Eliminating Tolerations Involving Others vs. Being Tolerant

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ResentfulIn a previous post on tolerations, I introduced the concept of identifying things in your life that were substandard so that you can eliminate them in order to increase productivity as well as improve your energy, confidence, and self-esteem. In the process of eliminating tolerations, you want to become aware of things you might be putting up with in regards to other people's behavior and their performance. What frustrates, angers, or annoys you about your peers, family members, spouse, children, friends and neighbors? What irritates you about your boss or colleagues?

A "toleration" is something that you put up with; it is less than ideal. Most of us are completely unaware of their presence and the impact they have on our lives. If something doesn't feel good and add value to you, then it feels bad and hurts you in some way and it interferes with building healthy relationships.

Tolerations can be big things such as putting up with a bad marriage, hating your work, or being in debt beyond a comfortable figure. They can be small things such as clothes that no longer fit or a car that could use some repairs. Or it can be anywhere in between such as procrastination, living with clutter, being overweight, or dealing with an employee's negativity.

By putting up with things that don't feel good, you experience pain in some way such as stress, negativity, or guilt. It can have physical consequences as well as emotional. And while you may be unaware of the pain, it is hurting you nonetheless.

When tolerations involve other people, they are called "Boundaries." Boundaries are the limits you place around yourself that determine what behaviors other people may do to and with you.boundaries

Boundaries are the acceptable behavior of others in your presence - how you want to be treated.

Boundaries are about YOU. While they involve the behaviors of others, it is YOUR boundary. Once you notice that something annoys or bothers you, it is your responsibility to communicate that to the other person.

So where does "tolerance" come in here?

"Tolerance" is having an open mind and being considerate of the differences in others. It is permitting other people to think their own thoughts, have their own opinions and beliefs, and experience their own feelings without your judgment, trying to fix them, or pushing your views onto them. It is about allowing other people to be themselves.

When it comes to boundaries, if someone does something that you do not feel comfortable with, you can request they stop. Tolerance respects the notion that the person may or may not choose to respect your request. They have the right to continue their behavior. You, then, can make a choice to continue to be with that person or to leave. You can demand they stop or you can say nothing. And they can still choose to continue.

If you choose to put up with it, you are "tolerating" the behavior because it still bothers you. You might think you are practicing "tolerance", but you also might simply be permitting bad behavior to continue which serves no one.

People don't always know that their behavior makes others uncomfortable. When you say nothing, silence gives the behavior permission.

Standing up for yourself by expressing your boundaries teaches people how you want to be treated AND permitting people to be themselves, being tolerant of the differences in behavior and perspectives are both important building blocks for healthy relationships.

Your partner for success,

Coach Julie

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