I pondered for a while on the title of this insight. I’m a big fan of creating positive and empowering topics to promote a sense of wholeness in people and this one had me stumped.
How do I tell people that I can help them to stop getting annoyed at their perceived inadequacies and imperfections of other human beings?
In order to do that, then I have to put it out there that we may have inner annoyances with some folk (even if we don’t verbalise or act on them.) I don’t like to think that I have any, but do you know what? I do; and we all do and just acknowledging that is the start of making a change for the better!
So when I talk of annoyances I don’t mean the more traditionally defined prejudices aimed at protected characteristics. Protected characteristics are things like sex, race, age, physical characteristics, sexual orientation etc. Here at the strength temple we are proud to be acknowledged as a company that supports and actively promotes equality and diversity. We even have our own policy in this regard - so if you’re annoyed by protected characteristics please make some changes if you want to stay part of this community!
No, what I mean is the person that just seems to annoy you on a regular basis, or the dude that “gets your back up” more than they should. The ones that you just want to avoid or remove from your life in extreme circumstances for some reason. Also the ones that just slightly get on your nerves. These feelings are generally around another person's habits or actions and it’s not a big thing - but it can become one!
If you could find a way to stop the negative energy associated with feelings around these types of people that has to be a good thing - right?!
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t get annoyed with anyone - please scroll down now and leave us a comment below with your secret of how you do this! You clearly don’t need this insight. If not, and you occasionally find yourself getting a smidge annoyed with people read on - the solution isn’t that complicated, but it is powerful and it does work!
Insight 1: Firstly - when you find yourself getting wound up by someone, check in with your self talk? What type of conversations are you having with yourself in your head? What type of words are you using to describe the situation and the people involved?
Being mindful of your self talk is something we often discuss as part of our mindfulness insights. It’s so important and powerful and even just monitoring how you are feeling when something annoys you, how you describe this to yourself internally and how this energy can flow into other activities in your day is a valuable lesson. If something annoys you and you find yourself constantly processing this information and ruminating on it you can all of a sudden start to get annoyed with other tasks that would usually make you happy. It's a kind of transference of negative energy that you can prevent if you know how.
So firstly - be aware of your self talk and stop it in it’s tracks if it’s negative. Don’t let it snowball into a stream of negativity that can pollute other activities or relationships.
Secondly it’s time to use a technique that has dramatically changed the way I feel about challenging situations as soon as I started applying it. It involves a slight leap of faith, but it really works.
Insight 2: When you are faced with a situation that feels uncomfortable, or if someone is annoying you, stop for a moment and reflect. They key: What is this situation trying to TEACH you? What is the lesson here?
It’s probably best described with an example.
Imagine you’re the kind of person who is tidy and that someone close to you keeps leaving their stuff everywhere. The converse could also be true. Imagine that you are less focused on keeping everything in it’s place and thrive on chaos and have someone in your life that is constantly tidying up after you or moaning at your general inability to put things in their place? Either of these familiar? Well for both types of people these situations can start very innocently and over time reach a point where they can literally break a relationship! Everything else can be perfect, but this one thing can get out of control and be the thing that ruins an otherwise great partnership.
Let’s apply both lessons described above to this situation.
Insight 1: Firstly, be very mindful of how you talk to yourself about the other persons lack of, or strict tidiness. As soon as you notice yourself internally criticising put the breaks on. Just say something like “oh - there I go again. Let’s just pause things there and move to insight 2.”
Remember Insight 2? That’s right - what’s the lesson that my mind is trying to teach me in this moment? Well the lesson here could be that you need to discuss your feelings with the other person - perhaps something that you haven’t been doing. It could be that you need to celebrate other people’s differences more and be thankful that we aren’t all the same - how boring would that be! It could be that the lesson is you need to focus less on a particular person’s less attractive habit and more on all the things you love about them. It might be that you generally need to be more patient with other people and don’t let small differences be the focus of your attention - after all, it really isn’t that big a deal.
The list can literally go on for ever and it’s a fun thing to try and come up with new ways to find lessons in everything that annoys you.
So just try this for the next 24 hours. If it reduces your stress and gives you an increased inner feeling of clam (and it will) then perhaps continue with this new habit for a week. If after a week it’s still working (and it will be), why not make it a part of your being and share it wth others.
Trust me on this one - I started using this a few years ago and it's changed my life.
So, be insightful, be mindful, be peaceful, be kind to yourself and others and don’t forget to…..
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