Help me become more tolerant

(22 Posts)
BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 14:06:40

I've always been headstrong, determined, stubborn. In a way it's helped me do well career-wise. However it's not a nice trait when it comes to social relationships because the above has also made me lack tolerance and patience most of the time. And it doesn't only affect the people around me - I get wound up myself when I feel things are not going as they should.

People (usually my OH) telling me not to get mad only makes it worse. I don't like getting mad but how do I stop myself? How do I stop the feeling rather than just the external projection of said madness?

I'd like to 'care less' because some of the things I don't tolerate actually don't even affect me e.g. a friend slacking at work, my OH spending all his savings on a new car (we don't live together so our finances are entirely separate). Or me buying my brother a present and him not taking care of it. Lending someone money and them not doing what they said they would with it.

On a day-to-day basis however I'm cheerful and very positive, have great friends and I'm the one that usually gets us all together, etc.

So how can I turn down my lack of tolerance/patience? Taking a deep breath doesn't work. Thinking 'what's it to me?' doesn't either. So I'm hoping that someone who found themselves in a similar position can share some words of wisdom. Ironically, I run a B2B company that is based on interactions with customers and partners and people like me (I do bite my tongue a lot during conference calls or even when replying to some emails). I want to be nicer to those around me, because there is often no reason for me to get so riled up.

Any help around here? I'd like 2021 to be the year I change this. Thank you.

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MindGrapes Wed 13-Jan-21 14:09:38

Can't help you, OP, I hate everyone at the moment grin

Do you actually bollock people or just seethe/ get P-A?

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 14:13:51

I don't bollock - I nag. Which is annoying. Especially when I don't stop quickly.

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SummerHouse Wed 13-Jan-21 14:20:39

Yoga. I do pocket yoga app.

Also I try to recognise the emotion, but not feel it.

To be fair you sound well balanced and self aware. Sometimes it's about how people respond and it helps to recognise that. E.g if I get angry at my 10 yr old he gets upset which makes me more angry. My 8 yr old on the other hand could not give a flying fuck and he stopped me mid rant (about being rude and ungrateful about meal I prepared) to tell me to "calm down Gorden Ramsey" which I couldn't stop laughing at. I know these reactions are unfair so try and keep them in check. But we are human beings.

Psychoanalysis might help you. I know someone who swears by it.

Foghead Wed 13-Jan-21 14:28:14

Are you the eldest of siblings?
I was a bit like that until one day a relative told me I was bossy. Yuk. What an insult. It made me change my ways.
You also have to accept that people are their own individual beings and have the right to choose how they live, just like you do.
You’re not anyone’s boss except at work, maybe.

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 14:33:56

@SummerHouse that. Spot on. How do I recognise and emotion but not feel it? I think I need to accept that everyone can do as they like and if it doesn't sit well with me it doesn't matter. But that's the theory. It's putting it into practice that doesn't seem to work.

@Foghead yes, I am the eldest. And I've been told I'm bossy since the dawn of time... in a way that's a good thing because I get stuff done (my team - who I adore and who seems to like me back - tradesmen, customer service people, etc) while always being polite. But I shouldn't try to impose what I think is right on others. Just like they don't on me.

OP’s posts: |
Foghead Wed 13-Jan-21 14:41:34

The good thing is you’re aware of it now and will realise when you’re behaving in this nagging way and be able to stop.
It’s probably going to be a slow process of change rather than a quick fix.

It’s hard for people like us who often know better and are usually right too wink


BountyFul Wed 13-Jan-21 15:05:53

I’m the same OP and I’d love a solution. Sometimes I find when I try to hold back and be nice it makes it worse. Do you think trying to say something diplomatically might be the solution? I also find it’s related to hormones, some days I couldn’t care less and other days I can’t get over it!

Bearnecessity Wed 13-Jan-21 16:06:47

I have developed a wide-eyed glazed look in the left eye and a lip bite in these situations....when I feel myself doing this it makes me laugh and that seems to lessen my need to control what is going on or happening and I just physically or mentally walk away from it.

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 16:36:26


The good thing is you’re aware of it now and will realise when you’re behaving in this nagging way and be able to stop.
It’s probably going to be a slow process of change rather than a quick fix.

It’s hard for people like us who often know better and are usually right too wink

Are you me???? grin

OP’s posts: |
Lily83 Wed 13-Jan-21 17:14:01

I know this may sound a cliche but meditation will help if done regularly.

Loads on u tube - I like Davidji - He was a New York banker who worked in the Twin Towers and just missed death.

He has worked with everyone - police, armed forces, hippies

But if its not your style - loads of others

I stop myself and think -
Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right-
Will this matter in a year/10 years time. -
I breathe and distract myself

Look at Bryon Katie. Jay Shetty, Richard Rohr

I tried and remember most people are doing their best in the situation they are in.

