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With all that’s been talked about in getting along with other people, being tolerant is perhaps one of the most important attributes. It allows us to take advantage of people’s differences and accomplish things that aren’t possible by each person alone. It helps us see new ways of looking at things and grow and expand as a person!

With that in mind, here’s a few ways to help yourself be more tolerant:

Resist The Impulse To Reject Things You Don’t Understand

You start talking to a guy and he seems to be saying something that makes no sense. Naturally, you think, “Man, that guy is weird!” or if you’ve known this person for a while, “Have no idea what he’s talking about!” As a result, you probably start explaining your own point of view or just stop listening to him altogether. After all, he’s just talking gibberish right?

In these cases, it’s so easy to just dismiss the other person’s input. It preserves our thinking patterns and requires very little effort on our part. We won’t have to have a headache and rewire our brains!

However, it also doesn’t allow us to grow in any way. Without challenging our thought processes, we are doomed to have the same thought processes forever!

Life becomes mundane in that case as we think we know everything. Because we reject other people’s perspectives, they have no incentive to try to help us grow, and we stagnate. Because there’s nothing for us to learn, the world becomes a pretty predictable and boring place. We get stuck in the same thought pattern spirals over and over again, hating anything that’s different or doesn’t conform to our expectations.

This makes us a very childish and volatile person. We want everything done our way because we believe our way is the right way. As a result, we forego opportunities to improve our way and become alarmed when things don’t “happen like they’re supposed to”.

So next time this urge happens, maybe it’s a good time to think, “Hmmm… here’s an opportunity to increase my awareness and expand myself!”

Try To Understand The Other Person’s Point Of View

Once we resist the urge to reject the other person’s point of view outright, it’s time to really try to understand his perspective. After all, our purpose here is to grow as a person, so it makes sense to seek out more information on the subject we don’t understand.

We can start by holding back our thoughts of disagreement and try to really listen to what the other person is saying. We’ll keep asking him questions until we understand precisely what he is trying to communicate and why he thinks the way he does.

This accomplishes two important things. First, we start to learn about the person and the context from which he is speaking. Once we can relate some of our experiences to that context, then the things that person does will start to make much more sense. Once it makes more sense, we can evaluate whether it applies to the situation at hand and use that extra information to make a better decision than we could have otherwise. After all, if we have no idea what the other person is saying, how can we disagree with it?

Second, the other person can feel that you are [[genuinely interested]] in him (because you are!) By giving him the feeling of being understood, he is now much more open to trying to understand your perspective. Once you understand and feel understood, well, what’s there not to like?

Let’s All Be Friends

When it comes down to it, we’re all here because of our [[desire to exist]]. Since the other person exists, he probably knows a thing or two about staying alive too. So how bad can it really be? As long as he’s not negatively impacting your existence in a significant way, why not just accept him and be okay with it? Besides, who knows, he might be able to help you down the line!

Also, we’re only here for maybe 80 years or so. Do you really want to spend that time hating someone?

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17 Responses to “How To Be More Tolerant Of Other People”

  1. seg on March 12th, 2008 9:08 am

    You hit the nail on the head with this one, pretty much canceling out my criticism of your “genuine interest” post. Good stuff!

  2. Tracy Crowe on May 27th, 2008 6:01 am

    I agree. It is important to understand what every person sees is determined about their own view of the world and of themselves. We see what we expect. So it becomes very important to find out what the other person is looking at, and how he is interpreting it. It is equally important to realize that our view of the world is not a fact, just an opinion. It is no more valid than anyone else’s. I also really beleive it is important that there is diversity in the world. This includes a diversity of ideas and opinions. If we all saw things the same way, there would be no room for growth. And there would be no reason for you to question your own biased view of the world and of yourself.

  3. TA on February 4th, 2009 1:18 am

    Good articles. Definitely fun reads!

    Thks Warren.

    TA :-)

  4. amelie on April 22nd, 2009 2:27 pm

    thanks. it helps :)

  5. Kene on August 13th, 2009 5:59 am

    definitely in lots of order. we get by more easily with other people when we realize that all our differences are based on perspectives. we can then the more easily see with them and live more harmoniously with them.
    this article is a hit!

