Moving from Impatience to Anger – 3 Easy Tactics

Recently, I have been evaluating my business and personal life in 2012, reviewing and recognizing my challenges and achievements in 2012, so that I can make improvements in 2013.

The one overarching opportunity area I have identified is my (and my clients) lack of patience with others. Yet, most of us seem to be impatient more frequently than ever before. Impatience seems to flourish as a direct result of all of us being pulled in too many different directions at once. We are all constantly feeling the pressures of time, relationships, and money. These pressures eventually develop into impatience that can easily provoke outward frustration and then, in worse case situations, to overt anger. Luckily, I have yet to reach this anger stage, but I have seen many of my clients struggle with this when dealing with difficult situations.

This progression from impatience to anger can be very damaging to business relationships but it can also be frustrating personally, as who likes to be overtly angry?

So, I am learning and recommending to my clients and colleague that we all try the following three tactics before we find ourselves in the uncontrollable and much-regrettable angry phase:

  1. Multi-task less and focus more Switching from one task to another has been proven to reduce productivity and makes it difficult to focus mental energy appropriately. This can lead to frustration. In 2013, I am going to try really hard to do one thing at a time. So, when I am in calls, I will no longer check my email and, when I am in meetings, I will pay attention to what is being discussed and not think of all the work I have yet to do.
  2. Take a break When I feel like I am losing patience with someone or something, I am going to take a break and not react or respond to the current situation immediately. It is very important to let that impatience subside before continuing so that you can re-focus your mental energies and uncover more productive solutions to your current challenge. Decision-making must come from a strong foundation of rational thinking. When your impatient, you are much more irrational and are directed by unproductive emotions.
  3. Be honest and apologize more often – We should also recognize that we are all human and, despite our best efforts, we will find ourselves, at times, impatient, frustrated, or angry. When this happens, it is important to recognize that it is happening and talk more openly about it. As you probably know, I personally am driven by the cliché that honesty is the best policy. I think we all need to improve in recognizing our own as well as other’s flaws and, um, be more patient with each other! Then, after it happens, apologize, learn from the experience, and move on.

I will keep you updated on my progress, but if you find me breaking my own rules, let me know! Let us all work on this together.


  • Lovely post Emily. I am right there with you…

    by tina on February 20, 2013

  • Hello there Emily,
    If you’re ever curious about the ‘why’ behind the frustration and impatience, and how we can more easily take control over our impatience and anger and emotions that can throw wrenches into our workdays (and relationships), I can’t recommend strongly enough “Your Brain at Work” by David Rock. In my opinion, the information and strategies in the book are invaluable to people in the creative industries, and can help us understand how we can be more productive and less reactive by understanding WHY we get that way in the first place.

    by Erin Pheil on March 27, 2013

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