“Tolerance is a weak virtue, but it’s a good start. If someone’s behavior seems bothersome, it is best to avoid the knee-jerk reactions of fight or flight, and instead find ways to tolerate their differences. For example, let’s say you’re an aspiring minimalist, but your partner is an enthusiastic collector—a clear dichotomy of beliefs. Your partner believes collecting porcelain figurines or vintage guitars is the bomb diggity; you believe their treasures are clutter. So you’re left scratching your noggin, wondering how to convert them to your singularly valid viewpoint, which can be mind-numbingly frustrating. Don’t worry, though, you needn’t get on the same page right way; you need only understand you both have your reasons for being on separate pages. By tolerating someone’s quirks, and allowing them to live happily within their own worldview, you may not understand their obsession with creepy statuettes or unplayed musical instruments, but at least you will be on a path toward understanding that person as an individual—and that’s a big first step. Congrats!”

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