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Development | patience

Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time  ~ Jon Kabbat-Zinn

Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Do you have sufficient patience? Do you have too much patience? Here’s how the Enneagram can enrich our understanding of patience and how to engage patience on our path to wisdom.

Enneagram Ones
Ones are not known for their patience, either with themselves or with others. Task-focused and driven to perfection, how can they be patient when tasks are slow and standards are not being met? Pretty sure their own opinions are correct and that many others hold views that are either not correct or even sub-par, how can Ones be more patient?

The answer: Slow down, put less on your “to-do lists – long “to- do” lists in a 24 hour day aggravate impatience – and start the whole process by being more patient and loving with yourself!

Enneagram Twos
Twos are very patient about some things – maybe too patient if there is too much patience – and not very patient about other things. People-focused and driven to provide for others, Twos can be patient to a fault, not acknowledging the shortcomings of others when doing so would allow Twos to both live in a more accurate reality and be more honest with others. Twos can also be highly impatient when they’ve listened too many times to another person and want to disengage.

The answer: Remember that being patient does not make you a good person and being impatient does not render you bad in some way. Patience is something that you need to do for yourself, not for others, but make it a patience based in reality.

Enneagram Threes
Threes are among the least patient of the 9 enneagram types. If someone takes up too much time, the Three’s impatience sets in. If the Three doesn’t understand something well enough, impatience shows up. If there is work to do, impatience appears. When a conversation becomes too emotional, impatience! But most of all, Threes are impatient with themselves.

The answer: Recognize that impatience directed toward others harms relationships, but that impatience towards yourself erodes your inner sense of self-acceptance. Start inside and move outward.

Enneagram Fours
Fours, sadly, are most impatient with themselves. Sometimes they become impatient when another person doesn’t understand what has been said or the different nuanced levels of human dynamics. But for the most part, Fours are impatient with their feelings, with the emotional vexing in their minds and hearts, and more.

The answer: Be patient with yourself, using deep and rhythmic breathing as your support and guide. Allow yourself to think clearly, feel calmly, and experience your body fully.

Enneagram Fives
It’s hard to describe whether Fives are patient or impatient because they can be both. Impatient with intrusions and small talk, impatient with fake joviality – as they might perceive it – and impatient with ideas from others that make no sense. Fives, however, are patient with work projects, problems that need solving and more.

The answer: Remember that being patient does not make you a good person and being impatient does not render you bad in some way. Patience is something that you need to do for yourself, not for others, but make it a patience based in reality.

Enneagram Sixes
Sixes can be overly patient just as they can be extremely impatient. When overly patient, the reason is often their loyalty to a person, a situation, or a cause. When impatient, the reason can be either that they think so quickly – a result of their facile problem solving – they already know a solution to an issue or that they are anxious and feel a need to get to the answer, even if premature.

The answer: Remember that when you are over or under-patient, it is an opportunity to examine your keen need for certainty. Breathe into the situation and access your heart and body as well as your mind.

Enneagram Sevens
Sevens, along with Threes, are the most impatient of the Enneagram types, but the reason behind the impatience is different. Sevens think even faster than Sixes and they become impatient because, although they may not say this, the rest of us seem slow to them. Always in constant motion, mentally and physically, Sevens want everything to move quickly. And when this doesn’t occur, their impatience is palpable.

The answer: Remember that we are not slow, you are super-fast. And fast doesn’t necessarily mean better. It might mean better, but it can also mean that you have not considered all the crucial factors. In addition, if you really want people to listen to you and to engage with your ideas, you need to also offer this to others.

Enneagram Eights
Eights can be highly impatient with some people and some situations, yet be highly patient under other circumstances where most other people would be frustrated. Their level of patience depends on a number of factors (the higher the factor, the less the patience): stress; fatigue; anxiety; anger; sadness; lack of self-care, just as examples.

The answer: Remember the above factors that contribute to your impatience and try to minimize them.

Enneagram Nines
Nines can be patient to a fault, but then withdraw, become angry, or become passive aggressively impatient after a long build up. In the Nine worldview, patience, acceptance, tolerance, not creating tension, and listening are positive values. As a result, however, Nines can be laboriously patient when they might be better served to offer a different way of doing things, or to say No and mean it, or to tell another that he or she (the Nine) doesn’t have any more time to spend on a subject.

The answer: Remember that you matter just as much as anyone else. This means your time, energy, thoughts and more. Even more, remember that you must matter to yourself before you will ever believe you matter to others.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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