Acceptance does not mean you need to tolerate behaviour from others with which you don’t agree. You can still take a stand while accepting the reality of a situation.
When we accept what is, it provides a breather and an opportunity to acknowledge what we’re actually dealing with.
In order to have faith in your own path, you do not need to prove that someone else’s path is wrong. -Paulo CoelhoClick to tweet
In that context, we usually take more appropriate and effective action or respond to a situation, rather than react, leading to more favorable outcomes.
Use a few of these next 30 tips and 30 conversation starters to support expanding your mastery of tolerance, acceptance and taking a stand.
1. Check your mindset. What we find unacceptable or intolerable in others are often similar to the things we dislike about ourselves. Change how you see yourself to change how you see others.
2. Avoid pigeonholing people. Our brains automatically label people by categories or groups, based on how we perceive them and who they remind us of. These labels can lead to “us vs. them” thinking. Look beyond the surface, at the whole person.
3. Listen carefully. Allow yourself to sense and identify with the feelings of the other person. Remember that pain and frustration often “sound” angry.
4. Accept others as they are now, despite any differences. It helps everyone focus on the positives and continue to make progress. Everyone learns and grows at their own rate.
5. Expect differences. When you see differences in someone, identify how and why that difference is positive in the big-picture or in the long-run.
People have the right not to change as per our wish, suggestion or command, even if the change would benefit nobody but them. -Mokokoma MokhonoanaClick to tweet
6. Innovative and creative thinkers often find that it’s more difficult to be fully “accepted” by others. If you feel that way sometimes, remember Einstein was so far beyond “forward thinking” it took decades for others to catch up to him. Keep going!
8. Accepting someone allows for principled debates or disagreements. You can accept someone’s perspective, without agreeing with their reasoning or school of thought.
9. Respect people, even when you disagree with their opinions and ideas.
10. Practice being understanding. If you don’t understand, ask thoughtful and respectful questions for clarification.
11. Keep your tone low, your smile friendly and your words kind, to help people feel accepted.
Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.-Timothy KellerClick to tweet
12. Share similar experiences or that of a “friend” with a different experience and opinion.
13. In order to work together effectively, in your personal or professional life, encourage your people to take more interest in each other and find common ground.
15. Make boundaries to manage how you treat others and how they’re allowed to treat you.
16. When discussing conflicting views, focus on the issue, not your thoughts about the person. Negative comments about the person put them on the defence.
17. Be assertive and polite when a boundary is crossed, rather than passive or aggressive.
18. Beliefs aren’t changed by force. They are changed by learning and understanding the unbiased facts. Seek understanding, not agreement.
19. Choose the appropriate time to address an issue when neither of you are emotionally charged.
If someone chooses to live a certain way, and it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s freedom, it’s their choice to make. -Frank SonnenbergClick to tweet
20. When you address a difficult issue with someone, state your feeling and follow up with a suggestion of how to solve the problem.
21. Standing up for yourself when a boundary has been crossed to take full control of your life and strengthen your confidence.
23. Some people are more intimidating than others. When you have people who will back you up in a situation, ask them to help. Having them near gives you more confidence.
24. There is a difference between domineering and assertive. Don’t allow others to bully or dominate you through intimidation tactics. You always have a right to say, “no.”
25. Stand up to your negative, inner voice multiple times every day. Practice in the mirror to see how your “assertive look” might appear to others.
26. Everyone on earth deserves a certain amount of basic respect. Insist upon it with assertiveness, compassion and empathy.
27. Give others your attention to validate them and show your respect.
Comprehend the world as a question. There is wisdom and tolerance in that attitude.-Milan KunderaClick to tweet
28. Let the people in your life know what is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable. Communication is easier when everyone knows what’s expected.
29. Standing up to yourself helps develop the confidence to stand up for yourself and others.
It helps to see things as they really are rather than resisting facts. Many of us wrongly believe that when we accept something we’re actively supporting it. Rather, it’s a way of saying to ourselves, “Well, it’s not great, yet I can still be okay”.
Use the following list of 30 conversation starters about acceptance, tolerance and taking a stand, to gain more clarity about areas in your own life that might want more attention from you.
1. Define what acceptance means to you, specifically.
2. What top 5 things make you feel accepted? “I feel accepted when ___ because ___”.
3. What 7 things do you do to make new people feel accepted? Give examples.
All roads lead to rome, yet a lot of people still think there is only one way to get there, their own way, and if we didn’t follow it, we would all get lost. -Mouloud BenzadiClick to tweet
4. Define what being tolerant means to you, specifically and give a real-life example.
5. Explain why you are entitled to your own opinions yet not your own facts.
7. List (and explain) as many advantages as possible, to ‘welcoming diversity”.
8. What are 25 (or more) negatives associated with a lack of diversity?
9. What advice would you give a young person who wanted to be more tolerant?
10. List as many “accepting behaviors” as possible.
11. List as many “unaccepting behaviors” as possible.
12. What does acceptance look like to you?
13. What can you do today to encourage someone to be more accepting of others?
14. How do kindness, empathy, respect, control, and perspective play a part in acceptance?
15. Describe a time when you were irritated or angry when someone disagreed with you.
17. Describe the boundaries of your tolerance. Where do you draw the line?
18. Describe the last time when you stood up for someone else.
19. Have you ever wanted to stand up for someone but didn’t? What held you back?
20. Describe an instance when you exercised kindness during a disagreement. How would it have looked to a third party?
21. How does fact checking fit into becoming more accepting of others? Share a real-life example.
22. How does fact checking fit into being more tolerant of others? Share an example.
23. Share a time when you were bullied or intimidated by someone. How did you handle it? How would you do it now?
25. Under what circumstances are you most likely to stand up, in public, for some one?
26. Describe a time when someone stood up for you. How did you feel before and after?
27. What are the qualities and characteristics needed to stand up for others?
28. What qualities or characteristics do you need when standing up for yourself? Explain.
29. Is it more difficult for yourself or for others? Why?
30. What makes it difficult for you to stand up for yourself more often? What’s the solution?
Acceptance is something you do for your own peace of mind, allowing space for you consider your many available options, before responding to a less than desirable situation.
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