Learning from Annoying People: To Do Today


Annoyed? Reflect and learn with this opportunity for self-improvement.

People can be annoying. Well, not everyone is annoying. Certainly not you and me, though at times you…

I have an immediate reaction to certain behaviors—annoyance. I attach the annoyance to the person exhibiting it. If I’m highly annoyed I will probably label the person as an annoying person. If slightly annoyed, I might cut the person some slack and decide they don’t realize they’re being annoying.

Sound familiar?

Learning from Annoyance

I learned an important insight about annoyance, partly when it was pointed out to me, and then reinforced by my own self-reflection and awareness. Often times, we’re annoyed by behaviors of other people which are behaviors we don’t like in ourselves. Rather than being upset with ourselves, we attach our displeasure to someone else.

If you spot it, you got it.

If I spot it in some one else and it annoys me, it’s probably a behavior of mine that I don’t like. When I feel annoyed at someone, I now reflect on whether I’m really just annoyed at myself. Monitoring annoyance helps me improve who I am being.

To Do Today

Observe or recall the annoying behavior of someone. Ask yourself: Do I do that too? Am I really annoyed at myself? When did I last exhibit that same behavior? How can I change?

2 thoughts on “Learning from Annoying People: To Do Today

  1. Carry this to its logical conclusion and we cannot protest any kind of cruelty or injustice, because that just reveals us to be cruel and injust. Say that your neighbor buys a puppy, then chains the poor creature in his yard and ignores it most of the time. You might say, “It really annoys me that Joe does not care for his dog properly. He gives it food, water, and shelter, but no companionship.” That does not mean you have a secret wish to abuse puppies, but rather indicates that you have compassion for the animal.


    1. Good point Brenda, but the key is that you’ve pointed out an extreme situation. Most ideas/suggestions/advice falters when taken to an extreme. On the other hand, an annoyance with my neighbor who abuses his puppy might be an anger at myself for not taking some action to save the puppy.

      Thanks for your thoughts on this.


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