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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.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

TK’s Two Cents: Why “annoying” people are awesome! Pt. 3

I presume you’ve read part 1 and part 2. So without further ado, here’s the remainder of my two cents on “annoying” people.

What to do (or not to do) about annoying people

The next time you find yourself annoyed with someone, maybe it would help to consider the possibility that this individual is a genius who is on this earth to solve real problems that you personally don’t understand, have, or care about. Instead of trying to get other people to change, maybe you could encourage them to find their crowd and utilize their personality traits in a way that would benefit others.

If that sounds like too much work, maybe you can just leave them alone, let them be, and rest in the awareness that God gave them their personality for a reason. That understanding alone, tends to be much less stressful than being frustrated with the differences we can’t change.

One man’s problem is always another man’s problem solver. What annoys you may alleviate someone else’s annoyances. Maybe the very quality you hate about them is the same attribute that’s going to prevent someone else from jumping off the cliff and throwing it all away. 

Does it not genuinely feel better to entertain a notion like that?

Why should you care about being more understanding, patient, & tolerant with annoying people?

I have seen very talented, brilliant, and driven people consume  significant quantities of time and energy bemoaning someone else’s annoying qualities. I’ve also seen very gifted and unique individuals subdue their passions because of a fear of being annoying. Ultimately, how we judge others is intimately related to how we judge ourselves. When we lack compassion and insight in the assessments we make of our own personalities, we tend to extend those attitudes to other people and vice versa.

An improved ability to see other people’s annoyances in an appreciative light deepens our own capacity for self-love and self-respect. When you can be free of the need to judge others, you feel less intimidated when others judge you. When you practice the art of looking for evidence of genius in the people who irritate you, you become more privy to the genius within.

The better you are at getting over how annoying someone else is, the better you will be at remembering how fascinating you are. And there’s nothing the world needs more than someone who remembers how fascinating they are. We may find you a little annoying from time to time,  but what else is new? Keep doing you and let others do the same.

Because it’s the right thing to do? Nope! It just feels better to live that way.

At least that’s my two cents. What’s yours?

T.K. Coleman

TK’s Two Cents: Why “annoying” people are awesome! Pt. 2

I ended my last post promising my two cents on why I think annoying people (like you and I) make the world go ’round. If you’d like to read it, click here. Below is the two cents I promised. I hope you enjoy. Cheers 🙂

Could your annoying attributes be a clue to what makes you great?

Bill Gothard once said “all so-called negative personality traits are simply positive personality traits misused or misunderstood.”

Many of life’s greatest achievers and influencers are people who’ve been told all their lives how they are “too this” or “too that.”

Some of the funniest comedians frequently got in trouble as children for being “too silly.” Even as adults, they are often scolded for being “inappropriate.”

Some of the most sophisticated thinkers are often told by those who do not enjoy prolonged contemplation that they are too “heavy”, “dull”, or “serious.”

Artistic people are routinely reminded of how “flighty” they are, while many of the hard-working professionals who make major contributions to society are often scoffed at for being too “mechanical” or “conventional.”

Why annoying people are awesome

The difference between “annoying” & “awesome” is entirely a matter of perception that quickly changes with the crowd. Everyone is awesome relative to those who “get” them and everyone is annoying relative to those who don’t. 

I recently went to see the movie “Midnight in Paris”. It’s a romantic comedy about a Hollywood screenwriter with aspirations to pen a “serious” novel. Throughout the film, it’s evident that his fiancée and family is constantly annoyed by his obsession with writing and his romantic fascination with Paris. Every time he brings up these subjects, they roll their eyes and express frustration with how often his thinking is somewhere in the clouds. He feels lots of pressure to tone himself down and act a bit more “normal” to fit in with the people around him.

One night, after taking an evening stroll, he discovers that Paris magically transforms after midnight. He’s taken back in time to a place where he can rendezvous with great artists of the past like Hemingway and Picasso. Everyone who meets him adores his wit, passion, and authenticity. No one tells him he talks too much. They all beg him to keep talking. No one rolls their eyes at his “pipe dreams”. The roll their eyes only at the way he doubts himself. His adventures & conversations with other creatives help him realize that he’s actually a hero and a source of inspiration when he associates with the “right” group of people.

In ways that are literal and figurative, he surprisingly finds himself playing the role of life-saver for people wrestling with real problems.

Each time he makes a difference, it’s when he’s exhibiting one of those “annoying” qualities he once felt he needed to change.

What does this say about what we should do or not do about the annoying people in our lives?

Furthermore, if people are annoying, why should we care about being more  understanding, patient, and tolerant?

Well, my friends, I will conclude this series on annoying people in my next post by offering my take on those questions.

Until then, have a wonderful day in every way. I know I will.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

TK’s Two Cents: Why “annoying” people are awesome!

It’s not you. It’s me!

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have a sense of humor. I’ve only met people who didn’t have MY sense of humor.

I’ve never met anyone who was too silly. I’ve only met people whose concept of “funny” differed slightly from MINE.

I’ve never met anyone who was boring. I’ve only met people who were more enthusiastic than I was about a particular activity or subject.

I’ve never met anyone who talked too much. I’ve only met people who talked about something that I wasn’t interested in listening to at the time.

I’ve never met anyone who was too quiet. I’ve only met people who had few words to say on the matter at hand.

I’ve never met anyone who was too slow or too fast. I’ve only met people who moved at a different pace from ME.

When I feel annoyed, does that mean you’re an idiot?

Often times, when we fail to resonate with someone, we assume it’s because something is wrong with them.

On any given day, we casually toss out phrases like:

“He’s too silly!”

“She’s too serious!”

“You joke around too much!”

“I think too much!”

“They’re way too quiet!”

“He never stops talking!”

“You’re such a busy body. You never stop going & going!”

“You’re way too mellow. You’re not proactive enough!”

We say these sorts of things as if we’re expressing absolute truths about another individual’s personality when what we’re actually revealing is little more than our own lack of  amusement or appreciation for certain people’s idiosyncracies.

Another way of seeing

Maybe, just maybe, there are moments in life when we don’t connect with certain aspects of others and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Maybe these moments of disconnection are just natural expressions of life’s diversity.

Better still, maybe this is a sign of something really good.

I happen to think it is and in my next post, I’ll give you my two cents on why I think annoying people (like you and I) make the world go ’round and and then we’ll explore some options for how we can harmoniously coexist with them.

For now, try not to be too annoyed with my cliffhanger 🙂

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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