Patience is a Virtue meaning: The ability to wait for something without frustration. It is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality. The proverb patience is a virtue means that it is a good quality to be able to tolerate something that takes a long time.
Patience has never been one of my more ‘virtuous’ aspects. And, truth be told, I am much more able to practice patience while waiting for some THING, but I admit to being completely lousy with having patience for some ONE. This is something that definitely applies to me:
Mostly, I have little tolerance for people who behave in chaotic and insensitive ways. I mean, we all have our moments where we unintentionally say something insensitive to someone, but it is usually to someone we love and feel safe enough around to be human. When I see someone behave in a rude way, for example, being so lazy as to leave their shopping cart not put in a return carousel or returned to the store (one of my triggers!), I say something intolerant in my head, but I would never say it to the actual person. I think most of us have experienced road rage of some kind, and say things in our heads or out loud inside the safety of our vehicle, but we don’t openly display that rudeness.
But put people behind the anonymity of a computer screen, and some people have no trouble saying rude, mean and disrespectful things. My dear friend, Will, always shows the most amazing patience with these people, suggesting that these people try to pull other people into their chaos because it’s their only way to express themselves. He reminds me often enough that we don’t know what is going on under the surface of their behavior that is causing it. He has the patience of a saint in trying to speak to them in kindness and hopes to pull them away from the acting out. I, on the other hand, am quick to give a warning that the behavior is not appreciated and that there are consequences if it continues. And trust me, I am not making empty promises to them about the consequences!
I am not at all behind the theory that some parents try to treat their children like their best friends. That is not a part of parenting! It is a parent’s responsibility to teach proper behavior, and to provide consequences for failing to behave in a proper manner. I grew up with many rules of conduct in how to treat others, and I didn’t turn out too bad. There has to be a boundary to the idea of the Golden Rule where we just ‘turn the other cheek’, right?
When I really think about it, I have to wonder if why I struggle being patient with these kinds of people has to do with my empath traits. Perhaps I see the chaos in the behavior and act quickly in defense to protect myself from actually being pulled into it emotionally? If that is true, it’s completely on a subconscious level; on the surface, I just get angry that people get away with that kind of negative behavior without consequence which, to me, condones the behavior.
As much as my friend Will is trying to encourage me to gain patience with people in this regard, for the most part, I suspect that we are going to have to agree to disagree about it. I’m simply at a place in my life where I have chosen to step away from chaos and negativity. I’ve ended a couple of friendships recently in order to move away from that, and I’m certainly not willing to let complete strangers get away with what those friends could not!
And that is just another thing that I’m going to accept about who I am!