Time Urgency And Impatience Can Get Out Of Hand

Time Urgency And Impatience Can Get Out Of Hand

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

Everybody has heard of "DUI," but have you heard of "TUI?" If not, mark it down because TUI can be as dangerous, if not more so, to your health.

"TUI' stands for "Time Urgency and Impatience," cardinal characteristics of a Type "A" behaviors. In the bio-behavioral medical research, the subject of time urgency and impatience is referenced so frequently that researchers are using that acronym.

It's now old news that hostility, another major component of Type "A" personality, is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Now recent research has shown that TUI is also linked to similar health problems.

Li Jing Yan of Northwestern University followed 3,000 men and women between the ages of 18 to 30 for fifteen years. When she enlisted them she asked them four simple questions regarding TUI. Here are the four questions as paraphrased by me: 1) Do you tend to get upset when you have to wait? 2.) Do you tend to eat quickly? 3) Do you tend to experience a feeling of pressure as the end of the regular workday approaches? 4 ) Do you tend to experience a sense of time pressure all the time?

By year 13 of the 15-year follow-up program, the effects of TUI on health were obvious. Those who gave positive response to all four questions were twice as likely to have developed moderate to severe high blood pressure!

Keep in mind that the oldest people in the follow-up sample were only 30 years old when the study began. The study showed that by age 43, they demonstrated clear evidence as to what a "hurry up" style can do to the body. Compared to other 43-year olds, twice as many in the follow-up group had blood pressure that was at least 140/90 or higher.

Some people showed an elevation of blood pressure even in their early thirties, all because they hurried too much!

In the medical world, you might be told about the connection between hypertension and genes, high fat food, smoking or sedentary lifestyle and, recently, warnings about excessive stress. But, where do you hear anything about the 'hypertension-hurry" connection? But, this behavioral characteristic of hurrying up might, indeed, be something you can't afford to ignore.

Imagine someone inventing a medical test that could predict your chances of developing hypertension thirteen or fifteen years from now. Imagine furthermore, that the test could indicate your chances for high blood pressure even during your teen years. I suspect people would pay a pretty penny to take the test.

The four questions stated above make up a kind of "behavioral test" you can take in the comfort of your own home and of course, free of charge. Later, I will give you a set of ten questions that will give you a pretty good idea if you have TUI or not.

Perhaps, after the diagnosis of high blood pressure, your doctor may give you a prescription for blood pressure medication along with the usual advice regarding dieting, exercise and avoiding stress. You may set aside the advice regarding stress with such excuses as, "my job is stressful, "my spouse is too difficult" or "there's nothing I can do about the deadlines." But, what about the stress you might be bringing upon yourself because you have TUI?

A medical test tells you that you have high blood pressure after the condition has already developed. The TUI behavioral test can predict your future chances for suffering high blood pressure. If the chances are high, you can start changing your behaviors immediately. The test identifies concrete and specific behaviors so you know exactly what you need to change about your behaviors.

I have extracted the following ten TUI behaviors from Dr. Friedman Meyer's "Type A Behavior: It's Diagnosis and Treatment":
1. Do you eat fast and leave the dinner table immediately?
2. Does your partner or any close friend tell you to slow down, become less tense, or take it easy?
3. Does it bother you a lot to wait in line at a cashier's counter or to be seated in a restaurant?
4. Do you usually look at TV or read the paper while eating?
5. Do you examine your mail or do other things while talking with or listening to someone on the telephone?
6. Do you often think of other matters while listening to your partner or others?
7. Do you believe that usually you are in a hurry to get things done?
8. Do you become irritated when driving or swear at others?
9. Does your partner, when riding with you, ever tell you to cool off or calm down?
10. Does the car-driving errors of other drivers, the indifference of store clerks, or the tardiness of mail delivery upset you significantly?

It would also be a good idea to have others look at these questions and give you their honest opinion whether you have these characteristics.

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Copyright 2004, Mind Publications 
Posted January 2004


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