Doesn't always work - I can go into Victor Mildrew mood but they all help to make me calmer and happier

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 17:21:22

*Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right-
Will this matter in a year/10 years time.*

Well to me being happy and right are often intertwined! Even when it would mean being right about something small or that doesn't affect me. But it's a good idea to remind myself whenever I get worked up about something.

The 10-year thing, which I've seen suggested before, I don't agree with because I may break up with OH tomorrow and be very upset for a few years but I'll be fine in the long term. I think it's more a case of 'will it not matter next week' - because often the things I get riled up about do, in fact, not matter after a few days.

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HoegaardenHappiness Wed 13-Jan-21 17:33:40

I’m like you, useful at work, not so much at home.

Two things have helped - mindfulness to help feel, and ‘breathe through’ the emotion.
And stronger boundaries. Saying no to anything that might upset me, or it will annoy me if it doesn’t happen my way.

Also the eldest!

I have done a lot of work, self help books etc, parenting pushes all the control buttons.

Dr laura markham if you are parent
Phillipa Perry is great.

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Wed 13-Jan-21 17:36:07

I'm not a parent - I'm not into children and don't think I'd have the patients for them either. We have rescue dogs and we foster them though - they are my babies.

How do you breathe through the emotion? Do you mean taking a deep breath/counting to ten? That kind of thing?

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HoegaardenHappiness Thu 14-Jan-21 10:26:19

How do you breathe through the emotion? Do you mean taking a deep breath/counting to ten? That kind of thing?

Yes - listening to guided mediations. Has taken about a year. Jillian Michaels has some great ones on her fitness app. Or Diana Winston ‘mindful meditation’

HoegaardenHappiness Thu 14-Jan-21 12:50:25

Also like lending money ‘can you lend me 1k?’.

‘No but I can give you £100’. Give money - forget about it.

Goibisgo Thu 14-Jan-21 12:56:17

This passage from Margaret Atwood really shifted my perspective and made me more tolerant:

After this long together, both of our heads are filled with such minor admonitions, helpful hints about the other person – likes and dislikes, preferences and taboos. Don’t come up behind me like that when I’m reading. Don’t use my kitchen knives. Don’t just strew things. Each believes the other should respect this frequently reiterated set of how- to instructions, but they cancel each other out: if Tig must respect my need to wallow mindlessly, free of bad news, before the first cup of coffee, shouldn’t I respect his need to spew out catastrophe so he himself will be rid of it?

From her short story "the bad news"

DoormatBob Thu 14-Jan-21 13:07:05

Asking "what's it to me" doesn't work because it's simply a question, the thought already exists, and then you answer the question "because I paid for that" and you get even more riled.

Others have mentioned working on the emotion and for me that means capturing it earlier.

I work on "if I can't change it, I don't worry about it". Stop the thought at the front door of your brain. It won't happen overnight so just keep working on it.

I seem to be one of the few people enjoying lockdown. I put this down to not worrying about things outside my control therefore just embrace other opportunities it provides (time, yes even with a toddler)

BarryWhiteIsMyBrother Thu 14-Jan-21 13:49:11

@HoegaardenHappiness the thing for me is not the not getting the money back. It's the fact that I was happy to help because money was needed for something important e.g. house repairs. But it was then used for something else e.g. a family break.

@DoormatBob can I ask how you 'capture' an emotion early? And how you stop worrying just because you choose to? Emotions are mainly beyond our control: we don't decide who we like and who we don't like, whether we are scared of the dark or of snakes, etc.

OP’s posts: |
FreiasBathtub Thu 14-Jan-21 13:59:09

I'm like this too. I'm afraid the thing that is helping me most is long-term therapy. I've come to realize that I have a longstanding, low level anger that is bubbling along most of the time completely unrelated to my trigger points, and I am very resistant to letting this anger out. And when something makes me cross, it's usually acting as a vent for a lot of other things that aren't so well defined. I am finding that as I understand more about the underlying anger, I'm less reactive and more tolerant about the triggers. Sometimes.

HoegaardenHappiness Thu 14-Jan-21 14:29:25

Yes but then you don’t care how they spent the money. Lending for repairs to be spent on a holiday is bloody aggravating!

If we are doing quotes then I read a gratitude list every day and this quote’

Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. Sister, those who expected to rise did not, their beds became their cooling boards, and their blankets became their winding sheets. And those dead folks would give anything, anything at all for just five minutes of this... So you watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.”

It has really helped me ! Plus this one -

Marcus Aurelius -

Stop drifting. You’re not going to re-read your Brief Comments, your Deeds of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the commonplace books you saved for your old age. Sprint for the finish. Write off your hopes, and if your well-being matters to you, *be your own savior while you can*.”

DoormatBob Thu 14-Jan-21 14:55:37

Not sure how to explain it but it is along the same lines as others mention, self meditation, telling yourself you do control those emotions and distracting yourself away from the negativity.

If you can change your general outlook on life i found the anger goes away. In hindsight its so pointless.

You mention phobias but like anxiety these thoughts can be changed through therapy and a key part of that is removing the association of certain thoughts with certain emotions

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