Patience is often referred to as a virtue or a habit, and practising patience is an action. Therefore, patience is something that can be developed. Relationships present many circumstances that call for patience, and patience is necessary for having a healthy and functional relationship. You can learn patience by following these guidelines:
1. Focus on your mindset to practise patience
You may have thoughts, beliefs and ways of thinking that are not conducive to practising patience. In order to learn how to be more patient, it is necessary that you prime your mindset in a way that promotes patience.
Be mindful in situations that challenge your patience. Take note of the emotional, physical and mental responses you are having so that you can learn to recognize the ways in which you react to such challenges. Understanding how you react to things that challenge your patience is tantamount to coping with relationship challenges and learning to practise and employ patience.
Eliminate thoughts that centre on what you feel “must” or “should” happen. Impatience is often the result of unfulfilled expectations in a relationship. Remember that life is unpredictable and that there may be many circumstances that are outside your control. Learn patience by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
Practise self-talk. When relationship issues that test your patience arise, mentally recite affirmations that you can and will be patient. For example, if you feel that you are getting impatient during a discussion with your spouse, you may say to yourself, “I am capable of practising patience, and I will calm down and listen”.
2. Check your ego
Determine how much of your impatience is due to your desire to be right or to have things go according to your plan. To develop patience, you must acknowledge that a relationship involves two people, and that your perspective is only part of the equation.
3. Encourage open communication to learn patience
Commit to practising patience even in the face of things with which you may not agree or want to hear. Relationships require open and honest communication, and the more comfortable both of you are with sharing thoughts and feelings, the less likely it is that you will display passive-aggressive behaviours that challenge patience.
4. Take note of your relationship dynamic
You will notice that both of you have certain strengths and weaknesses, and that you will need to work together in order to make the relationship work. It is possible to learn patience by focusing on your cooperative efforts and being mindful of how you each contribute to the success of the relationship.
5. Spend time in personal reflection to learn how to be patient
You cannot have a relationship alone â?? you can only develop patience through your own effort within a relationship. Designate some private time for thinking about how you may practise patience in your relationship.
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