There are certain behaviors that tend to irritate me. I’m guessing they probably irritate you too.
Here is a short list:
- When people make assumptions about me
- When I am not given the benefit of the doubt
- When people behave irrationally and expect everyone else to be ok with it
- When people assume the world revolves around them – and because of this, they think they can make unreasonable demands
- Blaming others – for anything
I don’t know about you, but when I’m bothered by something or someone, I actually get a physical reaction. My heart starts beating faster, my stomach churns a bit, I clench and un-clench my jaw. My mind starts making things up about the situation. Because of this, I do my best to stay away from the people and situations that create this stress.
Sometimes though, out of guilt or a feeling of obligation or helplessness, we put ourselves in these situations that are clearly no good for us both mentally and physically.
So, what can we do about this? Here are a few tactics that I use and give to my clients to help with managing these situations.
- See the other person as innocent. We are all doing the best we can in the moment. When people behave irrationally, they aren’t intentionally doing it to bother us. This is simply the only way they know to deal with what is going on in the moment.
- Be an example of how you want to be treated. Be the person who is full of gratitude and positive thoughts. Show others how to react to a stressful situation by not getting sucked into another person’s drama.
- Speak your truth in the moment and then shut up. The trouble starts when we decide to argue or have a long conversation about the situation.
- Check your ego. Before you “speak your truth”, ask yourself what your motivation is. Do you feel compelled to say it because you want to prove a point? Make the other person wrong? Make them feel bad? If your response is ego driven, it isn’t going to help you or the situation. If it’s ego driven, don’t say it!
- Don’t apologize or explain yourself unless you have a very compelling reason to do so. Apologize only when you have truly done something that you want to apologize for. Do not go into a big explanation of why or try to defend yourself. Keep it short and simple. We tend to say way too much when we are irritated.
- What bothers you about another person or “type” of person is a direct reflection of what you fear in yourself. Ask yourself what is so bothersome about this person’s behavior. How does it tie into your fears about what you consider to be the worst part of yourself?
No one is immune to feeling irritated or bothered by people and situations once in a while. You can, however, handle it gracefully and calmly and not cause yourself undue stress. The stress comes from how we choose to react and what crazy stuff we make up in our minds.
If you would like more information on why we sometimes behave irrationally, here is a great book that will shed some light on the subject: SWAY –The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman