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Improve Your Understanding and Tolerance of Others

By HERWriter
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Relationships & Family related image Photo: Getty Images

Judging others is a part of everyday life, whether you realize it or not. Every time you look at someone, thoughts form in your head about their appearance and who they might be.

For example, you notice a woman wearing a low-cut top, a miniskirt, caked-on makeup and an elaborate hairdo. You might assume she’s high-maintenance, spoiled and only cares about her appearance.

However, if you think past your initial thoughts and first appearances, you might realize you were completely wrong, and in many cases you probably are. Humans are complex beings, and you can’t figure them out just by looking at them and briefly observing them.

Another example: you’ve heard of a woman who has casual sex and never stays in committed relationships for long. You might assume she is a "slut," self-centered and irresponsible. What you don’t know is her whole life story, her internal struggles and what she’s dealing with on a daily basis.

Understanding and tolerance of others can be considered as the balance to judgment and intolerance of others. If you attempt to understand others and reach past your initial observations and conclusions, enlightenment is sure to come.

Some ways that understanding and tolerance can help you are to relieve stress and fear associated with negative feelings, judgment and intolerance, and to promote positive thinking and happiness.

If you think about it, in most cases judging others is associated with negative feelings. To be fair, by sizing someone up you are judging them overall, and this doesn’t always lead to negative thoughts, fear and anger. However, depending on how your mind works, you might judge others in order to find negative aspects, or you might just hone in on those negative aspects first, especially if you have a pessimistic outlook on life.

If you see something unfamiliar or that you don’t agree with in another person after judging them, you might avoid them or criticize them and never fully understand who they are. Fear and loathing of the unfamiliar can be a natural instinct, but it’s not always best for you and others.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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