Tolerance – When Is Enough… Enough?

19 May

In my therapy practice, I preach a lot about tolerance. Sometimes, I’ll even start out sessions by asking, “how is your tolerance holding up?” What I mean is this: “How much more can you take before you take action?”

It’s been interesting to watch because some clients’ tolerance is high -REALLY high. Sometimes even TOO high. Others have a low level of tolerance and are ready to bail on a marriage, relationship, job, etc. at the drop of a hat. Often, their level of tolerance mimics their experiences in childhood (but, that’s another post!).tolerance

So, one question you may want to ask yourself next time you’re in a conflict is: how much can I take before I do something?

The next question should be, “Is that reasonable?”

Here’s an example: I’ve recently hired an online logo company to design a logo for my new practice. It’s been a nightmare. No one gets back to me in a timely manner. No one understands what I want. No one even communicates with me.

Well, the whole process has been a lesson in MY tolerance. After three weeks of sub-par work, I finally hit my tolerance. I called, demanded my money back, and well, let’s just say the nightmare continues.

But, before I demanded a refund, I sat with myself and wondered if I was being reasonable. Was three weeks enough time? Is there any sign of improvement? And I asked others, just to be sure.

Turns out, yep, three weeks was plenty. I was being reasonable. And I want my money back, darn it!

Now you try: next time you’re in the midst of a conflict, consider your tolerance. Then manage the conflict accordingly.



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