Time is precious to everyone. It’s a bad habit to keep other people waiting. Almost everyone feels that one of their most valued commodities is their time. This being the case, one of the ultimate slaps and most sure way to annoy someone is to keep them waiting. While most people are somewhat forgiving, keeping them waiting is a sign of disrespect. The subtle message is, “My time is more important than yours.”
Deep down, we all know that no one likes to be kept waiting. Therefore, it’s highly stressful to keep other people waiting because you know you are disappointing someone. In the back of your mind, you know well the person is looking at his watch, wondering why you are late. You may be keeping him from personal or professional commitments and that could make him angry.
There are obviously exceptions to the rule – times when factors beyond your control prevent you from being on time. Things happen to all of us, and no one has a perfect record. Truthfully, however, a vast majority of the time, being late is preventable by planning ahead, allowing a little extra time, or making allowances for unexpected problems.
Many times we compound the problem by making excuse like “traffic was horrible,” when, in reality, traffic is virtually always horrible. The problem wasn’t traffic – but the fact that we didn’t factor enough time in our schedule for the traffic. It’s likely the case that, even if traffic was horrible, or you got off to a late start, or whatever the excuse, the other person isn’t going to be interested or impressed.
I wouldn’t underestimate the negative impact of making someone wait. It drives some people crazy. And, even if they don’t express their frustration to you directly, it can show up in other ways – not taking you seriously, avoiding you when possible, being disrespectful, choosing to spend their time with others instead of you, showing up late to your future appointments, etc.