How do most of you handle things when your patience has worn so thin that the only thing you want to do is walk away from everyone and everything? Some people resort to going to the gym and blowing off steam. That’s a productive way to re-route stress, but it’s only a short-term solution. If you are struggling with how not to tell some folks off, you aren’t alone. Most people fail to recognize that the more you dwell on the stress, the more your body suffers.
The last year has affected each of us differently. Tempers have become shorter, and patience has been stretched to limits previously untested. Driving on the road has become frustrating as more drivers express their frustrations from their vehicles. Business owners are exasperated. After all, they can’t get people who want to work because they make more money from unemployment. If you don’t think that’s a true statement, all you have to do is listen to the news or go to any retail store that is understaffed. I’ve been to at least ten different stores and restaurants, and all have the same problem – They can’t get help, and they are advertising left and right. Customers get frustrated because of longer wait times and orders getting mixed up, and other issues. A friend of mine went to a local Walmart to pick up something, and there was a store full of people with one cashier available. As a consumer, it isn’t easy to keep having patience when businesses don’t appear to have enough help to keep things going.
On the flip side, my boss recently told me that he set up interviews for folks, and no one came in for the interview. When he called one of the potential candidates, she said that she wasn’t going because she could make more money not working. What the hell? She has a serious set of gonads because I wouldn’t have said that to a potential employer. My boss is losing his patience because it’s frustrating for him to set up meetings when people don’t show. After all, his time is valuable too. He has other obligations with the company that is hard to fulfill when he is unavailable from going due to interviews.
I was on my way home one night, and I got to a stoplight. The light turned green, and I hadn’t hesitated but maybe five seconds to let an oncoming car get out of my way. The car behind me starts blaring his horn for me to go. When I’ve traveled up north and in California, it’s common to hear people blaring on their horns like it’s nothing but the more a person gets in the south, the madder that action makes people. Many people consider the behavior to be rude unless there is a viable reason behind it. I admit I have a leadfoot. I have to be super careful and use my cruise control a lot because I don’t always pay attention to my speed. But when it gets to a point, people are riding my tush and expecting me to go faster when I’m doing over the speed limit; I get a little frosty. Other people are welcome to get into the wreck or get the ticket. I, for one, have had enough wrecks in my life that I choose not to go that route if I can avoid it. Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean I have to be part of the problem. Instead, I choose to be careful and program my cruise control to help curb my foot.
Want to know what else pushes my buttons? Know it all people and rude customers. I get my share of them daily. The know-it-all makes sure to tell me when they are smarter than me. Usually, I let them rant. I had one customer a little over a week ago that pushed every button I had to the point that my patience was on edge. I was smart enough to shake it off, but it took me a little time to wind down. People can affect our moods if we allow them to, and for a small window of time, I let him put me in a lousy perspective. That was my mistake. It’s incredible how our mindsets can shift when people push us into modes we don’t like traveling.
I’ve realized that to work on my patience; I needed to revert to some professional tips. Here are some of the helpful hints I found.
- Make Yourself Wait. The best way to practice patience is to make yourself wait. This action is often easier said than done. I hate having to wait and often feel like I’ve waited too long on too many things. There is no timetable when it comes to patience. Patience is an instrumental tool when dealing with emotions. Use your head and heart together. Don’t let one rule the other without a balance.
- Stop Doing Things That Aren’t Important. Prioritizing helps all of us figure out what needs to be addressed and what can be put off. The challenge becomes taking the rose-colored glasses off and seeing the reality of a situation.
- Be Mindful of the Things Making You Impatient. If you can recognize what makes you impatient, you can help minimize the problem areas you deal with consistently.
- Relax and Take Deep Breaths. Breathe. Stop trying to rush the world.
Once you take control over the things that rush you, then you have the opportunities to change the problems and turn them into memory. Patience isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessary tool that we all need at various points in our lives. I hope no one pushes your buttons and tests your patience today or this weekend. If they do, don’t let them rattle you. Remember to take the control back with your energy. Stay calm and focused. Once you do that, you can begin to handle anything that comes your way. Have a great weekend, everyone.