I am slightly obsessive when it comes to timing. I hate being late. I love being early.
Unfortunately for me, I am surrounded by people that are tardy. These are my family and my friends, whom I love dearly. But honestly, I wish they can take time more seriously.
I don’t want to bitch. I, too, am not perfect. I can’t control my loved ones somewhat aversion toward being punctual, but I can direct my own reaction. I can determine my attitude, decide if I want to be crazy neurotic when they are late or stay calm, take a deep breath, and just enjoy it as it is.
Considering that I have been dealing with this tardiness phenomenon for years now, I do have some tricks and things that I do to keep my emotion under control. And so far they have worked great.
1. Resist the urge to pull all of your hair out
In other words, stay calm. I have come to realize that even if I get completely livid, it won’t change a thing. Besides, I don’t think going bald is a good style for me.
As hard as this is to do, I don’t have a choice. Either adjust or find a brand-spanking-new set of family and friends, which is something that I am not willing to do. Despite everything, I love them all and we do have great times together.
3. Get to know your opponent
People are tardy in a number of ways. Each of them has a different style. Get to know what style it is you’re dealing with so you can determine the appropriate form of conduct. For example, I have a friend who will leave her house at 10 (or even later), even though we have arranged to meet each other at exactly the same time. When we first started hanging out, that habit of her drove me crazy. But then I noticed the pattern and now I don’t leave my house before our meeting time. There are one or two times when she has magically been early and is forced to wait for me, but I don’t really care. It’s a fair game.
The situation is different when it comes to one of my darling family members. If she says she’s going to pick me up at 11, it actually means an hour or more after 11. I do not figure this out in an instant. I did spend many hours waiting and getting irritated. But as I get to know her and her ways better, I don’t wait as long. I translate her wanting to pick me up at 11 as the time I need to start getting ready. That way I am still cheerful when she finally arrives.
It’s all about getting to know your opponent. Play your cards well to your own advantage.
4. Set your tolerance level
I can’t put up with tardiness in some areas. I like watching the extras before a movie start on the big screen, so if my friend is late, he or she can’t expect me to wait. I also detest arriving late for church. It’s only once a week that we go to church to worship our all mighty and wonderful God. Have some respect and arrive on time. I’ve dealt with this problem by going to church in separate cars.
You can be the adult and be compliant and super patient, but you still need to set your ground. You don’t want your understanding and kindness to be taken for granted.
5. Be the bigger person
It’s obvious already. As Mahatma Gandhi said it: be the change you want to see.
I didn’t write this post to attack anyone. I get it, no one is perfect. A little tardiness here and there never hurts anyone. But unfortunately, the tardiness surrounding me goes on in a daily basis, so I feel the need to have these ways to cope with it. My tricks have helped me stay sane. I hope they will help you, too.