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It’s arrogant and delusional to believe that your way is the right way for everyone.

Do you accept people who don’t think and act the way you do, or do you simply tolerate them?  Occasionally we all fall trap to expecting others to behave in certain ways … our ways.  Life, however, is a lot more enjoyable when we can accept others as they are.

Here are five ways to become less critical of others.

1. Watch your thoughts. Everything has a beginning and critical judgments begin with critical thoughts. Noticing them is your cue to change your thinking. Remind yourself to be more accepting.

2. Pause and take a breath. Do you ever wish you could take back something you said?  When you pause, you interrupt your thought pattern and give yourself a chance to think before you say something you might regret.

3. Believe that most people do the best they can with what they know. That’s not to say that everyone is living up to his or her potential. Everyone has a unique past, tragedies, upbringing, health issues, and way of viewing the world. Faced with the same experiences, you can’t be certain you would do any better.

4. Respect the freedom of others. No one elected you to decide how others should live their lives. It’s arrogant and delusional to believe that your way is the right way for everyone. You have the option to live your life the way you choose. Provide the same freedom to others.

5. Release expectation. Having expectations is a form of trying to control others. Become more flexible. When you have expectations, they’re sure to be violated. There’s only one way you can feel at that point: upset.  Let go of your expectations and accept the outcome without judgment.

Remember, if you’re hard on others, you’re probably also hard on yourself. Your self-esteem and happiness suffer. This is a great opportunity to be patient and understanding with yourself as well, and become a happier person!

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