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.

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2 thoughts on “Practicing Patience?

  1. Maybe there’s two types of patience? One is the overlooking of non-serious issues that rub wrong against our preferences. The other is the bearing with something seriously wrong (person or situation) that has the potential to correct itself — I think if there’s no potential and not directionally getting better than it must be avoided. Is this thinking reasonable?

    Though as an aside, ask any wife (like mine) and they have strong perspectives on how to be patient with their guy!!

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    • I think that’s a really good way to think about different situations that request/require patience. In working through anxiety, I’ve gotten a lot better about letting go of it when I have no control of the situation (e.g. when the metro is delayed, I don’t spend the whole delay feeling stressed about being later than I planned on being), but I still often feel a lot of anxiety and impatience when I have a little bit of control or the illusion of it πŸ˜„

      The thing I want to focus on most is how impatient I get with my loved ones. It’s hard that them not being who I want them to be then leads to me not being who I want me to be. Maybe this is because I have the false sense that I have control over that, and I get frustrated that I am not able to effect a change in these people I am so invested in? That’s definitely something I’ll think about, thank you.

      I’m sure you make being patient with a husband easier on your wife than you think! Hope all is well and that we can catch up (and meet your family!) since you’ve moved back to the DMV. πŸ™‚

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