IFIAID - Fix This and We'll Fix the World

That's a pretty audacious claim, isn't it?

Well tell us if you agree...


  1. Impatient
  2. Frustrated
  3. Intolerant
  4. Angry
  5. Infuriated
  6. Destructive

The way to check if this is true is the next time you do something destructive to others or yourself, during the calm (and embarrassment and shame) that follows your storm backtrack from your destructive behavior and see if you can identify the prior feelings that led up to it. Then see if they match up with IFIAID. If they don't, please weigh in with comments on how to make this more accurate since it is a work in progress.

If the you agree with IFIAID and would like to prevent it from happening in the future. Try the following:

  1. Identify all the people and situations that are likely to trigger your impatience where you run the risk of the "runaway train" that follows and ends in destructive behavior.
  2. Never expect those people or situations not to make you impatient. Consider it gravy, when they don't.
  3. Hold some of yourself back so that when those people or situations trigger it, you don't react from your reptile brain with "fight or flight."
  4. When that person or situation triggers your impatience, pause and say to yourself, "Dang it! There it goes, just like clockwork!" and smile to yourself at noticing it without reacting to it.
  5. Then say to yourself, "Opportunity for poise," which means saying to yourself, "Here's my chance to develop my poise muscle instead of escalating and just making the situation worse." If it helps, remember a parent where you might have learned your IFAID from and also say to yourself, "And here's my chance to not react like (mom, dad, brother, sister, etc)
  6. If you're with someone who is quickly and intensely trying your patience, say to them: "I'm sorry, but I find myself getting impatient and that usually doesn't lead to a good place.  Can you please tell me the main point you're trying to make, what exactly you want me to do and even why you want me to do that? If you do that, I think I can prevent myself from taking this conversation to a bad place."

I know the above seems completely unnatural to you - because you're impatient - but see it as developing a muscle.  

If you can practice it daily the two main benefits are first, that you won't slide into IFAID and second, you'll develop poise.

And wouldn't that be classy?

Dr. Mark Goulston is a #1 best selling author of seven books, former hostage negotiation trainer, speaker, trainer, coach and renowned psychiatrist. He is regarded as an internationally renowned expert in the field of empathy and listening. As a result of his rich and diverse background and experiences, Dr. Goulston increases people’s ability to get through to anyone.