As a woman, I am all too familiar with the words accepting, accommodating, and tolerating. However, I am sure as people we all do it at some point in our lives with work, family, friends, life’s situations, and relationships. Yet, there is a point where we must realize there is a time and place for all three of these actions and there are incidences where these actions are not needed at all.
Accepting. First, you have to know what you are willing to accept. This means you must be honest with yourself, and while being honest with yourself, enforce in your life exactly what you are willing to accept and avoid what you do not want. I found this to be a task that is easier said than done. It is to the point where I actually believe I have to write down what I am willing to accept in different areas of my life, such as work, friendships, family, and romantic relationships. However, do what works best for you because there are times thinking about it will not be enough. Before you know it, you will find yourself accepting any and everything, especially if you are a people pleaser or constantly trying to avoid any conflict.
Accommodating. Next, you have to decide what and/or who you are willing to accommodate in your life. I love using the term, extras, which my friend defined as people who are not consistently available in your life and pop-up when they want to be seen with you or when they make you the extra in their life when it is convenient for them. Yes, you can be an extra and not even realize it! You know how it is, the “friend” who calls you or texts you to invite you out to an event or to grab lunch or better yet, brunch, that’s how it often is in the city, when their friends are not available at the moment or when they are simply bored. You may be happy to see this person and want to catch up on all that has happened in your lives, but they stick to the simple conversation starters such as, “How have you been?”, “How is your mother?”, or “What drink are you ordering?”. Eventually, you realize that the two of you are more focused on your phones and people watching, than enjoying each others company. Contrarily, being an extra can sometimes be fun…and that is all it will be. If you go out with this person, you know for certain that there will be no cover charge, you will have a few drinks, and good conversation, but outside of the social scene, you and the other person do not exist. Is this worth the space that it is taking up in your life? Could someone or something more meaningful take its place?
Tolerating. Finally, you have to determine what is worth tolerating. This could be behaviors, personalities, relationships, or one’s character. I have allowed myself to tolerate things that I knew made me unhappy, but somehow, I believed that it was the right thing to do. It was more than likely the people pleaser characteristic and the avoiding conflict that made me tolerate certain things in my life and I found out that I was causing more harm to myself and sometimes to the people closest to me that loved and cared about me the most. This is the moment in your life, when I believe, you will have to step outside of your current situation and ask yourself, is this worth my time and effort?
Overall, when dealing with the actions of accepting, accommodating, and tolerating, you will have to do one thing and that is be true to yourself. You cannot focus on the “what-ifs”, including but not limited to, “What if our friendship changes if I keep answering his or her calls?”, “What if they realize that I am the one for them?” or “What if they recognize that I am an asset to this company?”. These are questions you may never get the answer to, so instead, ask yourself one question. What is best for you?