  6. LostinTranslation on November 29th, 2009 5:15 pm

    I love your post! The main thing which captured me was: “We can start by holding back our thoughts of disagreement and try to really listen to what the other person is saying. We’ll keep asking him questions until we understand precisely what he is trying to communicate and why he thinks the way he does.”
    That paragraph grasped my mind and helped me bring to the forefront a different perspective on people and what they have to say. I can’t describe how many times I have encountered someone and just wondered “what the hell is this person talking about?” When that happens, I don’t necessarily want to give up on finding out, but at times I have, whether it was because I thought they were weird or just had no clue about what they were speaking.
    Further, I can appreciate your willingness to display your post, in the grand scheme of life and the current state of social media. We can become a much more productive society if only we are willing to open our minds to possibilities which we personally have never experienced, whether learned on our own or from others. The opportunities are endless. So, I commend you wholeheartedly for your input on this topic, and am thankful for your intelligence. I now see the world and peoples input from a different perspective. It will take practice, but I will learn to better listen and learn. Thanks so much.
    -LostinTranslation (LIT)

  7. chris on February 15th, 2010 12:03 pm

    That’s good advice, except i’m dealing with someone I dont think you could help me with. He is an idiot. Everything he does, doesn’t make sense. He is my suitemate, which means we share a bathroom and a kitchen. He drives me insane because he does so many things for no reason. Like he’ll open his front door and then close it, and then open it, and then close it. For no reason. He just likes to do things, and I have to hear him all the time being thoughtless. We’re always fighting (not literally) over things like where we prefer the toilet paper when we’re too lazy to put it on the roll, or how do we prefer the shower head in the shower. My way makes sense, and his way doesn’t, but he moves the shower head everytime anyway. I know it’s not a big deal, but it’s little things like that, that are driving me insane. Your piece is about what a person is saying. I am tolerant when it comes to that, but do you have any advice for the kind of thing i’m going through?

  8. samuel on October 12th, 2010 6:54 am

    i love to tolerate others that are fuga

  9. Camille on December 10th, 2010 4:21 am

    your response on this topic is really helpful. If its not soothing to others it is to me. Thanks in advance. I will try to adopt these qualities of tolerance. Alhamdulillah

  10. Amina Younas on March 22nd, 2011 10:40 am

    I think this one was very helpful. I believe respecting the other’s existence is what will eventually make you tolerant of his actions, which you might not appreciate very much. I think a successful person is one who can get along with different people who hold perspectives different than his or hers.
    However, I do think that sometimes comes a point, when you just cannot take it anymore, because you have had enough of it and really want to do something about it. But getting angry and fighting doesn’t help at all. Maybe you could talk about it and honestly, talking helps because as mentioned in the article, it enables you to see the reason behind his acting that way. At the end of the day, I believe, everyone needs friends and people who appreciate him. You can only be respected if you give the same amount of respect and acceptance to the other person.
    Once again, thank you so much for posting this article.

  11. Simon on May 20th, 2011 7:59 am

    I really try to understand this one person but she doesn’t answer any of the questions I ask.. What can I do ? I do not understand her at all and really try but I can’t even start if she won’t let me understand, please help me!

  12. Havah on July 4th, 2011 8:26 pm

    People don’t understand that they have to shut up to hear, listen and understand and when I mean “shut up”, it’s litterally shut your usual way of processing ideas. Have a virgin mind for a little moment and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. It’s not even about agreeing with or approving what the person’s doing or saying, it’s just letting the other be in the discussion. Some people are so wrapped up in their arguments that it’s pointless to talk them. The worst part is that these people are always convinced they’re open-minded and get everything. How can you get something if you see and read everything from your single perspective, life experiences or environment? Beyond being tolerant of others, it’s just understanding that as we come in different shapes and colors, we’re all also wired differently and there is nothing strange or weird about it.

  13. Luka on December 22nd, 2011 4:07 am

    I hate my self for my prejudices. I hope being aware of it is the first step towards improvement! :) really nice article

  14. laura on May 17th, 2012 4:46 am


  15. Ashton on June 25th, 2012 1:40 pm

    I love this article because I have learned a lot from this information and I shall not forget the true importance of tolerating people in society. Life is much more simpler if we just tolerate the differences we have within each other as individuals. I had that problem now I sincerely want to rectify my attitude, by tolerating people, and being able to listen, and communicate without making any harsh judgements and realising we are all different and want to be accepted.

  16. nooreen tajuddin on October 20th, 2012 5:43 am

    Very informative.its very useful to apply the info in our everyday life so that we are able to lead a happy and harmony life within the people who are close to our heart.learn to listen,never make any judgement in our own perspctive thinking.

  17. Lisa Hunt on February 4th, 2013 8:05 pm

    I agree with you in this article. It is so important to have an open mind to other opinions and ideas and ways of being. I used to be so closed minded but am trying to get a glimpse into other people’s minds to really try to understand why they say or act as they do. It helps just to realize that everyone is different. I think this will help our world expand higher as human beings as well!! Great article!!!