Patience is a Virtue

It was only a small article in “The Advertiser” (Tues, 19th July, 2011), but it caught my eye.

A survey in the United Kingdom found that most of us lose patience after just 2.5 minutes. At that point of 150 seconds, 60% of us began to show obvious signs of annoyance such as muttering and shifting around, and at 5 minutes, half of the 3,000 adults questioned walked away from a queue such as in the Post Office, waiting for a train, or trying to get into a bar because they felt the anger mounting.

Interestingly, one in three rant at strangers if they are made to wait. And 1 in 6 adults admitted to having a row with a shop assistant.

The triggers that get our dander up include the following:

  • a slow internet connection
  • slow drivers
  • traffic jams
  • friends who are always late
  • waiting at home for a delivery
  • bad spelling
  • trying to get an appointment with the GP or dentist
  • struggling to get the bill in a restaurant
  • people spending too long in a public toilet

So there you have it.  What would it take to find more tolerance in such situations (because one thing is certain, they are going to continue!)?  What’s the point in getting so uptight? What does it solve exactly?

All that happens, is that because we have an expectation that the world is just waiting for us to appear so that we can be immediately served, is that when this unrealistic expectation does not eventuate, we huff and puff. To what end?

When you get caught in a queue or are held up, talk yourself down (and not up), and use the time to check your emails, send a message, read your ipad or iphone, or think about the life you lead. Do anything but waste your energy on needless negative emotions.

Do yourself a favour, and get a grip.