“I am always late on principle, my principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.”
Time sightedness to the point of panic. I am supporting those with anxiety and panic around punctuality and timeliness.
Recently I was giving an hour and a half presentation on time blindness to a group and part of that presentation is having people who are time blind and people who are time sighted talk about what it feels like to be running late and what it feels like to be sitting and waiting.
There is this beautiful moment in the exchange of thoughts and feelings that are happening that people start to see and hear things from another person’s perspective and in a way that they had not heard before. Not everyone is at a place to take that in and experience it, but many people are.
I heard something new at this recent presentation that really brought about some new insight and perspective for me. One of the people that self-identified as time sighted said that when someone is running late, they feel anxious and start to panic. Their breathing increased and they started to really feel jittery.
We later had an exchange about how they just can’t understand why people are late. For them it really felt like a controllable thing. What I realized after the presentation is that while I have my neurology and I am asking people to be kind and compassionate to me and to give me a little grace I too want to put out into the world compassion and love for others, just the way they have been designed.
In response to this lovely person who has major anxiety when someone is late, I would like to honor and respect their diversity and support them too.
If I was going to have a coffee meeting with a person who I knew had major anxiety around tardiness and lateness, I would want to have compassion and do better than my average. To do that I would need to set myself up for success.
- I would schedule the meeting as one of the first things in the morning, because I would have less obstacles to get in the way and cause me to be late.
- I would ask them what they like to drink and buy them the beverage, because that would give me a reason and a project to be early for.
- I would note in my calendar, when I have to leave my house and when the meeting was, adding time for getting the beverages.
- I would set a timer for one hour once I got there, so I respected their amount of time for the meeting.
- I will acknowledge that it would take me a great amount of effort, as a time blind person to make this a success and because so many people do the same for me, I am glad to be able to put in the effort for the time sighted person with panic for lateness.
We are a community of humans and when able we need to do our best to work together towards win-win solutions.
I wanted to extend a huge thank you to the brave person who shared their feelings and experience with us. It was good to see things through their eyes for a moment.
Business Owner, International Neurodiversity Coach, and Speaker