You hear about people who “don’t take much crap”. And you hear about people who are “high maintenance”, often a euphemism for a spouse who “won’t take any crap” from you. Not taking crap can be about retaining control, it can be about intolerance or sensitivity, it can be about different lines and boundaries. But either way, once you’ve “had enough”, there’s a side of you that lets the world know about it with outbursts that aren’t usually your most flattering.

Maybe it isn’t about people’s tolerance for taking crap, how much crap they fit in their crap bucket before it overflows. Maybe instead, everyone takes the same amount of crap, say “100 crapular units per rolling one-week window”, but the crux of the matter is what counts as “crap” for each individual?

Some people count as crap getting cut off by someone on their commute. Some people count their spouse coming home late because they lost track of time, some people count a snarky remark in public that might be embarrassing.

What offenses for you are worth chalking up in your “taking crap” bucket? The less you put in there, the less it will overflow on you, and the less other people will see you as spilling your crap all over them as a result. We’re all healthier if we don’t get worked up, so maybe instead of building up a tolerance for taking more crap in the world, start to instead save getting worked up for things that are really worth it.

Thought Partner: Brian Witkov