Life is a series of waiting lines. And when you finally feel like it’s your turn, some one cuts in front of you to remind you that patience is a true virtue and a skill to be acquired. But now literally… waiting lines are a real test of our patience. So how to survive all those queues and waiting lines without raising your blood pressure or getting traumatised with boredom? With the next 6 tricks you might even find the next time you’re waiting in a line – enjoyable!
The truth is humans are an incredibly impatient species; and since today all services are getting faster and better, our need for instant gratification is being reinforced. What are some of the consequences of our impatient nature? Tons of credit card debt, unhealthy eating habits and a number of addictions are only a couple of examples. Patience in general is closely connected to our emotions and mental state. For example sadness has been found to increase impatience.
1. Antidote for grumpiness Emotions are contagious and anxiety will only make you feel like you are waiting for much longer than you actually are. When you’re waiting in a line with of grumpy people, chances are your grumpiness levels will also increase. Don’t let them infect you! Just because others are grumpy does not mean you should be too. Try to keep a positive attitude. Happy thoughts… you get the idea.
2. Get information about how long you will be waiting Waiting lines are not always shaped as actual lines. Sometimes there is number system in place and sometimes (e.g. at the doctor’s) how long you will be waiting and how many people will cut in front of you is a mystery. Nothing is more annoying for the human brain than uncertainty. If you know you’ll be waiting 30 minutes, you might get annoyed at the long waiting time but at least your mind will be at peace since it knows how much longer you’ll be waiting.
3. Get information about why you are waiting If you have the possibility to get information about why you’re waiting for as long as you are, make use of it! Even a simple piece of information such as “we are understaffed due to the holiday season” will put your mind at ease.
4. Do something while you wait Do anything. Boredom is the ultimate time stretcher. There is a reason why at Disneyland dressed up characters entertain the people waiting in lines for the rollercoasters. It is to take their mind of the waiting time and make their overall experience more enjoyable. No one would even consider going to a theme park only to wait in a line (although sometimes it feels like it).
5. Get social Perceived waiting time decreases when we are talking to other people. If you are currently not lucky enough to be waiting in a line with someone you can chat with, consider calling someone. Time always passes faster when you’re in (good) company.
6. Make sure whatever it is you’re waiting for is worth it The value of whatever we are waiting for determines how long we are willing to wait. It also defines the whole waiting process. If you are waiting for something, which you perceive as valuable, the waiting itself will have more meaning to you. The most important thing about waiting lines is knowing what you’re waiting for.
Waiting lines are the ultimate test of our patience. Breathe in, breathe out and wait it out. Something to be added, however, is that waiting and even boredom can also be beneficial in certain situations. Boredom actually increases creativity, can give your new ideas and fresh perspectives. If you are open to it, of course. And no matter how long you have to stand in that queue, know why you’re there. After all, some things are worth waiting for. Especially those, which are LEGEN - wait in a line for it - DARY.