One of the most challenging qualities to learn is patience. When you were a child, your parents probably used wise sayings to help you remember. You may have heard that “good things come to those who wait,” and “patience is a virtue.”
Like most good character traits, patience must be taught from the cradle and developed over a lifetime. If you have children, you know that being patient doesn’t come naturally to them. When they want something, they want it now, and they don’t want to wait.
Unfortunately, impatient children often grow up into intolerant adults. One definite cause is our technological society that usually provides instant gratification. When you order food from a drive-thru or press a button on your computer, you want it now, no excuses.
It was once assumed that animals don’t have the level of patience that humans do. However, recent studies suggest that this assumption may not be entirely accurate. When most people are faced with getting something now or waiting until later, it’s challenging to be patient.
Most of the world’s significant religions promote being patient as a divine command. Many sacred writings, books, and poetry have been devoted to quality. On the other hand, impatience is equated with misfortune and immature spirituality.
When you browse the shelves of self-help books in the library or bookstore, you’ll notice that many of them discuss how to have more patience. Many life coaches teach that being patient may reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
Humans don’t like to wait, and nobody has perfect tolerance. It’s called a “practice” because you’ll spend a lifetime improving on it. Having the desire to be more patient shows that you are making a step in the right direction.
10 Habits of Patient People
1. They are Humble
Those who have cultivated fortitude in their lives also display other cardinal virtues, like humility. Have you ever noticed people who lean toward narcissism or have a false sense of entitlement? They often have haughty attitudes and aren’t the most likable people when their demands aren’t immediately met.
However, people with patience usually are humble and treat others how they want to be treated. They realize that some things take time regardless of who you are or your socioeconomic status. Those who practice patience see others as equals.
The next time you are in line in a store or restaurant, notice how each patron treats the service people. Those who have tolerance will be the courteous ones, while the impatient ones may be a bit snarky and rude.
2. They Practice Active Listening
While some people are naturally good conversationalists, active listening is a skill that takes time and practice. Someone once said that you should listen twice as much as you speak since you have two ears and one mouth. Those who have learned patience also know how to be good listeners.
Do you want to follow the example of these people? Practice good listening skills when you are talking to others. Use neutral body language, lean slightly toward the speakers, and nod your head occasionally.
Instead of thinking about what you will say next, listen intently to what the speakers say without interrupting. Mirror the emotions they are showing and try to restate their points if you need clarification.
People who’ve learned patience are often the best friends to have in a crisis. Instead of overwhelming you with corny lectures and advice, they listen to you. Theirs is a “gift of presence” that you’ll remember for years to come.
3. They Gather All the Facts
Remember the iconic phrase “just the facts” from the classic detective TV show? It’s challenging to decide an issue without pertinent information. People with patience have learned that they can save themselves a lot of frustration if they don’t get in a big hurry.
This individual gathers all the facts before doing anything. When you practice tolerance, you find that taking your time can work in your favor. Quick remedies aren’t always the right answer.
Think of a time when you said or did something before you knew the whole situation. It probably didn’t work out very well. Patience is a tool that helps you do your homework before acting.
4. They Center on Positive Thoughts
Where do people get the energy to be so enduring? Perhaps it’s because they are usually positive. If you have a negative mindset, it’s easy to get irritated if you must wait for something.
Easygoing people have an aura of positivity around them. They know that time can be a friend, and waiting may be a good thing. Other people enjoy being around them because they are usually upbeat.
5. They Have a Good Sense of Humor
What could be worse than being around people who are sour and lack humor? Multiple studies support the old saying that laughter can be good medicine. It can lower your stress level and make you a happier person.
For the people who practice tolerance, humor often comes naturally. Instead of getting hot-headed when things aren’t going their way, they deflect it with spirit. They are also the first to laugh at themselves instead of taking things so seriously.
When’s the last time you had a good belly laugh? Have the burdens of life made it difficult to laugh or even smile? Being enduring and tolerant can help bring joy back to your life.
6. They Don’t Waste Time
Just because people aren’t in a rush to do something doesn’t mean they waste time. They see time as a precious commodity and don’t waste it by being pessimistic and throwing fits. Sure, they like to see things done promptly and efficiently, but they don’t let it be a burden.
Long-suffering people don’t have time to gossip and complain. They feel that their time is better spent working out their problems. Others often look to them when they need a project done correctly.
Did you know that patience usually goes hand in hand with peace? Think of an instance when you were angry and impatient with someone. The conversation probably went south rather quickly.
Being tolerant helps calm your nerves so that you can think rationally. Instead of losing your cool in a moment of frustration, you may be the first to call a truce. Peace also takes time.
8. They Are Considerate of Others
Isn’t it fascinating how much about adult life you learned in kindergarten? Most of these rules were centered around tolerance and how to treat others. When your teacher instructed you to raise your hand for questions, take turns, and share, you were learning how to wait politely.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all remembered our kindergarten lessons? People who practice patience are usually the first to prefer others before themselves. They are empathetic and exercise kindness.
9. They Are Good Planners
Have any of your children ever informed you that they had a big school project due the next day? They neglected to tell you that they had two weeks to have it done. It’s a hard lesson to learn how procrastination creates impatience and frustration.
If you are a good planner, you are also probably a person with perseverance. You know how to allot your time and break a project into smaller goals. You stay well organized, and you don’t wait until the last minute to get things done.
10. They Know How to Cope with Stress
Countless medical research shows a connection between high-stress levels and disease. When your body is overstressed, the brain goes into survival mode and pumps up the cortisone and adrenaline. Too many of these stress hormones can affect your physical and mental health and even cause premature death.
People who practice patience give themselves a time out for recharging. They often use stress-reducing tools such as meditation, visualization, yoga, and tai chi. It doesn’t take their problems away, but it can change how they react to them.
One of the things you’ll often see in eager people is that they are usually frazzled and stressed. The stress affects their nerves and can make them short-tempered. Learning patience can ease anxiety and make you feel better.
If you talk to people who have patience, they will tell you that it doesn’t come overnight. You must patiently wait while you learn this beautiful practice. It’s a virtue that is well worth your while and will benefit your body, mind, and spirit.