There are three types of scenarios that would require someone to respond either patiently or impatiently. Reflect on how you show up in these different areas.
- Interpersonal: Patience with other people, their demands and their failings. Patience and understanding toward others is essential when you’re working with people – friends, family, colleagues, vendors, strangers.
- Life hardship: Patience to overcome a serious setback in life. Illness, loss of a loved one, abuse, bullying, job loss, lawsuits, and financial instability. Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, and natural disasters. It can also include your ability to work toward a long-term goal.
- Daily hassles. Patience to deal with circumstances that are beyond your control. The inevitable traffic jams, flight delays, spills, tangled necklaces, and getting transferred a half dozen times, snowstorms, broken locks, etc.
Just because you tend to be patient in one of these categories of situations doesn’t mean you’ll be patient in all. What type of patience is needed for each:
- Interpersonal: This type of patience is active. Listening skills and empathy are vital, and, when you’re dealing with difficult people , you need the self-awareness and emotional intelligence to understand how your words and actions affect the situation. You can’t just wait it out and hope for the best.
- Life hardship: Whatever the obstacle you have to overcome, it will likely require determination and focus to achieve. And you will need to keep your emotions under control throughout the journey. These emotions can range from eagerness to get it done, to anger at the frustrations you encounter along the way – which can cause you to become demotivated.
- Daily Hassles: You also need patience to get through those dull but unavoidable day-to-day tasks that don’t necessarily contribute to your personal goals. The ability to maintain self-discipline, and give a job – no matter how mundane – the attention to detail it needs, is a hallmark of patience.
(based on the research by Dr. Sarah Schnitker)