Do you consider yourself a patient person? Because I’m really not patient, at all.

In terms of patience with people, well, that’s almost completely out the window!  I have a hard time tolerating stupid, insensitive, ignorant, mean or petty comments or behaviour. This tendency has bitten me in the ass once or twice. At work, for example, certain people at my office pissed me off so much, that I let it show, which was a mistake. (Even though, frankly, they deserved much worse) Because, promptly thereafter, they thought I was the one with the problem and not them. This made the work environment that much more uncomfortable. But its a frustrating thing about some people-They act like jackasses, you get mad and they wonder why! LOL.

Outside of work, my reactions to these types of comments have either been confrontation, which doesn’t usually work, or ignoring them followed swiftly by a cold shoulder and quietly berating towards the person who made the comments.

But perhaps I am being too hard on people-I mean, we all say stupid, thoughtless things sometimes and I am certainly no exception. But asides from the obvious indicators that someone is an a-hole (ie. People who yell at scream all the time, outwardly insult you, make harsh racist/sexist/homophobic comments, hit you, etc.) how do you differentiate between individuals who are genuinely toxic vs those who are just human and make mistakes? Is it the frequency of the comments? The intent? What if you just happen to catch them at a bad time and some people can be hard to read or have difficulty communicating. I suppose I tend to write off some people, because I was in toxic relationships and friendships in the past, where I was being mistreated, so out of not wanting to repeat those experiences, I now cut people off. It seems easier then having to try and deal with them, but I could be missing all the positive characteristics that person may have. Perhaps the goal then is to find the best in people and try and bring it out of them.

I am also pretty impatient with myself and activities that I undertake. If something isn’t going well right away, I tend to become upset and second guess my abilities. Anything worth pursuing takes time and effort, but its hard to remember that when you expect things to be perfect right away.

How about you? Are you patient? What are some tricks you’ve learned to not lose your cool all the time?



12 thoughts on “(Im)Patience

  1. XUP

    I’m a very impatient, too. Somehow, over the years however I’ve learned that it takes an awful lot of time and energy to try and change people into your vision of a non-asshole/non-jerk/non-toxic person. And it never works. Oh, I still get irritated but now I try to categorize the source before reacting. Is this going to be an ongoing irritation? Can I live with it? Is it going to do me or my loved ones some harm? I find most things I get impatient about are very minor and don’t deserve me wasting a lot of energy on. So I’ve learned to let them go — for the most part. My daughter will tell you I’m very impatient, but I think people who’ve known me longer would say I’ve mellowed a lot.

  2. famethrowa

    I read that first question and nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I may be THEE MOST impatient person on the planet in all senses.

    I believe I’ve gotten more patient with people. I don’t tend to loose my cool anymore or make sharp comments, and I realise now that not everyone is good at everything but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be on this planet.

    But waiting for things to happen or for me to pick up a skill or something are unattainable, and I can’t seem to prevent the frustration, outbursts and occasional foot stomping in such situations. My mom always says “It’s not instant, Fame!” , but my brain never computes.

  3. Kate

    It depends. I’m not very patient with myself — I get easily frustrated when I screw up or can’t catch on to something quickly. With other people it varies. I get impatient with people who are not nice or who are arrogant, irrational, etc., but if I can tell someone is nice or really trying, I tend to be more patient.

  4. bevchen

    I’m extremely impatient with myself… and the boyfriend, which has caused more than one argument in the past. I’m making a huge effort to bite my tongue these days though. I also try really hard to be patient with other people (colleagues etc) to be patient with other people. Which basically means I shout at them inside my head while smiling sweetly on the outside.

  5. Pauline Post author

    XUP-I tend to get impatient on minor stuff all the time too! I wish things just rolled off my back the way they do for some people!
    Famethrowa-Hearing that you and XUP have become more patient with people gives me hope that I can also relax a bit more.
    Kate-Its tougher to be patient with bastards, but definitely key to surviving in the workplace!
    Bevchen-LOL. That’s what I usually do-bite my tongue all the while being pissed on the inside! Its a good thing people can’t read minds, because, yikes!

  6. Counter Culture Clown

    Of course I’m patient!

    I haven’t killed anyone yet, have I? That would make me pretty patient, if you ask me.

  7. get off my lawn

    Control theory teaches us that we all need to come to the realization that the actions of others are not in the realm of our control. How can I make other people do what I want? Motivate them? No. Convince them? No. I can’t. I wish I could. Teaching and running a school would be easy if I could control everyone’s behaviour. But I can’t control anything. The only thing I can control is how I react to my environment. And I can control it.
    This is the beginning of learning patience.

    Of course I am paraphrasing because I never did have the patience to read the whole control theory book. I skimmed the importnat sections.

  8. kilax

    What a great post. This is something I think about a lot… why people say/do such awful things. I just want to KNOW. I want to understand. Like you said, are they an a-hole or just an awkward person.

    I deal with a lot of stupidity at work too, and it sucks that I just have to deal with it. Because like you, in real life, I try not to put up with it. Or at least call people out on it.

  9. Pauline Post author

    Counter Culture Clown-Resisting the urge to commit homicide definitely counts as patience in my book! 😉
    Get off my lawn-LOL. Who has the patience to read an entire book on patience anyways?
    Kilax-Its difficult-Because if you call someone out, you risk alienating yourself but if you don’t and bite your tongue, then you feel regret later. I’m trying to forget them and not take them so seriously, but its hard when you want to smack them and particularly when you have to work with them! LOL

  10. Chris

    I’ll de-rail this train right now and promise to you that I am hardly a patient person. I can pretend to be, but inside I’m usually stewing and becoming more and more antsy.

    For example, you never want to get stuck in an elevator with me 😉

  11. Pauline Post author

    Lacochran-Well they do say that self acceptance is a good thing! 😉
    Chris-You don’t strike me as very impatient, but hopefully I won’t be stuck in an elevator with you anytime soon. (Or anyone else for that matter, .)

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