Admittedly, I’m not the most patient person at times. I’m especially impatient when witnessing others making excuses and squandering their time and their opportunities to grow and improve, to make the changes necessary to get better personally and professionally. It’s my passion and my plight.
I’m writing this to challenge myself, and to challenge you to pursue more daily patience.
Patience to reflect. Patience to reason. Patience to reveal. Patience to react.
Patience is rare.
Patience is rewarding.
Patience is required.
Waiting in the long line for concessions at the movie theatre, while the guy behind me is literally breathing down my neck, practically on top of me, impatiently huffing and puffing semi-obnoxiously over the slowness of the line.
What should have happened:
- Recognize that you’re not the only one here who is hungry and in a hurry to get your ass into a seat before the movie starts.
- Recognize that your lateness and resulting impatience is caused by your poor planning, and this is your problem, not mine.
- Recognize that the only thing your annoying, attention-seeking behavior is speeding up is the perception that you’re a fucking idiot.
- Finally recognize that in the United States, appropriate social space distances (Proxemics), are typically between 4ft.-12ft. So back the hell up, while shutting the hell up, before I really give you something to bitch and moan about.
Enjoy the show…
Agree or disagree; just no apathy.
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In Tool Time-Part 1, I strongly recommended embracing the 3R’s to avoid being a “tool” much of the time. I was simply advocating doing what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.
Here in Part 2, I’m proposing the 3P’s to lowering one’s “Tool-IQ” for effective communication:
- Consider if alternatives to your way of thinking are POSSIBLE. Tools have knee-jerk reactions to other options that oppose their own manicured mythology. In other words, the biggest tools have closed minds. They rarely consider alternative approaches or methods that may challenge their own preferences, prejudices, and opinions. Asking the “is it possible” question is always appropriate and necessary. Anything less is foolish and the epitome of toolness.
- Be POLITE. It’s OK, really it is. Saying “excuse me” or “thank you” or “please” is a foreign language to the ambassadors of Tool-ville. These words and phrases rarely escape their lips. Why? Two reasons: 1) Unawareness. This type of common courtesy is simply not on their radar… these are the Grade-B Tools. 2) Pride. These types know better, but rarely choose to embrace any appropriate amount of ettiquete. These tools have an entitlement mentality so convincing that they believe they’re better than everyone else … these are the Grade-A Tools.
- Exercise some PATIENCE. Please slow the fuck down… in the store, in your car, in life in general. Give others some space. Back the fuck off. Don’t crowd people in lines. Don’t huff and puff or throw mini-tantrums in Wal-Mart. Relax. Nobody else cares about your starring role in the reality-show in your head. Tools tout their nonverbal impatience for all to see. Tools fail to shrewdly notice their situational surroundings. Tools think they’re the only ones waiting while in a hurry. Tools rarely recognize the importance of timing and having class. When you have one, you most likely have the other.
Great communication results from thinking critically, treating others as you wish to be treated, and demonstrating restraint at times. Not-too-complicated, yet so under-executed.
Why is this so hard for so many?
Because all people (you AND I) are largely self-centered. We’re thinking about ourselves more than we’re not. This gets in the way of being an effective communicator and responding appropriately much of the time because we’re blinded by our own agendas, wants, and needs. To overcome this requires a person to consciously embrace the concept of selfless-selfishness. This is the deliberate choice to put the wants of others first. By doing this, you will get what you need second. This is the opposite of our instincts, somewhat counter-intuitive, but no less imperative. Everybody wins, but only by reducing the Tool-In-You first.
Don’t be a Tool… check out Part 1 and Part 3.