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Testing my patience

CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva HumUnited States Veteran

I dont have a high patience level both due to medical neurological issues and things I can control but I dont know how. How do you develop patience around people who irritate you not of their intention by your response? Im usually in the middle of something and it breaks my concentration. How do you have healthier responses to what or who irritates you? Not of their fault.

I try to breathe, turn my head, close my eyes or so have you and they either keep talking or I must have did the wrong impression because they are insulted. What are ways you controlled your 'immediate' reactions before you have time to count breathes etc?

Its an impulse frontal lobe seizures (same symptoms of those with frontal lobe brain injury). Something I have to work out on my own somehow so it wont be to much to interfere with my conversations with others. I was looking for something in The Dharma that may help. I cant think about after the fact more than usual.

Anyway. Thanks!

Comments

  • @Carlita said:

    I dont have a high patience level both due to medical neurological issues and things I can control but I dont know how. How do you develop patience around people who irritate you not of their intention by your response? Im usually in the middle of something and it breaks my concentration. How do you have healthier responses to what or who irritates you? Not of their fault.

    I try to breathe, turn my head, close my eyes or so have you and they either keep talking or I must have did the wrong impression because they are insulted. What are ways you controlled your 'immediate' reactions before you have time to count breathes etc?

    Its an impulse frontal lobe seizures (same symptoms of those with frontal lobe brain injury). Something I have to work out on my own somehow so it wont be to much to interfere with my conversations with others. I was looking for something in The Dharma that may help. I cant think about after the fact more than usual.

    Anyway. Thanks!

    Lots of things you can do! I like to imagine how the consequences of my behaviour (for better or worse) ripple out to effect countless people in countless ways far beyond my knowledge and control. For example, if another driver cuts me off and I shout at them then this might anger them, they then might get a phone call from their partner and take their anger out on them who in turn also gets angry and takes it out on the three kids, one of whom is struggling with depression from being bullied at school and takes an overdose because of the argument etc. etc. This is just the world that we live in. Our actions have consequences far beyond what we will ever know, but I guarantee that if you did know all the consequences of your impatient actions then you'd never feel justified in your impatience. Fortunately, the flip side to the horrors of the above is that all the good we do ripples out too. I think most of Buddhism is just about becoming aware of what is actually happening... the truths of reality... rather than the delusions that prance around our mind. How you treat people matters.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I think I understand, @Carlita. You already feel under the gun due to your problems caused by your medical and other situations. You feel this pressure to 'act' like other people do - and the differences aren't all that different but it gets played up in your mind and/or some people do get their noses out of joint by what they've misperceived about you and your behavior. Little you can do about your normal reactions. If I've misunderstood your issues, I'm sorry... Are these people who you are around most of the time or strangers too?

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited November 16

    @Carlita said:
    How do you develop patience around people who irritate you not of their intention by your response?

    Stay here long enough :awesome:

    But seriously? R E L A X I mean it. I have a degenerative, non curable neurological disease. It's so rare that they don't know what to do with me. Because some of my traits mimic that of MS, I'm treated with the same meds, most of which don't work. I get predisposition to anger - I was angry for two years constantly (ask @federica ).

    Firstly, you don't have to like everyone. Secondly, you don't have to impress everyone. That's key. And the only other thing I have to offer is - avoid people who trigger you. I try, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. Don't run the risk of martyring yourself because you mistakenly think being a Buddhist is being a doormat when it comes to tolerating other people's bullshit.

    Reading the definition of Idiot Compassion and why we should avoid it is a life saver at times when you feel like you're about to blow a gasket. Also as someone who's chronically ill the book - How To Be Sick by Toni Bernhard is a must. Literally saved my life.

    _ /\ _

    federicaHozan
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @Carlita said:
    I was looking for something in The Dharma that may help.

