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Tolerance: definition, examples, tips

tolerance is a fundamental factor in almost any human interaction. Only through them is it possible for people to live happily and peacefully together and still be able to preserve their individuality. Unfortunately, it turns out almost every day that tolerant behavior is anything but natural. Everything that is different is not only viewed with suspicion, but is also regularly bad-spoken, despised and condemned from one's own point of view. Tolerance is the exact opposite, it does not involve judging attitudes or behaviors - live and let live. That doesn't just make for one better togetherness, but also increases personal satisfaction in the end. What you need to know about tolerance and how it can be promoted in everyday life ...

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Tolerance definition: what is tolerance?

The term tolerance is derived from the Latin verb tolerare What suffer or endure means. Originally it means that things or conditions are endured that cannot be influenced and that simply cannot be changed. With the Enlightenment in the 18th century, however, the understanding of tolerance changed and developed into what we mean by it to this day.

Put simply, tolerance means that Accepting other opinions, beliefs, behaviors, preferences or, especially in current contexts, religions, cultures and world views. Tolerant behavior shows that everyone is treated indulgently, respectfully and kindly, even and especially when they are or think differently than you.

Letting someone else practice their religion freely, even though you are not a believer yourself, is a well-known example for tolerance. You may not understand the behavior, but instead of trying to teach the other person better or even mocking or despising them, you accept the differences.

Further examples of tolerance are:

  • Foreign cultures and the differences associated with them
  • Different opinions or political orientations
  • Unfamiliar habits or manners

Tolerance starts with the small and doesn't need a big level. Even with a colleague whose personality and way of working you simply cannot cope with, you show yourself tolerant if you still do your best to work on a project together.

The opposite would turn out to be intolerance show if you do not recognize any other point of view than your own, exclude anyone who thinks differently and immediately label everything that is alien to you and deviates from your values ​​as wrong. Intolerant people cannot accept and accept that not everyone thinks and acts alike, but reject everything.

In the best case scenario, tolerance shows itself by accepting every person for who they are. With all its peculiarities and completely regardless of whether you agree with everything. Tolerance in its purest formthat leads to a happy coexistence instead of exclusion, racism and, in the worst case, war.

When tolerance reaches its limits

The importance of tolerance cannot be emphasized enough, but itself such a great good has limits. You - and at best everyone else - should be tolerant, but there are times when you no longer have to tolerate the behavior or opinions of others.

Your Tolerance limit should be reached at the latest when someone restricts your personal freedom through their behavior or when your or the human rights of another person are disregarded.

Basically, tolerance ends at criminal acts or the expression of inhuman views and attitudes. In such a case, you should not accept or tolerate this, but rather take action against it and call in the police.

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Tolerance is the beginning of recognition

Tolerance is rightly called for and, with good reason, is one of the most important qualities in any society. What is usually not taken into account, however: tolerance should only be the first step and, in the best case, short-lived. Please don't get this wrong! It is of course not about the fact that tolerance can turn into intolerance after a certain period of time - on the contrary.

Tolerance should be followed by acceptance, recognition and respect.

To tolerate means first of all to tolerate and accept - which automatically means that what is different is not yet fully recognized at this point in time.

As long as something is only tolerated, the attitude implies that reservations remain and one actually agrees with opinions or actions. Tolerance is the necessary and important beginning, but only when it leads to actual acceptance is the process complete.

Tips for more tolerance

How tolerant a person is depends in large part on them Upbringing and previous experience from. But tolerant behavior can also be learned and encouraged at a later point in time. However, this is not easy because it means dealing critically with your own behavior, your previous attitude and also your personality.

It is still possible - and these tips can help you:

  • Don't put yourself in the center

    Those who are intolerant of others make themselves and their own views the self-proclaimed center of the world. This completely ignores the fact that everyone has a different background. Experiences, caregivers, culture, preferences, personality, interests - like you, everyone else has the right to live their life as they see fit, as long as the legal limits are adhered to.

    It may be difficult for your ego, but the world is not just about you. Put yourself in everyone else's perspective and try to accept that everyone is individual - and that it doesn't matter if everyone doesn't always agree with you.

  • Question your own views

    For a more tolerant dealings with other people, you should take a critical view of yourself and learn to question your own opinions, values ​​and beliefs. This does not mean that you have to renounce everything that has been important to you or what you have stood up for. By questioning, however, you can learn to be more open and less stuck in your own ways of thinking.

    Rather than assuming that any other opinion is nonsense, listen to the arguments and consider that you, too, may be wrong.

  • Create a tolerant environment

    If you are constantly surrounded by intolerance, over time you will adopt such behavior for yourself. Create an environment in which you can best learn from tolerance and how to treat one another with respect every day.

    Likewise, you should set a good example yourself in order to ensure more tolerant behavior in your environment. Address and criticize intolerance and show how it can be improved.

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