Can you imagine having to wait for at least two weeks at a time to hear back from one of your loved ones via some handwritten letter? Once upon a time that was considered the norm, but now it’s hard to even wait an hour to get a text message back. We live in a world where everything is meant to be delivered in express mode and designed to be enjoyed on-the-go. Need a quick bite to eat? Use the drive-thru. Need to get a ride somewhere? Request a Lyft. Need a new outfit for a wedding next week? Order something online with next day shipping. We tend to forget how much modern technology and societal expectations have spoiled us with speedy results. One of the major downsides to all of this is that we as a people have become lazy, impatient, and just plain rude. Patience has now become a rare and valuable currency. This is my guide to staying patient in an impatient world.
Understand That People are Selfish and Learn to Accept It
I like to think that I’m the ideal customer in most cases, but even I can disprove that when the customer in front of me in the Starbucks line is ordering enough soy vanilla lattes to hydrate an entire village. Of course he forgets to say no whip (which means no whipped cream for the non-coffee drinkers) until it’s too late and the poor barista has to hear him call out her incompetency in front of the entire store. These situations kill me because not only is he taking FOREVER, but he’s being completely selfish to everyone else in the line. I’m the type of person in the morning who orders a hot tea or a black iced coffee. I literally pay Starbucks to dump room temperature coffee over a cup of ice, which literally takes less than 30 seconds to make. I’m not complaining about the employees, because in most cases they’re wonderfully quick and courteous. It’s the other customers that make me want to tear my hair out. I’m actually shocked that rude customers still get to me, since I had to deal with them for the five years I worked in fast food and retail. I think that now I’m a fellow customer, I expect to not have to deal with them any more (as ridiculous as that sounds). This is where I just have to calm myself down, vow to never become THAT customer, and not take out my frustrations on the exhausted barista who’s patience is probably running thinner than mine.
Accept That Everyone Has a Different Average Response Time
Growing up as an only child, I’ve become accustomed to occasionally having my own personal “me time” with no interferences. About once a week, I’ll set aside a couple hours to either watch TV, take a nap, or work on my blog. During these times, I’ll usually keep my cell phone in an entirely different room, just so I don’t have to deal with anybody. As terrible as that sounds, sometimes I just need to have “mini escapes” from reality as an attempt to keep my sanity going. Lately I’ve been avoiding my phone due to breaking news, but still it’s the same concept. This might mean that I won’t answer a text message for a few hours, which can drive certain people insane. I have certain friends who will take days to get back to me, and others that respond with four separate text messages in less than a minute. Some of us are more glued to technology than others and some of us are more antisocial than others. I’ve personally accepted this a long time ago, but I’ve seen people take it extremely personally. Now that we’ve been given the tools to respond quicker than ever before, some people expect everyone to embrace this phenomena. Unfortunately, not everyone is quite there yet (including myself sometimes).
Take a Deep Breath and Remember that Kindness Always Wins
Even though all of us can get very impatient in different ways, it’s better to remain calm and kind. Whether you believe in karma or not, part of me believes it exists in rush-hour traffic. For example, I hit terrible traffic on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 4:30 pm. I have a class that I take in Clairemont Mesa on those nights, which would normally only be a 15-minute drive from my house. During Rush hour, it can take me up to an hour and a half to get there. I would say a third of the battle is just getting on the freeway from my street. Since I’m located close to a university and other workplaces, my street can be backed up for 20 minutes with people trying to go home. Even though I grit my teeth, I wait in the line like I’m supposed to. Unfortunately, many impatient drivers try to cheat the system by cutting people off at the last minute every single time. I cannot stand when this happens! I literally drive on someone’s bumper just so I won’t be cut off by another white BMW. One time someone tried to cut off another driver, who just wasn’t having it, and they got into a minor wreck over the thing. I would never wish a car accident on someone, but it just goes to show that you need to drive responsibly and not think you’re above everyone else! In my opinion, this doesn’t just apply to driving. Being kind will get you further in life even if you don’t finish the race first.
Having patience in today’s world is easier said than done. I struggle with it in certain situations while others struggle with it in different situations. When it comes down to it, just remember the old cliché: patience is a virtue.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What is something that makes you impatient?