.

3.  Don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day grind that we lose sight of the truly important things in life. Remember to put things in perspective when you feel a lack of tolerance and don't sweat the small stuff. Life is so much more than work and money. It's about love and helping one another through it all.

4.  Remind yourself of who you are. When confronted with a person for whom you feel little tolerance, remind yourself that you have a back story...and so do they. Everyone was raised differently and approaches life in different ways, usually based on their circumstances. We have to keep these things in mind when dealing with others and it makes it easier to tolerate.

5.  Don't judge. You have the right to your opinions, which are best if they are based on facts, not presupposition, rumor and gossip, but by judging others you are in some way telling yourself that you are "better" than they are which makes it harder to tolerate people. Remember that you and this other person/people may have many differences, but one is no better than the other and when you judge others, you basically just point a finger at yourself that says, "look at me, I judge people and I'm better than they are." This never makes a good impression, nor does it ever bring good and positive karma back to you.

6.  Remember there is no such thing as "fair." If you think life and everyone and everything in it should treat you fairly, you will be frustrated and angry all the time, not to mention let down. Things are what they are, they are what they will be and they are that way for a reason. Learn to let go and accept the changes that come your way and learn to view them in a positive way. Turn the negatives into positives and let everything else fall away. 

7.  Treat others the way you want them to treat you. It is a fact that the way you treat others is the way you will be treated in life. If you give love, you will receive love; if you treat people with disrespect, you will not be respected; if you judge people and talk about them behind their backs, they will do the same to you; if you help others, you will receive help; if you lash out at people, they will lash out at you...and so on and so on. You can't go wrong treating people with kindness, love, respect and consideration because believe me, it will come back to you tenfold.

I hope you will find this list helpful and if not, that you will find what works for you and practice tolerance and love with those around you...for your sake. You deserve love...make sure it's all you receive.

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