Are You a Hothead? 10 Things Patient People Never Say

By Paul Michael on 12 September 2014 1 comment

From time to time, we are all guilty of getting flustered by something. Or someone.

However, some people have this ability to keep calm under pressure, and remain patient almost all of the time. These people seem to have an enviable sense of self-control, and yet it's not what they say that makes them so calm; it's what they don't say. (See also: Are You a Doormat? 17 Things Assertive People Never Say)

Here are 10 things you will never hear a truly patient person say.

1. "I Hate…"

…you! I hate this! I hate my life! I hate this job. I hate, I hate, I hate.

The definition given by Merriam Webster is "intense hostility and aversion, usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury. Extreme dislike or antipathy. Loathing." Seems a bit too strong now, doesn't it? Patient people don't let themselves get to that level of frustration. They don't succumb to hatred, and they don't yell it out. Sure, they're not perfect, but they don't give in to that very negative emotion. They certainly don't vent it to people they love, live, or work with. Life is too short to hate anyone or anything, but if you must hate something, at least be constructive about it (announcing your hate to the world isn't).

2. "Just Who Do You Think You Are?!"

Oooh, you can feel the sense of self-righteousness oozing from that particular phrase!

When people say that, what they're really saying is: "I am more important than you," or "my opinion matters more than yours does." It's a blatant attempt to belittle someone and put them in their place. Ironically, this simple but baggage-filled phrase has the opposite effect. Instead of belittling someone, it serves to show everyone within earshot just what kind of person you are by saying it. A patient person, upon hearing that, will know they have already won the argument.

3. "I Want It!"

Remember Verruca Salt, the rich kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? She did a lot of wanting, and a lot of demanding. Want, want, want.

A patient person won't feel the need to want or demand things in such a way. Yes, they want to come to a resolution, but instead of saying, "I want this resolved," they'll say, "let's find a way to resolve this." The latter feels more inclusive while the former is a demand given to fulfill the wishes of the individual. If you're saying "I want" a lot (or in some cases, screaming it) you are a definitely in the hothead zone.

4. "This Isn't Fair!"

What isn't fair? That the situation is not going how you expected, or that you're not getting your own way? The whole concept of fairness is actually quite subjective. What's fair to one person may not seem fair to another, and that even comes to laws (just ask friends or relatives about marijuana laws and watch the arguments commence). When you start saying, "this isn't fair," you're starting to sound like a petulant child… the biggest hotheads of all.

5. "Give It to Me"

Talk about a demand. Whether it's an actual physical object, or simply a phrase or admission of something, making this kind of demand feels like a hold up or ransom. People do not respond well to orders being barked at them in this way. Patient people know this, and realize that such demands will not help them settle any kind of argument. Not win, by the way. Patient people are also much more open to compromise. It's not about winning or losing, it's about reaching an accord.

6. "…Or Else"

If you have ever ended a phrase with "or else," you are really in hothead territory. It's a threat, pure and simple, and patient people have neither the drive nor inclination to issue threats. What exactly are you going to do anyway?

"I want that report in 30 minutes, or else!"

Wow, is that the best you can do? People who say that don't realize that these kinds of threats fall on deaf ears. They are often shouted, and 99% of the time the issuer of the threat will not follow through anyway. It's just a way to sound more important. Don't use this one. Ever.

7. "You Always Do That"

There are two great words that I learned in my early days as a copywriter (it never came up until then for some reason). Those words are "platitudes" and "hyperbole." Platitudes, or clichés, are not required by patient people very often. Hyperbole, or over-exaggeration, is used even less. When you say something like "you always do that," you are making a massive, sweeping statement that is fundamentally untrue. No one always does anything (apart from living and breathing). "You always take her side," or "you never honor these deals" are lies. And once you start lying, you're becoming a hothead.

8. "I Don't Have Time for This"

It may seem obvious that a patient person wouldn't say that, but this goes beyond a simple statement of availability. What people really mean when they say that is: "this is beneath me," or "this is not worth my time." And the latter is in line with other statements mentioned in this article. Namely, it puts yourself on a pedestal, and makes those around you not worthy of your time. Patient people won't say it even if they really don't have the physical time needed to talk it through. Saying "I don't have time" is dismissive of the other person's needs, and that is another surefire way to become a hothead.

9. "Get Out!"

When you demand that someone leaves your presence, you are issuing an order. Regardless of where, or when, this occurs, it's rude and aggressive to say this. Patient people may want you to leave, but they will usually say something calmly like "can we continue this at another time please?" By throwing out a command, you are being an abusive hothead.

10. "Everyone Is Out to Get Me"

Last, but not least, is the sympathy vote. Also known as martyrdom, hotheads will often play the self-pity card as a last resort. "Everyone hates me," or "you never liked me anyway" are blanket statements thrown out to make the other person feel guilt and sympathy. It is manipulative and a low blow, and if you do it, you are definitely a hothead.

What did we miss? Are there signs of hotheadedness that should be on this list? Let us know in comments. Please.

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Guest's picture
Caroline

While I agree with 80% of the post, two issues do not fit in, certainly not in my life. I am not a truly patient person, obviously, because I do not have time for lots of things. And "who do you think you are" is "dismissive of the other person's needs?" Who NEEDS to tell me this? Our days are numbered, we do not all have time. I do not hate, don't even say "I don't like" most of the time. It's more accurate to say "I don't love" (whatever it is). And I don't love keeping books on what I hate or how to spend my time. But keep up the 80% good work. Modify the other 20% before prescribing next time. Thanks.