Practicing Patience?

How do you become a patient person?

I have been reflecting a lot on what kind of person I am and where I can improve. I think I’ve been pretty good about a lot of things I’ve wanted to work on as a person. Right now, the one thing I really lack seems to be patience.

I just… snap. And I do it more often than I’d like. I find myself doing it most often with the people I care about the most: members of my family, my significant other. I am a fairly defensive driver, but I am extremely prone to yelling (with my windows up) at aggressive drivers I share the road with.

This is something I’ve been pretty aware of lately, but I’m not sure how best to address it. I find myself catching myself snapping and immediately regretting not having taken a breath before saying something mean.

So how do you become a more patient person? I thought I would try a simple “count to 5 before you say something” type of trick, and it has improved things… a bit. But I feel this frustration bubbling up inside of me, and it finds its way out via some kind of verbal outburst. It doesn’t help that I’m the kind of person who just has a really strong desire to say what I have to say. That desire is the root cause of other undesirable habits of mine, like interrupting people or talking really fast without pause because I have a lot to say and I want to say all of it before anyone else tries to ruin my momentum by saying what they have to say.

(Maybe I need to revisit that self-improvement resolution about me talking less. It seems these are related areas of self-improvement.)

Being patient has never come super easily to me. I was always a very precocious child, and I didn’t like to wait. Heck, I will straight-up skip a line for the bathroom because I just hate waiting in lines. (My bladder is frequently forced to suffer as a result of this impatience.) (I do not recommend this, I think it’s bad for your health.)

But how do I slow down just enough to remind myself to… slow down? I’m still not sure. And really open to any advice.