Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Impatience Mix

We describe some individuals as impatient and yet few of them are impatient in all matters. The person who becomes frustrated at a fast food restaurant line may be the mellowest person on a crowded rush hour freeway. 

That odd combination can cause us to misjudge ourselves since it is more likely that we'll recall our moments of great patience than the times when we were chewing the carpet. I confess to being in this mixed category. On most matters, I can "listen to the rocks grow" and flow through events that drive others to shouting. At other times, however, I don't yell but catch myself rushing when I should slow down. I also slip into wishing others would rush as well. If I had a tattoo it might read "Get to the point."

This practice has advantages but it also has drawbacks. Since recognizing this tendency, I've wondered how many times my conduct would have been improved with added patience. That can be disconcerting because those of us who are results-oriented may have an equal dedication to high quality.

Check yourself out. You too may be a patient/impatient mixture.

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