How tolerant should we be with others’ intolerance?

You’ve been hired in an organisation where after the first week, you find out that some colleagues and bosses are xenophobes. What is there to do?

Pretend that you don’t see how they belittle you because in their eyes you are less reliable and less professional?

You may want to punch them. It may feel very good for a few seconds, but maybe other approach may be constructive in the long run.

You can’t change others’ opinions easily. I consider it a waste of time. Instead, for the sake of your inner balance, you can embark on a journey of learning how to be tolerant with their intolerance.

The first step in the journey is to accept that we feel negativity caused by the tension between us and the xenophobic colleagues or bosses. Whatever happens, remember not to take it personally.

The second step is to remind ourselves that we deserve a working environment where we are accepted as human beings, irrespective of our nationalities, and where our professional skills are appreciated. In the current work place, the person who hired us must appreciate us. And there may be other similar people who can be part of our social network.

The third step is to do our job well. Focus on the tasks at hand. Don’t waste the time on the negative vibes at the office. Find ways to relax at work. Humour always helps. For example, print out on an A4 paper the following message, “I’m simply the best!“, and put it on your wall in the office.

If shit hits the fan and the xenophobic persons have too much effect on our wellbeing, then look for another job with an inspiring working environment. I know such places exist!

Walk away from the xenophobic work place as if you would walk out of a hospital. You met some sick people towards whom you showed understanding. Close the door to “the hospital”, wash your hands and smile. You’re back among healthy people!