Am I Becoming More Tolerant or Less?


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asking myself the same question over and over again, so I decided to just write about it hoping the answer will come to me.  As I age, and as a woman over fifty, am I becoming more tolerant or less?” That is the question.

I‘ve always considered myself a tolerant person, even compassionate at times. However, I’ve noticed a change in my being when confronted with people (friends, family, colleagues, strangers, cashiers, waiters, etc.) who try my patience.  I just don’t want to be terribly inconvenienced any more, and don’t like people wasting my time – or insulting my soul, because both are precious.

For example, if I have a doctor’s appointment at 3:30, I have to leave work early and basically hurry so I’m not late.  Then, I end up sitting there for over an hour before anyone acknowledges I’m next.  My response?  I’m angry (even though I’ve brought a great book to read) because on that particular day, I’ve got tons of work to complete and a major deadline.  The doctor and his staff do not seem to care at all.  I get annoyed and become intolerant. doctors office

Or, I get a call from a friend or client and have to inform them I can’t talk because I’m running off to an appointment and I’ll call them later.  And, guess what?  They keep talking as if they didn’t’ hear me.  So, I get annoyed and become intolerant.

Or, I’m waiting for a plumber at 8 a.m. and at 10:00 I’m still waiting.  I call the plumber and get no response.  I become intolerant.

It seems to me that I used to be more tolerant.  For example, I used to feel compassion for perpetrators of heinous crimes, because after all, aren’t they sick?  But, for example, after hearing about that hideous case in Cleveland where one man tortured, abused, and chained several young girls for almost a decade, I no longer feel the least bit of compassion for such criminals.  I just feel like they deserve to die.  So when that criminal was found dead in his cell, I felt it was a perfect ending for him.

So, I guess I’m just becoming less tolerant after all?  What about you?

5 thoughts on “Am I Becoming More Tolerant or Less?

  1. More tolerant of strangeness and diversity in personality, religion, race,sexuality etc. Less tolerant of time-wasters and things that disrupt my flow.

  2. Annice, I think I am getting less tolerant. When I was younger, and was having more sex, that seemed to put a filter on all the stupid people and things that came up in my life.
    Now that I am in menopause, things just aren’t as “awesome” as they once were!
    I wish sometimes that I could get that “Annie Hall” personality back, but since I can’t, I just try to be more compassionate with everything.

  3. To Annice & Minda; Yes he was.

    I agree, I feel as though I’ve taken so much guff in my life that somewhere inside something has said “ENOUGH”. I find as my age gets higher my threshhold for BS gets lower and lower and lower. For some reason, things that used to upset me don’t and things I used to keep quiet about and let pass are now leaping right out of my mouth!

    Is it wisdom? Learning to set boundaries & expectations? Hormones? Bravery? Stupidity? I don’t know but I must admit, I’m kind of liking it 🙂

  4. If I may I would like to reframe what you are calling intolerance–I would like to suggest that you are beginning to value yourself and your time more and that you are (in my mind, rightfully so) beginning to expect more out of people like expecting them to respect life, respect others and not be so self absorbed, to control feelings and learn to express them in a way that might bring about change if that is what is needed. Frankly, I hate to be tolerated–if you don’t like what I do or who I am just say so but in a way that might bring me to change!!

  5. Don’t even get me started. I find I am a lot less tolerant than I used to be and I’m a social worker. Sometimes I would like to just stay in my home and not have to engage with other people. I find myself cursing about things and people that would not have bothered me in the past. For me, I think it’s just about being around for a while and behaving so tolerantly in the past. A person can only take so much. Annice, I believe our father was the most tolerant person I have ever known.

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