People who become more tolerant of others as they get older usually display these 8 behaviors

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As we age, we often become more tolerant of others. I’ve noticed this in myself and in others around me.

This isn’t just about growing older; it’s about gaining wisdom and understanding through life experiences. When we become more accepting and understanding, we start to display certain behaviors that reflect this shift.

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit, and I’ve spent a lot of time studying mindfulness and Buddhism, practices rooted in compassion and understanding. I’ve noticed some key behaviors people who become more tolerant exhibit as they age.

So let’s take a look at these behaviors that signal an increasing tolerance in an individual.

1) Greater acceptance

As we age, we often find ourselves becoming more accepting of others. This isn’t just a byproduct of getting older; it’s a sign of growing wisdom and maturity.

This acceptance is rooted in understanding that everyone has their own unique journey and experiences which shape them. It’s about recognizing that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to life.

Mindfulness practices have taught me that acceptance is not about condoning bad behavior or dismissing differences. Rather, it’s about acknowledging these differences without judgement, allowing us to coexist peacefully.

So, when you see someone exhibiting greater acceptance towards others, irrespective of their personalities or actions, it’s a clear indication of their growing tolerance.

And remember, acceptance is not passive; it’s an active process of understanding and embracing diversity.

2) Embracing change

They understand that nothing in life is static and that change is the only constant.

In my own journey, I’ve found that understanding and accepting the impermanence of things allows us to be more tolerant of others. 

When we appreciate that everyone is evolving and changing, we’re less likely to hold onto rigid perspectives or expectations.

The renowned mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, once said, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” 

It’s not about trying to control or resist change, but rather learning how to navigate it with grace.

3) Cultivating compassion

People who grow more tolerant with age often display a significant increase in compassion. This isn’t just about being sympathetic; it’s about truly understanding others’ suffering and wanting to alleviate it.

In Buddhism, compassion or ‘Karuna‘ is a fundamental principle. It’s not just about feeling pity for someone. It’s about deeply empathizing with their suffering and striving to help them.

This increase in compassion can lead us to be more tolerant of others.

After all, when we understand that everyone is fighting their own battles, we tend to be less judgmental and more forgiving.

4) Embracing mindfulness

They demonstrate a heightened awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and surroundings without judgement.

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and accepting it as it is. It’s about observing, not reacting. This practice can lead to greater tolerance, as it encourages us to react less impulsively and understand more deeply.

When practicing mindfulness, we learn to respond rather than react. We become more aware of our biases, judgments, and triggers. This awareness can lead us to be more patient and less reactive to others’ behaviors or viewpoints.

5) Letting go of ego

As we age, many of us begin to see the importance of letting go of our ego. This is a crucial step towards becoming more tolerant.

In my journey and through my studies, I’ve found that a strong ego often stands in the way of tolerance. It can make us rigid, inflexible, and unable to see beyond our own perspectives.

In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“, I delve into the concept of ego in Buddhism and how it often hinders our growth and understanding.

Letting go of ego allows us to see others more clearly. We become more open to different viewpoints and experiences, fostering greater tolerance.

6) Practicing patience

Patience, often overlooked, is a key behavior exhibited by people who become more tolerant as they age. It isn’t just about waiting; it’s about the ability to stay calm and composed, even in the face of adversity or disagreement.

In both Buddhism and mindfulness practices, patience is seen as a virtue and a pathway to understanding. It’s about giving others the space to be themselves without rushing to judgement or reaction.

It’s not always easy to be patient, especially when we’re confronted with views or actions that we strongly disagree with. 

But, it’s in those moments that patience becomes most crucial. It allows us to pause, reflect, and respond with wisdom.

7) Developing deeper understanding

They don’t just hear, they truly listen. They don’t just see, they observe.

This deeper understanding isn’t just about knowledge acquisition. It’s about empathetically connecting with others’ experiences and viewpoints, beyond surface-level interactions.

The renowned Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, once said, “When you understand, you cannot help but love.” This encapsulates the essence of understanding in fostering tolerance. It’s about seeing beyond our differences to the shared human experience.

8) Becoming comfortable with discomfort

They don’t shy away from difficult conversations or challenging situations.

Mindfulness teaches us to sit with discomfort, to observe it without judgement or resistance. It’s about acknowledging our feelings and emotions without letting them control us.

When we become comfortable with our own discomfort, we’re more likely to be tolerant of others. We can handle disagreements or differences without feeling threatened or defensive.

So if you see someone who doesn’t shy away from tough situations or conversations but welcomes them as opportunities for growth and understanding, they’re likely becoming more tolerant. 

In conclusion, becoming more tolerant as we age isn’t just about getting older; it’s about personal growth. 

Each of these behaviors is a step towards becoming more tolerant and understanding. And as we grow and evolve, our capacity for tolerance can only increase.

If you’re interested in exploring this further, I delve into these concepts and more in my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego“. It’s a journey into understanding the self and others from a Buddhist perspective.

Remember, the journey towards greater tolerance is ongoing. But with mindfulness and understanding, we can all grow to be more accepting and tolerant.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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