Practicing Tolerance

For over 40 years, Rabbi Leib Tropper has performed as a congregational rabbi and teacher of the Torah. A leading authority on Talmud, morality, and tolerance, Rabbi Leib Tropper offers his wisdom both to individuals and organizations. He is also a supporter of Character First.

At some point in life, most individuals encounter those whose personalities simply do not mesh with their own. A 2005 book recommended by Character First titled Sandpaper People: Dealing with the Ones Who Rub You the Wrong Way addresses this topic and offers these tips in building tolerance:

Self-Reflection: Ultimately, the only person’s behavior one can control is one’s own. Treating all people with dignity and respect allows one to avoid being guilty of the sort abrasive behavior performed by “sandpaper people.”

Planned Responses: It is often difficult to find the right words and behavior during tense situations. By planning responses to these situations ahead of time, one is more likely to be happier with the way the situation is handled.

Concentrate on Respect: People are destined to encounter those with polar opposite views at some point. By focusing on respecting opposite opinions rather than agreeing with everyone, both parties benefit.

Timing Conflict: Many contentious behaviors can simply be ignored, while others need to be faced. Always approach confrontations with a level head and choose these battles calmly and carefully.

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