Why Are We So Impatient?


This weekend I took my few items to the self checkout at a local grocery store. Before I could take my receipt and remove my items, a man came up and began his checkout.  I looked back at him and shook my head in disbelief.  It never phased him at all.

I don’t know if you have noticed but we are an impatient bunch in this world.  You will see it even more evident when you drive on the roadways.  People will take chances they shouldn’t or become very frustrated out of simply being impatient.

What is wrong with us?

I feel badly for anyone who is elderly or handicapped because people will almost run over you to get past or get ahead of the slower ones.  What are we in such a hurry for?

We are impatient because we are selfish.  It’s all about us and our own circle of friends.  If you aren’t a part of that circle then you might as well be invisible.  My wife has nearly been stepped on three times in the last few days because people just don’t think or care to acknowledge that someone might be behind them in line.  Yes, I know.   A line of all things!  Why would anyone be in a line?

Many times when I am in a grocery store buying groceries I will say that people act like they are the only ones in the stores.  Watch them and you will see what I’m talking about.  (Don’t get me started on grocery stores.   That is a post for a later time.)  Sometimes I will just stand for a moment and watch the impatience totally amazed at how blatant it is.  I got on an elevator recently and pushed the button to my floor and another person fussed because I was going to stop them from getting to their floor sooner.  Yes, what?  Ten seconds maybe?  I just looked at them and said nothing.

We are impatient because we live in a day where we want things and want it now.  We don’t want to wait on anything or anyone.  Remember in the old days when we had “dial up” internet?   Yeah, we aren’t even satisfied with the high speeds we have today.  We can get instant news, fast food and even pick up our groceries at the store without even getting out of our car.

I am firmly convinced that because of our impatience that this is the reason for anger in our society.  If we don’t get what we want or we have to wait, then we get angry.  We like to say that we are tolerant of others but, in reality, we really aren’t.  We are only tolerant when it is convenient for us or doesn’t go against us.

So how can we deal with impatience?

  • Have reasonable expectations.  If it’s rush hour, leave in time and be prepared to be inconvenienced.
  • Be a good at waiting.  If you find yourself in a line or forced to wait, use that time to be constructive.  Make notes of things you need to do.  If you can look at your smartphone by all means take advantage of the waiting time.  Deleted old emails or photos.
  • Take slow, deep breaths.  This will help slow down your heart rate and allows your body to take a time-out.
  • You are in control.  You have a choice in how you react in every situation.

Above all things remember the old “Golden Rule” and treat others like you would want to be treated.  What?  Think of others?  But I don’t have time for that!  And that, my friends, is impatience.  THINK of others.  We will all have a chance to be patient or need someone else to be patient with us.


Leave a Reply