Tolerance in Social Circles: Part 1
Tolerance is your ability to deal with the disagreeable. It’s your capacity to withstand that which you don’t agree with in other people. It’s not possible to be in 100% agreement with our family, friends, colleagues etc. all the time. That is why everyone, to a certain degree, will need to practice tolerance at some time or the other. Sometimes, someone’s disagreeable nature can simply be an annoyance, while other times, it may be much more intrusive.
Most people have trouble being tolerant with others. What is unfortunate is that because we don’t know how to be tolerant, a simple difference of opinion turns into a fight. The practice of tolerance, however, is more about your relationship with yourself instead of with other people. It is possible to build tolerance.
How to Build Tolerance
Own Your Feelings - When something bothers us, it is good to remember that it is bothering us only. The other person may not even be aware of our feelings, let alone be prepared to change. Keep in mind that our feelings are our own and that we have the right to self-mastery in our life, just as the other person has sovereignty over themselves.
Check the Ego - Often other people are simply disrupting our flow. When our stillness is disturbed, our ego may desire to retaliate. A mental or emotional line is being crossed and therefore we feel frustrated. This inner tension can be our ego showing anger at the fact that our personal attention has shifted.
When we are bothered by other people, we are no longer focused on what we were doing. This is upsetting to the ego. Remember we are not our egos. We can fight our egos. By recognizing our egos for what it is, we can cultivate the ability to limit the importance of some of the things we feel.
Dhikr/Durood - Dhikr can help cultivate tolerance. We can learn to tolerate some things about others simply by discovering they’re just not that important. The things we take issue with don’t have to define the person or the experience. Remembering Allah and sending Durood calms our souls which will make it easier to check ourselves before reacting. We can start by routinely checking in with ourselves during stressful experiences or people. We will begin to react with more grace and patience and be able to offer the best version of ourselves.
Remember Change Is Imminent - The universe is always changing, always happening. And as such, everything has its moment to be. We, also, can change from one moment to the next.
Be mindful of the fact that no matter how pestering an annoyance can be, it is only temporary. The majority of people in our lives are only around us in certain circumstances or for a certain amount of time.
Keep Perspective - No matter how likeable we believe ourselves to be, someone out there is or would be annoyed by us. With the numerous spectrum of thought and behavior among humans, it’s impossible to be accepted by all. Chances are, somebody has put up with us at some point or the other.