Have you ever sat on a fence? If yes, hopefully, it wasn’t a fence with pointed pickets! If not, imagine it. Either way, you would probably agree that it would hurt after a while, with all your weight loaded on to the small surface area that are the tops of those pickets. By chance, English has an idiom of sitting on the fence to mean waiting, which has the exact same outcome.
Waiting is an unpleasant experience, as illustrated by another English idiom stating waiting is the hardest part. That is a specific kind of waiting, as science points out, waiting for bad news or potentially bad news. However, people don’t generally like to wait, especially when they don’t have much control over the situation.
In waiting, people feel all kinds of negative emotions. There can be anxiety, impatience, wonder, anger, among many others, pending for what they are waiting. Except for the most meaningful of things or news, at some point, the wait hurts more than foregoing that for which people were waiting, and they stop waiting. Even the most patient people can relate to that because it’s not about patience, but trade-offs. Think of at least one occasion in your life where you abandoned waiting because it hurt more than not getting that for which you were waiting. What did you abandon? Now, think of the most meaningful thing you have ever abandoned due to waiting? How do they compare? Can you articulate or quantify your waiting pain threshold, so to speak? Whatever it may be, the pain is real, as it is real, that one can only sit on the fence for so long without hurting.