Dear bee readers,
Are you one of those who have a great tank of patience or rather the kind who has a medium to small tank and is able to share discontent on the spot instead of letting it accumulate and empty the tank? We are, in most part, all responsible for the fullness of the patience and coping mechanism tanks since it depends on our perspective. Secondly, our perspective can be partly influenced by our nature - how we are naturally built.
For myself, I have a great deal of patience for most situations. Even my psychometric tests revealed a higher than average level of patience. Therefore, I'd say I usually do quite well in stressful situations. In fact, there were times when I was younger where I didn't intervene enough apart from the elements that REALLY bothered me. That being said, like a pancake, everything has two sides no matter its flatness and the not so good side to this is the surprise effect and utter shock I cause when I do run out of patience gas and blow my fuse. It has the effect of a ticking time bomb usually resulting to the "well where did THAT come from?" or "woah, relax there Ivana" reactions. needless to say this does nothing to calm my already frazzled nerves and fuels my anger furthermore at the moment. Everyone seems to forget that 90% of the time, I am quite tolerant (just energetic, let's not confuse things), oh but that ferocious 10%...
This past year, I have been quite busy with organizing my wedding day with Phil (very excited!) and though there were moments of high stress and annoyingness (just invented that), a great part of it has been quite pleasant and we've all enjoyed the extra family time this has given us. As all is wrapping up, there have been a few bumps in the road, nothing major, but things that nevertheless defied my expectations and left me standing alone in my principles and point of view and that is precisely when I start using my patience tank. I started using it, and using it and using it. Still, emotions were under control. The two unfortunate elements about highly patient time bombs however are the following: 1) the minute we have had enough, there is absolutely nothing left in the tank and nothing you can do to stop it and 2) when the bomb is ready to blow, pretty much anything will set it off. The drop of a hat, an empty milk carton, the printer running out of paper, whatever triggers. So keeping in mind my tank capacity, the bumps in the road, some wedding related and others not, went something like this:
Crappy news #1
Iva reacts:" WHAT?! oh wow I can't believe I have to go through with this bull. No one has died, but I feel a little disrespected and my requests being disregarded."
Patience tank Status: The loss of perception of control + feeling disregarded + no one really understands my point of view = 100% capacity now reduced to 50% (yep, this one took a lot out of me)
Crappy news #2
Iva reacts: "really? man that sucks! I mean this is important and I can't believe this is happening. Well, it could be worse, it fine really....but it STILL sucks, what the hell! why? how could I have prevented this?! I guess when it rains it pours..."
Patience tank status: a few people understand my point of view + damage of news = 50% capacity now reduced to 30%
Crappy news #3
Iva reacts: "not again...I don't think I can handle much more disappointment. It doesn't seem that bad but I'm starting to feel tired of battling deceit and being optimistic. Fine, it's not that bad but I'm definitely fed up."
Patience tank status: Not being on the same page as others + damage of the news + being tired = 30% capacity now reduced to 0% *WARNING: Tank is empty. Make sure to take time for yourself to relax and refuel or mind will overheat*
Unfortunately, there was no time to refuel before something could make the bomb blow. I had no fuel left and I was roaming around, my blood boiling. The next poor soul or unpleasant event that would get in my way would trigger the bomb. That night, surrounded with good friends (something that usually recharges me) I was already in a not so good mood, my perception was quite biased and I was on the lookout to protect my frail ego. I was lost in a dark forest of emotions and every crinkle and sound would make me wonder: "is this an attack? Is this bad news? Should I retaliate? I'm not going to let it go this time". It was too late, the defensive blinders were on and I could only see or hear negatively. I felt I was dodging bullets all the time (there were no bullets). I felt people were laughing at me (they were not. if they were, it was good hearted). Lastly, I was angry that no one picked up on my sensitivity (they didn't know my tank was empty).
So one little comment was said and the needle of my tank broke.
I blew my fuse. I caught on fire.
Now I am not one to be an escapist. I always face the music especially when I don't like it that way it's over faster. This time was different however. This time, I had to stop drop and roll out because if I stayed where I was, I would have cut everyone's head off, I would have used all my verbal ammunition on those I care for most and would probably have regretted it. So I decided to go for a walk on my own and cool off.
To others however this led to the previously stated reactions: "What was THAT?!" "euuuuuh, ok. This is awkward" never knowing that I had had quite a lot to deal with the past week and that perhaps Ivana had had enough.
Sure, I felt awful leaving a crowd of friends behind without explanations. But with an empty tank, it truly was the best move since no one knew where I was coming from and I had no patience to explain myself. I also had no desire to start a group therapy session and receive well intended but yet unsolicited advice. It wasn't the evening's purpose.
Sometimes, leaving is indeed the best solution. In my previous post, I mentioned silence as being the best weapon especially when you have no strength to verbalize any thoughts and all will come out defensively. So you may leave to take control and cool off but you will inevitably look like a fool to others. You will seem selfish and even *gasp* dramatic!
Yet, if others cannot understand it and are more concerned by judging you? all the more reason to leave. It will be left to biased misinterpretation and judgement. For those few moments, it's you against the world and perhaps your skin will be a little thicker afterwards..
Besides, folks go for cigarette breaks all the time, can't a girl go for some fresh air?
In staying true to my own spirit, I didn't mean to cause any discomfort to anyone, truly. But it wasn't a big deal and I have no regrets in walking out. I am always there for others, I give a lot of my time freely and gladly so I think it is only normal to put myself first every now and again, even if it means leaving question marks behind me when I leave. Those who truly know me will understand. I returned home with in a better mood but I had to take it easy and remain conscious of my empty tank when talking with friends.
So if you are like me, a big tank of patience that transforms into a ticking time bomb, do make sure you either take some time alone or that you have the courage to step out before charging aimlessly at others; it is not always up to others to throw you a bucket of water if you catch fire since most of the time, the match is in your hand to begin with.
Stay cool! ;)
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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