Do your friends refer to you as “the late Jane Smith,” even though you’re very much alive? Do the clocks at work seem to be 15 minutes fast, except when it’s time to go home? If you starred in the TV show “24,” would they have to change the name to “24ish?“
As women, we are chronically plagued with the assumption that we can never be on time. However, we may be forcing ourselves to be late and we don’t even realize it.
“Often, persons will sabotage themselves [knowingly] with extraneous activities making lateness inevitable,” says Dr. Edwin Barnes, LPCC-S a clinical therapist for The MindSpa, Inc. “Talking through such issues usually brings insight for the client who will then be encouraged to make effective and lasting change in their routines.”
While jumping through hoops and sprinting out the door will surely increase your heart rate, there are better ways to get your exercise. But instead, you might want to rush to make an appointment with a chronic tardiness expert, as a licensed professional can help you kick those icky chronic tardiness issues to the curb.
Dr. Barnes says it’s very important for a person dealing with chronic tardiness to work with a psychiatrist or therapist to determine if the person is unknowingly provoking the problem. If the person is unknowingly tempting tardiness, a psychological dysfunction most likely exists behind that behavior and requires some form of treatment.
“The determination that a more serious problem exists may be measured by the degree of embarrassment one sustains and the reactions of others inconvenienced by the late person,” says Dr. Barnes. “Indications that one is ambivalent about being late or even reacts with defensiveness and reversed aggressiveness implies true dysfunction.”
Dr. Barnes says people with these indicators should examine their habits, personality and priorities to help them understand their own behaviors. So, if you’re a bit punctually challenged, maybe consider a form of counseling that will help you understand the issues and lead towards positive changes in your life.
And if you’re bearing the brunt of someone’s chronic lateness, visit www.neverbelateagain.com, which lets you e-mail an anonymous citation from the “National Department of Punctuality and Attendance,” urging offenders to get their act together.