    The Buddhas Gotama and Kakusandha were said to have a peculiar trait: an elephant look. Instead of turning their necks to look at someone or something, they, like an elephant, turned their entire bodies, giving full attention.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I do a lot of breathing exercises at home when I am stressed or anxious and as a result, my body knows pretty quickly when I slow my breathing that it's time to calm down. so I can do that without tipping off the other person that I am having to manage my interaction with them. With people I know well, I am often just honest and say "Look, can we talk about this later? I just am not in the mood." or whatever.

    I also try to put myself into others' shoes when I can. To look at things from other perspectives.

    I find that when I am taking good care of my needs on a routine basis, my patience level is easier to maintain. My overall perception of and reaction to the world is much different. When life ramps up and I let go of my self-care routines, that is when I notice those old patterns raise their ugly heads. I make my self-care a priority, even if I have to tell someone "I'm sorry, no, I can't do that today because I'm having a me day." Especially when I know life is going to get nuts, like at holidays or the end of the school year etc.

    Self-care has been key to managing life for me. Things like making sure I get time outside every day. I do yoga, even a little. I meditate. I take the time to enjoy making and cooking my food. I mentally prepare for work before I log in. I avoid social media and the news on days I'm feeling irritated already. I drink more tea and water. Basically, I've noted through my life the things I know have a positive cumulative effect on my mood and ensured that I make them a priority every single day.

    CarlitaDhammaDragon
  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @mindatrisk said:

    @Carlita said:

    Lots of things you can do! I like to imagine how the consequences of my behavior (for better or worse) ripple out to effect countless people in countless ways far beyond my knowledge and control. For example, if another driver cuts me off and I shout at them then this might anger them, they then might get a phone call from their partner and take their anger out on them who in turn also gets angry and takes it out on the three kids, one of whom is struggling with depression from being bullied at school and takes an overdose because of the argument etc. etc. This is just the world that we live in. Our actions have consequences far beyond what we will ever know, but I guarantee that if you did know all the consequences of your impatient actions then you'd never feel justified in your impatience. Fortunately, the flip side to the horrors of the above is that all the good we do ripples out too. I think most of Buddhism is just about becoming aware of what is actually happening... the truths of reality... rather than the delusions that prance around our mind. How you treat people matters.

    Thank you. This a good reflection technique where I can reflect on my impulse and put it in perspective. You know how sometimes you're so close to the problem that when you go back to see what happened, your mind just "denies" it? One of the huge causes of trauma when your mind gets shocked into blocking out what we can reflect on to manage our issues until they, in themselves, can be managed.

    Hmm. Interesting. Worst/Best case scenario technique. =)

  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @silver said:
    I think I understand, @Carlita. You already feel under the gun due to your problems caused by your medical and other situations. You feel this pressure to 'act' like other people do - and the differences aren't all that different but it gets played up in your mind and/or some people do get their noses out of joint by what they've misperceived about you and your behavior. Little you can do about your normal reactions. If I've misunderstood your issues, I'm sorry... Are these people who you are around most of the time or strangers too?

    Mostly strangers and acquaintances. I live in an apartment complex for seniors and those with disabilities (any age). I don't have a laptop, so I go to our community computer. A lot of people are starting to develop altimeters and dementia so they would ask me the same "how are you" question that asked ten minutes ago, questions and all. I only have one best friend who gave me an insight on my actions and personality. She said there could be something medically that are really out of my control. I haven't got to that point of acceptance because in the U.S. there isn't much acceptance emotional illnesses until they become medical or legal issues such as suicide, homicide, or lack of self-care. That, and it's hard to tell which actions I can control and can manage and what actions I can't control but can find ways to not be triggered towards that action (from another reply on here about triggers). For example, I can control turning to face the person who irritate me. Takes practice. I have trouble controlling the inhibition of actually physically moving almost as if I'm in stage fright or something. Flight/fright response. There's a lot of things about the frontal lobe I didn't know about until I took a neuropsychology assessment test to find what part of the brain my seizures newly originate from.

    I've done okay with some things since I started meditating a month or so ago. It works when I have time to reflect. When I don't have that time, that's when I need the help. It could be a anger issue though I don't remember being angry throughout my life at least not aggressive anger.

