“You get what you tolerate.”~Susan Scott
Every day I hear someone complain about people in their lives who don’t know what they’re doing. Their employees or peers don’t live up to their expectations; their boss treats them in ways they can’t stand; their children and significant others take them for granted and show no appreciation. As someone once told me, “You get what you tolerate.”
While we cannot control other’s behaviors or attitudes, we do choose what we’ll tolerate and what we won’t. It is always up to us to stay around for the behavior, or to find a way to physically, mentally, or metaphorically walk away.
During my time as a general manager, I had a direct report who had a quick temper. I struggled with how to deal with her and I put up with a lot of venting on her part. When I gave her difficult feedback one day, she flew off the handle. I was very close to matching her anger with mine, but I realized that while I might not like how she was acting, she was entitled to her emotions and was beyond civil discussion. I knew too that I didn’t have to stay there for her outburst, and I said, “I see that you are angry and cannot discuss this right now. If you want to have a conversation, I’m all yours. If not, I’m heading back to my office, and when you’re ready to talk, let me know.” I didn’t have to tolerate her treatment of me, and I didn’t have to push against her to change her.
We get what we tolerate. If we haven’t shared with someone that their actions don’t work for us, in some ways maybe we even deserve what we tolerate. It’s our choice to tolerate it no more.
What are you tolerating in your life? Find one person, place, or thing that you’re tolerating, and change it, or change you.
What do you tolerate and what have you learned not to?
Please leave a comment to share.
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