Life lessons

Tolerant or not #FridayReflections

For years I have thought of myself to be open-minded. I grew up in a culture with regressive views on things to do with women’s roles and homosexuality. I grew up with the culture and people around having conservative views on a lot of things including religious beliefs. Yet, somehow, I turned out different. I decided I didn’t like organised religion — any of them and yet, figured I could leave people to follow what they wanted as long as they didn’t preach to me. I embraced homosexuality as nothing out of the ordinary and was shocked to find out it was illegal in India. I figured women could do anything they wanted just like men.

Suffice to say, I was pretty proud of myself. For breaking the norm. For being an independent thinker. For being so open-minded in spite of everyone and everything telling me otherwise.



Until recently, that is.

In recent times I’ve come to realise I am not as tolerant as I think I am. Sure, I’m open-minded and accepting of a lot of things but these things do turn out to be what I’d like to think is the ‘majority’ view. Or at least currently, the majority among people I know and meet and the stuff I read.

But am I tolerant? defines tolerance as “a fair, objective and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial, or ethnic origins, etc. differ from one’s own”

When I look at that, I realise, I am probably not at all tolerant. I’m open-minded but I am really intolerant of those who are not. I am intolerant of conservatives who hold views opposing equality, homosexuality, freedom of expression, freedom to practise religion. I realise sometimes, I don’t even care to listen to what comes out from the mouths of conservatives. That I’ve judged them before they speak. That I get emotional and angry. That I argue and fight.

Conservatives have very different views to me. I’m quite liberal and open-minded and I do notice I judge conservatives harshly. That I make a judgement-call on their personality.



What makes all this harder is being in a relationship with someone with conservative views. Even before a conversation can get to the nitty-gritties, I find I get defensive and critical. My lack of tolerance means I rarely hear things out. That I attack before hearing the entire piece or even attempting to understand where they may be coming from.

End result? Unhappiness and resentment.

It pains me to realise this part of my personality. I, who thought how great it was that in spite of slightly conservative parents in some aspects, I turned out oh-so-awesomely open-minded.

But I’m not. I’m just as bad as the conservatives I like to denounce. By not being tolerant of their views. By not allowing them a chance to express them. By shutting them down.

Yes, there are some things I can never be tolerant of. Violence against women and children, for instance. But other things? I’m sure I can listen and have a conversation without getting into an argument or being critical. Without getting all stroppy and personal? And surely with this, the other person is also likely to listen and to take into account a different view.



It’s about time I learnt to be tolerant of those with different views.

At least I’d be less stressed.

What about you? Are you tolerant? 

Do share!

Living my Imperfect Life

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.

Write Tribe and yours truly give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up every Friday. The link will be open till the Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Prompts for this week:
1. Tolerance: Do you believe you are tolerant or not? Write a post, or share a story depicting it
2. Are you someone who is always on time, running late or early? Does it even matter?
3. Write about something you learned the hard way
4. “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche Use this quote in a post or as an inspiration for one.
5. Picture Prompt (courtesy Living my Imperfect Life)


Once again, we have two featured writers for last week: Esha, for her inspiring tale on not giving up and Ankita for staying true to herself. If you want to be in the running for featured writer, do join in this week by writing on one of the prompts above.

Until next time,



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  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    2 September 2016 at 8:30 am

    I don’t think this is a bad thing. I hate when people beg for tolerance of gay people, for example. LGBTIQ people should not be tolerated. They should be accepted. We are all people. Same goes for Islamic people, people of colour, atheists, feminists and so on. Acceptance is what’s needed and not tolerating people who would discriminate is probably the first step towards letting them know.
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    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      2 September 2016 at 9:32 am

      I don’t agree with tolerance of homosexuality or ethnicity or race and am with you about acceptance in that regard. But I do admit I tolerate religion in general and am not very accepting of it. I accept that people will follow their religious views however. Not sure if that makes sense. I think though by not tolerating conservative views, for me at least, it means I have lost the person even before we can have a civil conversation about it. If I’ve judged them already, I don’t hear what they have to say and they don’t want to hear what I have to say. No one wins. Whereas perhaps if it was a respectful discussion, they may at least start to question their beliefs.

  • Ness
    2 September 2016 at 9:25 am

    I think I’m very accepting and open minded. I do tend to avoid and shy away from controversial topics and arguments, so maybe I’m a bit cowardly about putting my opinions out there *hangs head in shame* Some people can’t be reasoned with, though. Because they have to be right. They can’t even agree to disagree, and you’re probably better off not avoiding them because it’s a total waste of energy.

    On another note, I would love to join in this link up. I like a prompt based link up, because let’s face it, I’ve got no original ideas ever LOL. I also joined in for The Month That Was. Are there any prompts in advance for next week, or are they only available on the day? Thanks Sanch.

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      2 September 2016 at 9:28 am

      I too am accepting and open minded generally but I do get passionate and intolerant with those who don’t share my open minded views. I think sometimes, I’m one of those who can’t agree to disagree!

