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How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: December 4, 2017
How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples

Respecting others, trying to put yourself in the place of another, listening and understanding: these are some characteristics that we need to have, not only to avoid trouble, but to be more open and permissive to others. Although it is sometimes not an easy task, trying to be tolerant helps us let go of unnecessary burdens and be happier. At oneHOWTO we believe in freedom of expression, thought and choice so we want to explain how to be more tolerant. With these tips you will learn to be more respectful to others, while keeping your ideas and fundamental values. Read on!

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  1. What does being tolerant mean?
  2. Tolerance towards others' speech
  3. How to be more tolerant in a relationship
  4. Tips to be tolerant

What does being tolerant mean?

Before you learn how to be a more tolerant person, it's important to know what being tolerant means. Each individual person has his or her own way if envisioning the world and surroundings according to many factors such as society, status and role. Therefore, intolerance will come when there is an action or opinion that clashes directly with the person's point of view, ethics and/or moral. This clash can make the person feel negative feelings such as irritability, anger or even rage.

Being tolerant does not mean to accept another person's vision of things, but to understand their point of view and find a middle ground so all parties can live respectfully. This si why being tolerant means having the following characteristics:

  • Being respectful: Respecting not only the other person's ideas but the whole person. It may not seem easy but respecting that the other person is a separate individual from you and may not have the same inputs as you have is crucial from the beginning of the discussion. Therefore, listening and answering respectfully is key to be a more tolerant person.
  • Keeping calm: Having your own piece of mind does not mean forcing it through verbal abuse of the other. Staying calm and remaining peaceful at all times without getting angry is the next step towards being more tolerant. This is something you will have to learn so you progressively learn to control your temper.
  • Be courageous: Obviously, it will take a good deal of working on your social skills to become tolerant with someone with whom you differ absolutely. Putting things into perspective and focusing on the real importance of the source of intolerance is a good technique to find the courage to handle situations tolerantly.

Examples of being tolerant

  1. Being tolerant with other people's beliefs, may they be ethical, political or religious. For example, if you are a devout Christian, being tolerant with an Atheist means respecting the fact that they do not believe in God, do not go to church and do not pray. It means accepting the fact that they are not better or worse people just because they don't believe in the same things you do.
  2. Being tolerant with other people's habits. Sometimes, whether it is a partner, a family member, a friend or co-worker, you may find certain actions or habits unacceptable, such as not taking their shoes off when they walk into the house, slurping on a dish or cracking their knuckles. Being tolerant means understanding the reason for these actions and learning to accept the person as he/she is.
  3. Being tolerant of people who are not like you. This means anything from ethnicity, sexual orientation, race or economic status. Being tolerant means, for example, that you should not pre-judge a person according to their income, as the money in the bank does not mean you cannot be friends; as this is just one characteristic that defines the person.
How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples - What does being tolerant mean?

Tolerance towards others' speech

One of the most common situations that cause intolerance is when you do not agree on an idea, topic or belief. This is why, in order to improve tolerance towards others' speech and to be a more tolerant person, at oneHOWTO we'd like to give you the following tips:

  1. Try not impose your opinions, ideas or criticisms. To be more tolerant you must be willing to accept the thoughts of others and to respect them as if they were your own. While we sometimes hear opinions that are totally opposite to our own, we must learn to analyse the arguments and avoid ridiculing, hurting, discriminating against or discrediting a person who is exercising their right to freedom of expression. Remember, you don't get to decide what's right.
  2. Respect yourself and respect others. While you must stay true to your beliefs and values, try to have an open mind to understand and respect others. Getting defensive, yelling, calling names or judging others will not make you right. To be more tolerant you need to break down your walls and not have limits. Open your mind and maybe you will discover that you can provide feedback on the thoughts of others to further develop your discourse.
  3. Empathy. This value is essential to being a more tolerant person. Empathizing with others means comprehending, listening, caring and understanding. That is, step into the shoes of another and try to understand their reality so as not to judge them immediately. Seeing from other perspectives will help you understand other realities.
  4. On the other hand, to be more tolerant you should make the effort to learn about other cultures. Although it seems obvious, many people think that what they have is the best. In every culture there are positives and negatives. So trying to understand others will help you absorb knowledge and enrich yourself at a cultural and social level. Cultivate your tolerance away from prejudice. For example, in certain cultures it is considered rude not to bow when you meet somebody. Accept customary gestures from people with a different background from yours and learn to appreciate diversity to be more tolerant.
How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples - Tolerance towards others' speech

How to be more tolerant in a relationship

All relationships have their ups and downs, and it's normal to find yourself in situations where you may not be tolerant of one another. In order to address this situation and be more tolerant in a relationship, here are some tips to be a more tolerant person when it comes to relationships.

  1. Intolerance only proves that you're an insecure person and have certain shortcomings. Try to find confidence in yourself, believe in the validity of your thoughts and those of others. Remember that the first step is to accept others by accepting yourself.
  2. If there is something that bothers you in a relationship, it's important to sit down and address the situation, or your intolerance may build up and explode, and this is a situation you do not want. Talk to the other part in the relationship freely but respectfully, stressing your feelings without making the other person feel guilty or he/she is necessarily in the wrong.
  3. Ignore things that you do not tolerate if you cannot find a middle ground for your situation, focus on what makes you like the other person and value what makes you different. Being patient in a relationship is highly important. Certain attitudes or habits may take time to correct, so make sure you don't get frustrated with the other person if you see he/she is trying hard. For example, if your partner puts his/her feet on the table when on the sofa and it's something you do not tolerate, once the situation has been addressed in a respectful way and your partner has agreed to stop this habit, don't shout at him or her if he does it again, as it may be an action the person was used to in the past. To be more tolerant, respectfully remind the person.
  4. Sometimes, agreeing to disagree is the best option. Remember people are not clones of each other, so it's highly probable that you will differ on one or more subjects and points of view.
How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples - How to be more tolerant in a relationship

Tips to be tolerant

Now you know more about being a tolerant person in different situation, make sure you apply the following to be a more tolerant person no matter what:

  1. Prove yourself to be an intelligent person. Remember that you don't know everything and don't be closed minded. Eliminate any radical thinking, as it will it will show the other person that you're not tolerant or empathetic. It's not worth it to get into a fight. Ignorance is the best medicine.
  2. Analyse why you are being intolerant.Your social background and past experiences can say a lot about your current opinions or way of acting. Find out why you think you are in the right and if there may be something that may have biased your judgement.
  3. If you feel anger or negative impulses, make sure you address the situation by thinking up to 10 before answering. If it is something you cannot control, some techniques may be useful to calm down nerves in these situations such as meditation or yoga.
How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples - Tips to be tolerant

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  • If you have been intolerant with somebody, make sure you reflect on the reasons for your intolerance and make sure you give the person a sincere apology to make sure this difference does not affect your relationship.
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1 comment
Leslie Jochu
I have come to an understanding that getting along with others means being respectful and tolerant of myself. I meditate and practice Buddhism. Still I must work on being tolerant while accepting me as okay. This article is very helpful
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Leslie, we are so glad we could help!
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How to Be a more Tolerant Person - With Useful Examples