  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @dhammachick said:

    @Carlita said:
    How do you develop patience around people who irritate you not of their intention by your response?

    Stay here long enough :awesome:

    But seriously? R E L A X I mean it. I have a degenerative, non curable neurological disease. It's so rare that they don't know what to do with me. Because some of my traits mimic that of MS, I'm treated with the same meds, most of which don't work. I get predisposition to anger - I was angry for two years constantly (ask @federica ).

    Firstly, you don't have to like everyone. Secondly, you don't have to impress everyone. That's key. And the only other thing I have to offer is - avoid people who trigger you. I try, sometimes successfully, other times not so much. Don't run the risk of martyring yourself because you mistakenly think being a Buddhist is being a doormat when it comes to tolerating other people's bullshit.

    Reading the definition of Idiot Compassion and why we should avoid it is a life saver at times when you feel like you're about to blow a gasket. Also as someone who's chronically ill the book - How To Be Sick by Toni Bernhard is a must. Literally saved my life.

    _ /\ _

    Haha. I've beginning to get that "stay here long enough" deal. My gosh, don't you love neurological diseases. It took them years before they diagnosed me and in the late 80s early 90s, they still believed you can swallow your tongue. Five years ago, I went to a church that the practitioners held me down during my seizure trying to get the holy spirit from me. Can you imagine!

    Yeah. I used to hang out with my co-worker and ever since she made religious comments and belittled me, I haven't fully talked with her in almost a year. Nice woman but doesn't connect with people who aren't christians. She puts her friends in categories and I don't, so..

    Hmm. I look that book up. How to be Sick? Interesting.

  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @Snakeskin said:

    @Carlita said:
    I was looking for something in The Dharma that may help.

    The Buddhas Gotama and Kakusandha were said to have a peculiar trait: an elephant look. Instead of turning their necks to look at someone or something, they, like an elephant, turned their entire bodies, giving full attention.

    Hmmm. Elephant. I have to think about this more.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    A bit of what everyone has said above.

    Our body's automatic reaction when there is a surge of anger/impatience/negative feelings is to get on fight-or-flight mode.
    Our breathing gets shallow, our fists and teeth get clenched, and our mind gets bombarded with negative readings into the situation at hand.

    So the most important thing is to keep breathing.
    As in deep breathing.
    And counting to ten or hundred.
    And bearing in mind that the same way someone tests our patience, we also test someone else's patience.

    HozanCarlitakarastilobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    What are ways you controlled your 'immediate' reactions before you have time to count breathes etc?

    By inhibiting those reactions with a strongly developed metta practice, outside of those particular times.

    There is the liberation of the heart by loving-kindness; frequently giving wise attention to it — this is the denourishing of the arising of ill-will that has not yet arisen, and the decrease and weakening of ill-will that has already arisen.— SN 46:51

    Carlitalobster
  • @seeker242 said:
    By inhibiting those reactions with a strongly developed metta practice, outside of those particular times.

    That is my preferred option too.

    Metta bhavna to contact and rewire our emotions and eventually a constant residing in metta.
    There is no quick fix, especially with impairment that is in the body. It helps to explain later to the individual if the option exists.

    I have two family members who push my anger buttons, no matter how patient I try to be.

    The other day I was congratulating myself on how patient I was being with one of them. Patient, calm, understanding ... was doing so well. And then bam. Explosive anger. It was resolved quickly but it is not pretty ... return to the breath as @DhammaDragon mentions.
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/24330/being-sensitive-or-not

    DhammaDragon
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited November 17

    At the end of the day, @Carlita, daily life is chock-full with people and situations that test our patience.

    It is better to brace oneself for afflictive situations and learn to endure them stoically and buddhistically somehow.
    As Shantideva said, and Chögyam Trungpa rephrased "It is easier to put on a pair of shoes than wrap the earth in leather."

    Hozan
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