Therapy That Works...

Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Impossible Impatience

Impossible Impatience

October 7, 2006

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, CBS 11 News

Q: Is Dallas really that impatient?

Dr. Sylvia: Of course we are! Impatience is highly correlated with high levels of achievement and Dallas is a hotbed of industry. Most importantly, impatience is a signature symptom of Type A which flourishes in the high-stakes environment of cities such as Dallas. We want it new and now--fast relationships, fast promotions and fast money. As we become more successful, our sense of time urgency increases exponentially and we are rewarded for pushing fast and hard.

Q:What is really behind impatience?

Dr. Sylvia: An overwhelming sense of time urgency is the fundamental driving force of impatience. People who are swept up in the whirl of achievement over-commit as they drive themselves harder. They try to accomplish too much in too short a time. As a result, they have a chronic shortage of time which presses on them as they drive to the office, order their Starbucks or wait at a retail counter.

Q: So is multitasking a symptom of our impatience?

Dr. Sylvia: It can be a manifestation of our extreme efficiency or our ridiculous frustration with our time shortage. As we speed up all our activities, multitasking becomes a symbol of our effectiveness. We walk faster, talk faster, drive and eat faster while we make lists, talk on the phone and balance our checkbooks.

Q: What are the main reasons for our impatience in Dallas?

Dr. Sylvia:

1. Minimal Time, High Demands, High Congestion: We are living in a city of highly ambitious people who do not have time to waste. Unlike other cities such as Los Angeles and New York, Dallas natives are adjusting to longer commutes and longer workdays.

2. Describe Jobs as Stressful: Forty percent of American workers describe their jobs as very stressful. Impatience feeds on stress and increases exponentially especially when we are tired.

3. "Point and Click Mentality": We are a city culture that relies on technology. As our technology has grown, we have grown used to rapid-fire answers and results. Our impatience has grown as a result.

4. Longer Work Week: With the global economy, we are working longer and harder. Research reveals that Americans prefer working more hours than taking a pay cut. With dual incomes, we have more to do in our "free time." Our workday sometimes doesn't seem to end. Twenty percent of Americans work 50 hours a week or more. Eighty percent of men and over 60% of women work over 40 hours per week.

Q: Is impatience dangerous for your health?

Dr. Sylvia: It is lethal for your health. Since impatience is a central symptom of Type A, it can extremely harmful over time. Impatience floods the body with harmful stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The body is in perpetual hyper-vigilant mode. Over time, we become used to living at a higher "throttle" so impatience and the negative physical effects become commonplace.

Q: Is there a correlation between obesity and this instant gratification, impatient mindset?

Dr. Sylvia: Some experts argue that as people concentrate more on instant gratification today, they will ignore vital health issues, such as their weight. People living in countries that save more of their income are less obese. If you are willing to tolerate your own impatience and frustration and to plan for tomorrow, you may be able to forgo the pleasures of eating right now. We want fast food now, fast promotions and even fast relationships. Things worth having in our lives often take time to build.

Q: What happens as impatience turns to anger?

Dr. Sylvia: Nothing good happens. The exploding anger will cause those hormones to surge once again while your blood pressure rises and your heart pumps harder. As one doctor said, "anger kills." It is the every-day impatience that builds to a pattern of frustration and anger that over time erodes your physical health.

Q: Are there gender differences in impatience?

Dr. Sylvia: Research reports that Type A men are three times more likely to develop heart disease, and the picture is even bleaker for women. Type A women are seven times more likely to develop heart disease than their peers. We tend to become more alienated and isolated as we become more impatient and angry. Our internalization can lead to our premature death.

Q: Any tips to avoiding impatience?

Dr. Sylvia: Take responsibility for your reactions. People like to credit events and other people for their reactions rather than remembering that it is their direct interpretation of events that determines their reactions. You have control and you have a choice every moment of the day!