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How to not be so annoyed all the time

You have the right to be annoyed at anyone or anything you want. If you exercise this right too frequently, however, you risk compromising your right to have a happy and healthy life.

Because I don’t think happiness and health are worth compromising, I’ll offer you my two cents on how to let go of the small annoyances that can deplete your energy and diminish the quality of your day.

A former employer of mine was fond of saying “we judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge other people by their actions.”

For example, when was the last time you yelled and honked the horn at yourself for cutting someone off on the highway? Probably never. The reason is because you told yourself a nice little story about how you’re usually a good driver and that you’re only doing this because the exceptional circumstances you find yourself in require it. The person you cut off doesn’t have that story in their head when they judge you. So you’re just a jerk who doesn’t know how to drive in their eyes.

When someone cuts you off, it’s not a common tendency to charitably assume that the other driver is a person just like you who may be dealing with an emergency. We’re so focused on our own agenda that we only notice that someone is in our way.

But the truth to keep in mind is that everyone, not just you and I, has a story. When someone behaves in a way that annoys you, use your imagination to consider a few reasonable possibilities for why they may be acting that way. Give them the benefit of a doubt.

For all you know, the particular individual getting under your skin could be a victim of abuse who happens to be crying out for help in an indirect or convoluted way. The skeptical mind may doubt the plausibility of such a such a hypothesis. No problem. If you enjoy being skeptical, then be skeptical in both directions. You may have no evidence that an annoying person has a legitimate back story, but do you have any evidence that they woke up this morning with the specific goal of ticking you off? If not, suspend judgement.

Take it easy. Be merciful. Treat people how you would like them to treat you.

Because it’s the right thing to do? Nope!

Because it’s good to be the bigger man? No way!

Because people will see how mature you are? Nada!

Because you only have so much energy to give and some things just aren’t worth wasting it on.

As a divine being with a divine destiny, you have a lot to accomplish. Don’t use up your mental and emotional energy on people and conditions that are best left ignored.


T.K. Coleman

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