Use This Five-Point Guide to Be Patient When You Are Annoyed

I am always very easily annoyed. When I was little, I begged my mother to make my sister stop singing in the car. “But this is a happy noise,” she said. (She was right. I was a jerk.) Annoyance is a small, minor problem, and it would be better for all of us and those around us if we could learn to stop bothering them.

Psychologist Ellen Hendricksen, Ph.D., writes in Quick and Dirty Tips that patience is a kind of self-control, which she says is “the ability to regulate your emotions and behavior even when your impulses scream differently.” … So patience is a state of mind that can be trained and strengthened, and not uncommon for saints and superheroes. And irritation, as anyone who cooks in it will understand, is a kind of anger.

Hendriksen draws on his research on self-control and anger to compile this five-point guide to letting go of resentment and finding patience:

1. Know that your goal will still be achieved. Give yourself what you need in your imagination. Change your conclusion 4. Imagine being watched 5. Save the story for later.

1. Impatience and irritation often arise not because we don’t get what we want, but because we don’t get it fast enough or in our ideal manner. The line is too long, the flight is delayed, the music is bad, the fluorescent lights are flickering. However, it is helpful to remember that our goal will still be achieved – we can still make a purchase, eat our food, or whatever. Concentrate on this.

2. Many of us have in mind an idealized version of ourselves – patient, calm, at peace with the world. Ask yourself what she has that you don’t. Now imagine that you have it. Whether it’s inner peace or a remote control that pauses time so you can jump to the front of the line, just pretending you have this magic, something can calm you down. And for intangibles such as the inner world, it can really help you at least in part.

3. We always think we know what’s going on. The line moves slowly because the cashier is bad. Your spouse is calling you for help because he is too lazy to solve his problem. The stranger took offense with you because he is a moron. We are necessarily annoyed not by the slow line or asking for help, but by what we assume because of this. So change those assumptions as generously as possible. Imagine your way into it “as if” —it is as real as any other conclusions you may have made.

4. Whether you imagine that you are being watched by someone you want to impress you or someone you want to set a good example for, you have the ability to behave calmly and happily – this can be an incentive to do so.

5. There is no better way to pass the time in an unpleasant situation than to start composing your own, oh god, you will not believe the day I was ranting. Well, there are many better ways, because creating this frustrating storytelling will only make you feel – you guessed it – even more frustrating! Instead, think about what the story of your long but enjoyable day at DMV will be like. Have you seen the woman in the cool hat? Was the child weird and cute? Or were you the personification of patience? Be prepared for this story to be the one you tell.

5 ways to be more patient and less annoyed | Quick and dirty tips


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