There is no room in good society for a lady who is intolerant of the lives of other people. Such women are soon weeded out as being unsuitable to invite anywhere and generally unpleasant to be around. We all know what it feels like to find ourselves trapped in a difficult conversation. We struggle to find the way to keep calm.
Learning the art of tolerance involves allowing people to live their life as they choose. This is regardless of their differing opinions, practices, religion, race, gender, nationality, background or socio-economic status.
Tolerance is not simply agreeing with like-minded people and closing your eyes to anyone who does not agree with you. It requires a sincere respect for the essence of humanity in every person and their inalienable right to express themselves.
As caring and compassionate ladies, our goal is for all people to feel comfortable and content to be themselves. It’s a wonderful part of the feminine nature. This will not be possible if we allow our personal pride to be trampled upon by others. We then fall into the trap of failing to keep calm.
We need to remain objective when we are with people who are different to us. In fact, doesn’t that include everyone? Being objective means that we do not look at them through the eyes of our own limited experiences and beliefs. Instead, we try to see the world through their eyes.
I truly believe that every person tries to create a life around them to enable them to sleep in peace each night. We are all just trying to get through this life the best we can. That their choices are different to mine is not for me to judge, as they are not living my life, but their own.
You do not have to give an opinion on everything that is said to you. We all know the saying “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”, but we also know that in reality, this is a lot more difficult to do than it sounds. So, in order to fill any awkward gap of silence, we fail to stay calm and spill forth with our contradictory opinions and become generally unpleasant.
Let me tell you the story of how I learned to keep stay calm in my communication with others:
There is a very smart lady who I know and love very much (you know who you are). I used to be confounded on how this woman seemed incapable of being drawn into an argument. In certain situations, I would find myself hotly debating a certain topic and getting myself whipped up into a frenzy. I found that this lady could manage to keep herself out of any such debates, whilst still remaining sociable and friendly. I admired her ability to do this and took it upon myself to watch her very carefully during future encounters, in order to learn how she exercised her spirit of tolerance without causing difficulties in the flow of conversation.
It’s not that she didn’t have opinions, for I know that she has very strong opinions and religious beliefs which she upholds, but she believes in “live and let live”. In watching her, I learned that you do not have to reply to someone’s opinion with your own opinion. This is not a necessary part of communication.
You do not have to reply to someone’s opinion with your own opinion.
I noticed that when someone said something to her which I knew was contradictory to her own beliefs, that she responded by saying “That’s very interesting. Tell me more.”
I then adopted this practice into my own life. At first, it felt fake for me not to disclose my opinion on every matter that was discussed, but I soon learned that healthy conversation is about making people feel comfortable and not imposing yourself upon them. So now, “That’s interesting” is a very powerful conversation tool for me.
It’s amazing how showing a genuine interest in people’s differences makes them want to open up and tell you more. You will become more educated about different people and different lifestyles, as well as be a much more enjoyable person to talk with. You might find that your “treasured” opinion was wrong all along!