Patience is a skill we aren't born with, says Jane Bolton, a psychoanalyst, but it is one that is well worth developing. By learning to become more patient with others, you will grow less critical of yourself and can enjoy a more content life. Your relationship with your boyfriend will be happier and healthier if you learn to be more patient with him.
Stop yourself before you show your boyfriend how frustrated you are. As soon as you become aware of your stress levels rising, take a moment to think about why you are getting wound up. Learn to identify the signs. You may feel tension across your shoulders or start fidgeting. Take a deep breath and relax. Pay attention to your body and work out what areas feel tense. Focus on each specific area and visualize the tension disappearing. Continue inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly until you feel calmer. When your mind and body has settled down, you will think more clearly and rationally.
Tell yourself that it is OK to get impatient now and again. Acknowledge that this is how you feel, and that you will soon get over it. Ask yourself if being impatient will do anything to improve the situation. If your boyfriend is late to meet you, accept that there's nothing you can do to change that. If he's still not taken the trash out, flying off the handle might not be the best reaction. Keep things in perspective: ask yourself what the worst possible outcome is. It is not the end of the world if you miss the start of the movie or if the trash doesn't get picked up one week.
Remind yourself of your boyfriend's good qualities. He might drive you crazy telling the same stories again and again, but nobody is perfect. Think about the ways he supports and cares for you. Focus on what he does to make you feel special. If he is repeatedly doing something that you find irritating and causes you to become impatient with him, talk to him about it. Nothing will ever change if you don't communicate. Speak to him with love and respect. Say something like, "I feel really embarrassed that you're always late when we're going out with my friends. Can you understand why I feel that way? I'd really appreciate it if you could try to be more punctual in the future." Don't get angry or be overly critical. Remember you're trying to avoid conflict, not make things worse.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."