Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This computer that just isn't working right.  The person you're talking to that just doesn't get it.  The toddler that keeps doing what you tell them not to.  What causes us to be frustrated, really?  When we want to change things but feel like we can't.

There's 2 ways to change that.  Accept the fact that we can't change things, or realize we can indeed change things - we just need more patience.

"Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity."  I like that definition.  It gives us some hints.  You have to endure.  You have to keep on going even when you don't want to anymore.  But we already knew that.  "Before negativity".  That's a bit more useful.  The key is to stay positive and productive even when you don't feel like it inside.

Here's a common scenario we've all been in:  you're talking to someone and they just don't understand things the way you do.  You're trying to correct them but it's not going well.  After a while you might lose your patience if you're not careful.  What can you do?  Here's the steps that go on in my head, it seems to work well enough:

Step 1 - Stay calm.  Be fully aware that lashing out doesn't help anything at all.  Ever.  Bite your tongue. 
Step 2 - Swallow your pride.  They just don't know what you do.  That doesn't make you any better than they are, there are plenty of things you don't understand yet either.  Be humble.  Muster up some compassion.  Or pity, if that's what it takes.
Step 3 -  Pause for a minute.  Take a deep breath.  Accept the reality of the situation.  This will be difficult and it might take awhile.
Step 4 - Analyze the situation.  Take the emotion out of it and look at it logically.  Try to look at things from their point of view.  Are they at least trying to get to the same page as you are, or are you just at odds?  Is there a different tactic you can try to communicate your ideas to them? 

Step 5 - Reach deep down inside yourself and grab some more strength to press on.  If you have none left, pray for more.  You'll get enough.
Step 6 - Know when to stop.  Sometimes it's just a lost cause.  Nothing you can do or say will help, so just let it go. 

In the end, it's really the same old thing:  just love them.  Be wise and think about your actions before you do anything rash.  Do your best to help, but realize sometimes there's nothing you can do.  It's a common theme throughout life. 

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