      Ooh yay! Great that you want to join in on the link up. If you join the FB group, we out the prompts up a few days before. Alternatively, I also need to share it more frequently on my own FB page a few days before. Also, you can still write for this week until Monday 🙂

      • Ness
        2 September 2016 at 7:30 pm

        Hi Sanch. Thanks for the info. Can you add me to the Facebook Group please? The link above doesn’t seem to work for some reason. And I’ll see if I can link up by Monday, otherwise I’ll join in next week. Have a great weekend! Thanks again!
        Ness recently posted…The Month That Was AugustMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    2 September 2016 at 10:43 am

    No, I’m not tolerant. In quite the same way as you, really! I don’t have much patience for conservative views, because it won’t harm them if they give freedoms to others.
    Kind of that whole “If you don’t want a gay marriage, don’t get gay-married” quote that people used to put around.
    I’m not tolerant when personal opinions restrict others freedoms. I don’t want to be tolerant of that.
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  • Shauna 'Round the Corner
    2 September 2016 at 11:32 am

    Sanch, our core beliefs and values are instilled in us from a very young age. Even though you grew up with a conservative culture I suspect somehow you’ve been influenced such that your right to form your own opinion based on sound (and perhaps more liberal) moral values has been instilled in you. Perhaps someone close to you has encouraged this in you? I don’t know. But I do know that when two people have philosophically opposing core beliefs and values, trying to change one another’s point of view is fruitless. And it is exhausting. So don’t do it. Accept your differences and focus on the good stuff – the things you can agree on and the things you like about a person. Some topics are just best kept off-limits. It is most unlikely that you will ever change a person’s core beliefs and values. Let them be and get on with the good stuff. For your own sake x
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    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      2 September 2016 at 11:38 am

      Thank you Shauna…I think I needed to hear that. It might not be about tolerating their views but accepting the differences. Which is easier said than done but I’ll keep trying.

  • Denyse
    2 September 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I think we are all like this and that even as we get older, where we might be supposed to mellow and all that, some things will still bother us and annoy. All I am trying (oh so trying!) to learn more for myself over time, is to respond rather than react. T’is not easy. Today for me I was intolerant of a BIG company’s incompetence and expressed it to the person I was dealing with. Later I realised that person is just trying to do the best (I hope!) job on the way and maybe I needed to be kinder. Lesson learned every single day. Forgiving of self and others.
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  • Obsessivemom
    2 September 2016 at 3:44 pm

    The other day my sister and I were having the exact same conversation. And I think this is true for many of us who consider ourselves liberal or open. True tolerance would of course be to listen to a completely different point of view and to agree to disagree without feeling any rancour or anger. That’s tough, I know – but that is what I would aspire to. It becomes even more difficult if it is someone close to you. However when their is real affection or love one learns to look beyond the differences. My sister and I for instance are very different in how we look at things. Though just three years apart she is way more liberal than I am. And yet we now end up predicting each other’s responses and laughing over them even though we don’t agree at all. Maybe you could do that too over time.
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  • Mackenzie Glanville
    2 September 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I feel very similar to you actually. I am very open minded. My parents grew up with stronger views due to both their fathers fighting in World War 2, my father was always more open minded than my mum, bit I developed my own views and am far more open minded than anyone in my family, I sometimes wonder how I am as open minded as I am. I love to hear others thoughts and opinions and have an intellectual discussion. But I agree I can not tolerate violence against women, child abuse and racism. So I to can become very frustrated when I feel people are judging un fairly or being ignorant. Very thought provoking post! #Fridayreflections
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  • Vasantha Vivek
    2 September 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Tolerance is found to be missing nowadays. I too become intolerant on some extreme conditions.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…A Letter To My Curious Teen – #PeriodPride #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    2 September 2016 at 10:49 pm

    I feel similar to you Sanch – I am open minded and would normally consider myself tolerant but when I’m faced with uninformed opinions (e.g. about autism, cures, vaccinations, etc.) I do tend to close my mind off from them. I really enjoyed reading this and taking the chance to consider my own position – thanks for that.

  • Deborah
    3 September 2016 at 11:50 am

    This is a hard one. I like to think I’m tolerant, but I’m also impatient…. I like to think I’m tolerant but I can be quick to judge. So I think my mind often leaps to a certain place but my actions and behaviour respond more appropriately!
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  • Anita
    5 September 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Our tolerance levels & beliefs are tested & challenged when we are in many situations.
    I make a sincere attempt to tolerate & exhibit tolerance.
    But, then there are limits too that must not be crossed.
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  • Grace
    8 September 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I have no tolerance for racism, homophobia, prejudice or violence. Don’t have much tolerance for arrogance either. Wow. I don’t have much tolerance at all…LOL!
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Signs and FearMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    9 September 2016 at 12:28 am

    I hear you, Sanch. I’m exactly the same way – I fly off the handle when I encounter close-minded people or ‘bigots’ as I call them, hardly realizing that in calling them so, I am the same. I think it’s hear that Jesus’ teaching comes to mind (not being religious, just quoting a well-known phrase 😉 ) – First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
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    1 October 2016 at 10:00 am

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