Tolerations be gone...
Posted on 11th October 2023 at 07:02
Like us, you may not have come across this word before. Tolerations.
And, if we’re completely honest, we weren’t 100% sure it was a “proper” word, so ended up checking it in an online dictionary. Much to our surprise, it was there, although the first definition we came across wasn’t particularly helpful:
“The practice of tolerating something, in particular, differences of opinion or behaviour.”
So, here’s another one:
“Allowing, permitting, or acceptance of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with.”
It’s certainly a more detailed definition although, again, not particularly helpful…
Having said that, what comes across in both definitions is the same heaviness and resistance. Of having an extra burden to carry. And, really, that sums up what tolerations are all about.
Perhaps it’s something small.
The pile of junk mail or other papers, whether at home or work, that keep being added to but never sorted out. The bag of unwanted “treasures” waiting to go to the Charity shop. The phone call or email to resolve one of life’s small irritations, an unwanted subscription or over payment. Booking the car in to the garage or yourself for a check up. We’re sure you can come up with several – or many more (!) – examples of your own.
Or, may be, it’s something much bigger, which seems far too overwhelming to even consider.
Moving house. Changing job. Some other major change involving a family member or friend. The dreaded year end accounts and tax return, if you’re self employed (!). And, on the basis that everyone has at least one of these lurking in the background, we’re sure you can come up with your own particular example(s)…
Then, there are the personality driven ones.
Differences in outlook, opinions and the like with those around you whether family, friends or work colleagues. All those occasions when we find ourselves biting our tongue or, perhaps, making a barbed comment – or worse. With each of us being able to instantly come up with plenty of examples of our own, all we’re going to say at this point is that you may well need to take a deep calming breath – or two – before reading any further (!).
While they may all differ in which buttons they push – and they’re still doing so, however much we’re trying to turn a blind eye to them – they still have the same effect. Draining our energy. Pulling our vibe down. Making life a little – or a lot – harder work and less enjoyable than it should be.
So, what’s the answer?
Well, before we decide that “enough is enough” and rushing straight in, how about stopping for a moment and taking a deep breath. Or two.
Taking a moment to remind ourselves that the “Bull in the China Shop” isn’t the only – or best (!) – approach. There are many others which, put simply, fall into four basic categories. And this includes tolerations too:
The first is the obvious one. Do it ourselves. To stop prevaricating and just get it over and done with, once and for all. Phew!
Which leads us on to the other obvious one, delegate it to someone else. Perhaps it was their responsibility and they’ve tried to fob it off on us. Maybe they have the skills / time / fill in the blank to do it.
There’s then delete it, decide it doesn’t have to be done at all. This covers many things on our infamous “To do” lists – or, as we often refer to them, “Good intentions” lists. As in “I really intend – or should – do this at some time but have no idea when…”.
Finally, there’s let it be. Not turning a blind eye to it – which still drains our energy as we try to ignore it – but accepting that it’s there and that’s ok. For now at least…
Suddenly, there are options. It’s not just about getting stuck in, but deciding which one is best. Hurrah!
So, starting small, take a quick look around wherever you are and notice any – or all (!) – those small things that are pushing your toleration buttons. And we’d suggest starting with very small things rather than people.
Choose one and run it past the four options. Just doing so will make you feel much more in control. Then use whichever of the four options is most appropriate. Not only is it usually much easier to resolve than you expected, but much quicker too. Even better, you’ll instantly feel the relief and satisfaction of having cleared away a toleration. Yes, it really can be that simple! It’s then simply a case of “rinse and repeat.”
And here’s a couple of quick tips to make things even easier.
It doesn’t matter how many of these small tolerations you clear from your life each time. Or how they’re cleared, although it’s not about dumping as much as you can in someone else’s lap (!). It’s about getting the ball rolling, your life flowing a little better. Every little toleration is like an extra weight in the backpack you’re lugging round with you. So, each one that goes makes life a little easier…
Where tolerations involve “things” a very useful rule of thumb is that, if they haven’t been needed or used for several months, then you’re probably not going to. Yes, we know it may sound a little drastic but, sometimes, simply “rehoming” them may be the simplest thing to do. And that covers all the options, whether the bin, recycling, taking them to the charity shop or someone else who may want whatever it is. Either way, you’ve cleared the stuck energy and, maybe, helped someone else at the same time. Another hurrah!
Then, once you’ve cleared a little space – and freed up a little of your energy – you’ll be ready to move on to other tolerations. Perhaps one of the bigger ones that previously felt completely overwhelming.
And, here, a slightly different approach is needed. The trick is not to go into “problem, I must fix it” mode. Instead give yourself the time to mull over the end result you desire. You’ll then know where you want to end up and, just as important, how you’ll feel when you get there.
And, yes, we know you just want to get on with it, but a little forethought and planning will save a huge amount of time in the long run. Even better, it sends out a very clear message, which helps set things in motion. We wrote recently about how important it is to get your “Thoughts, words and deeds” in the right order AND sending out a consistent message, you can find the post here.
Which leaves us with the personality driven tolerations, potentially the most difficult ones to address. Here the trick is to do so when the person concerned isn’t pressing any of your buttons. Yes, we appreciate it may be stating the obvious, but it’s all too easy to get drawn in and carried away otherwise. In other words, when you’re on an even keel and haven’t already started on a downward spiral that’s only going to get worse…
Often a gentle word or hint said in kindness will resolve the issue OR a little reminder about boundaries. And, remember boundaries are always about what’s acceptable so far as you’re concerned. You’re not trying to change how the other person behaves generally but towards you. If they don’t respect your boundaries, these are the consequences. So, it’s then up to them what they decide to do. Again, it may be stating the obvious, but the trick here is to stick to your boundaries, however difficult this may seem to be. If you don’t, it won’t help either of you and, just as important, all you’ll have done is swap one toleration for another. Not a good result. If you need a quick reminder about boundaries, click here.
So, there you have it. Tolerations be gone.
As always, the choice is yours.
Picture by unknown author
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