Patience Can be Pointless, Respect Never Is

It may be true that patience is a virtue, but not always. Sometimes it is pointless. Many years ago one of the people I love most in the world, Dane Arnold, told me there were times  I was too patient with people. If memory serves, I was being patient with a rather problematic apartment mate at the time who, as it turned out, deserved anything but patience. Dane was right. I’d been too patient.

I am saying nothing unique when I say we are all works in progress. For a few years now I’ve used a  kind of strategy to help me identify when I am either being too patient with someone, or allowing someone to treat me or behave towards me in a way I should reject, harshly if necessary. It might work for you too.

First, pick someone, alive or dead, who you love with all your heart and soul. Someone you know you would protect with your life if necessary. The person I picked is my father. My father was and is the greatest gift life has ever given me and even though he left the world when he was 55 and I was 15, he is with me every day.

Anyway, you choose someone you love with all your heart. Then you ask yourself if you saw this person being treated the way you are being treated what would you do? The answer is usually split-second obvious. And, if the treatment, meaning the respect that you would demand for this person is more than the respect you’ve been receiving, then you have successfully discovered an area where you are allowing yourself to be treated with less respect then you deserve. Then, make changes, disengage from the person or group if need be.

Having patience for people is a healthy thing, but not if it means you will get treated with disrespect or cruelty as a result. You can always accept an apology and re-connect with a person or group in life. In the meantime,  you have the right to disengage from someone or cut someone off who has been treating you with disrespect. Don’t you think that is what the person you used to help you in this strategy would want you to do? I do.


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