Do I want to hear that?

As I mentioned in my resolutions post, one of my goals for the year is to have more patience. But how on earth do you measure that, and what concrete steps can you take to get there? Patience is such a broad idea, and I’m a concrete-steps kind of girl. So I did some thinking, and my first step is going to be asking myself this one question before responding negatively:

If somehow said that to me, how would I feel?

That’s it. If someone used the same phrasing and tone as I was about to, how would I respond?

The tough part here is being 100% honest with yourself. No cop-outs like, “oh I have a thick skin so nothing bothers me.” No mental contortions to convince yourself it’s not that bad. Just look at what you’re saying at face value, and think for a second or two.

The great part about this is that it changes for every person you talk to. Something I might say to my mom would be too harsh for a coworker, or something that I would comment on to my best friend might not fly with the manfriend.

I’ve been trying this, and so far it’s been great but tough. I’m almost always in a sunny mood, so in my rare cloudy moments I’ve been able to tell myself that “I’m just telling the honest truth,” or that “someone needs to say something.” But telling the truth is never an excuse for rudeness, and there’s almost always a way to communicate without attacking the other person.

What do you all think? Have you tried asking yourself this? What are some other ways you try to be more patient?

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One thought on “Do I want to hear that?

  1. Stephen 01/17/2015 / 1:19 pm

    Your comments several posts ago spoke of listening-to-understand instead of listening-to-respond, and I think your thoughts here are in the same vein. We can listen and respond without being judgmental even when we don’t agree. We can even be passionate in our disagreements without placing value judgements on other perspectives.

    Like

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