Patience is a virtue. This simple platitude has been around a long time to remind all of us of the importance of being patient. This trait is especially valuable at work when you may encounter any number of frustrations or setbacks. Losing your temper or rushing a project to completion could make things worse. Beware of losing your patience in situations like these.

Indignant customers.

Working with the public can be very stressful, especially when dealing with rude customers. While it is understandable someone might be upset over a defective product or unsatisfactory process, some customers or clients become very difficult to work with attitudes that cause tempers to flare. Learning to be patient and let them have their say, responding politely in turn, can often have a calming effect on the conversation.

Late orders.

When a long-awaited shipment is lost or delayed, it’s easy to get angry. But that won’t speed up the arrival time. Getting upset about something beyond your control will only make you feel worse. Instead, just shrug and remind yourself that the shipment will get there when it gets there, and then do something you can control.

Incompetent coworkers.

No one likes to explain something over and over to someone who just doesn’t get it. Nor do we want to listen to personal conversations in the next cubicle that disrupt the otherwise-quiet atmosphere when trying to work. Unfortunately, most of us know the type of co-workers whose lack of professionalism keeps us on edge and gritting our teeth. Instead of becoming impatient and saying something you’ll regret later, hold your tongue and try to move to a different location where you can work quietly without interruption. Your patience will pay off as you get more work done without verbally pummeling your co-worker.

Demanding bosses.

Arrogant bosses with unrealistic demands try our patience. They will ask you to do ten things in an hour, and then complain you did them in the wrong order without telling you beforehand. You might be expected to work overtime at the last minute or be the coffee girl or guy for company visitors. Since bad bosses can’t be automatically ignored or replaced, put on a patient smile and quietly plan the next steps on your career path.

When external events start to bug you, focus internally on positive thoughts to replace your growing impatience with a sense of peaceful calm.