The hardest self-compassion efforts often involve people, who are actively not being compassionate to us. The impatient person is someone that everybody seems to be able to relate to. This is the person that honks at you, while you are stuck in traffic, despite seeing hundreds of cars in front of you. This person stands in close proximity to you at the gym, while you lift or use an exercise machine. This category even includes the person, who sighs loudly behind you, while they wait for their turn to order food or a preferred caffeinated beverage.
Our Natural Responses To Impatient People
Our experience of inpatient people is directly correlated with the kind of day we are having. We have three levels of managing these types of interactions. If we are relaxed, and well-rested, we hear or see these inpatient responses, and feel annoyed. If we have not slept well, and are feeling a little grumpy, these behaviors likely cause us to glare back at them or simply shake our head. Now, when we have already had a very stressful day, inpatient behaviors yield unkind words that we would not want our mothers or very small children to hear. Sadly, none of these responses helps us feel better in a lasting way, and there is a really good reason.
Impatient Behaviors Are Acts of Aggression
The reason is that these behaviors are acts of aggression. Think about it. The behavior is directed at you in away that is supposed to make you so uncomfortable that you do whatever the inpatient person wants. What is worse is that there is no socially acceptable recourse to defend yourself. If you respond back with verbal or physical aggression, then you risk being viewed as aggressive yourself, and potentially convicted of a crime. Now, imagine explaining to a court that your actions were a just response to someone’s impatience. Good luck with that case. So, instead we become very uncomfortable, anxious, stressed, and disempowered. We need something to help us process these feelings, to let them go, and find ways to be really good to ourselves. Don’t worry. I have just the thing.
The Self-Compassion Guide For Managing The Effects of Impatient People
Let’s look at the self-compassion guide for managing inpatient people. First, acknowledge that you are being aggressed, and name the behavior (e.g., aggression). Second, notice that your feelings of frustration and hurt are a natural response to aggression, and that impatience is a natural response to desperation felt around time or resources. Third, notice where you are storing tension in your body, and soften around these parts. Fourth, do something very kind for yourself. Reward yourself for continuing to pursue the things that are important to you, despite the interference of imperfect people in an imperfect world. It is better to forgive impatient people now, so that you can forgive yourself for being so wildly impatient in the future. Wishing you the best of efforts with the former and the latter.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 218. In The Books.