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How to Develop Patience in the Workplace

by Melissa King, studioD

Your company employs dozens of people with an array of personalities, so chances are good that you won't get along with every one of them. When you don't approve of the way your colleagues do things at work, you're likely to feel impatient. Impatience may arise when your boss is late to a meeting or your coworker neglects to do his part of a project. Even if you have a valid reason to feel upset, impatience can quickly cascade into other negative thoughts about your coworkers. When you learn how to be patient, you'll feel at peace when dealing with even the most frustrating people and events.

Count to 10 and breathe slowly and deeply whenever something or someone tests your patience. This relaxes you and gives you time to calm down before reacting to the situation.

Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that wakes you up, but it can also make you feel jumpy, agitated or nervous. Drink more water in place of coffee or caffeinated soda.

Walk away from a stressful situation, if possible. If you're arguing with someone, tell him that you both need a few minutes alone to calm down. Take a quick walk around the office or head outside and get some fresh air.

Stretch your muscles and do simple exercises while sitting or standing at your desk. For example, raise your shoulders, hold them up for three seconds, then drop them back down. Repeat the exercise until your body feels less tense. If you have time, go to the gym to work out your frustrations.

Step back and analyze the situation when you feel impatient. Try to understand why you feel the way you do. Realize that people probably aren't trying to purposely irritate you.

Write down your frustrations in a notebook whenever you feel impatient. Writing can be a therapeutic outlet.

Explain to your coworker why his behavior frustrates you and makes you feel impatient. For example, if your colleague consistently arrives late to meetings, explain how his actions affect you and other coworkers. Avoid yelling or name-calling, however.

Accept that some things in your office will never change. Realize that stressing over those things is bad for your mental and physical health. When you accept the things you can't change, you will notice that your patience level increases.


  • When you feel impatient with someone, it's easy for a single disappointment to snowball into an avalanche of negativity and complaints. Don't allow this to happen. Recognize the impatience as an isolated incident, and either work to correct the problem or accept it and forget about it. If you can't stop thinking negative thoughts about a coworker, try instead to picture her positive traits and acknowledge the good things she's done for you and the company.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images