The world is full of annoying people. Really, you might be sitting next to one right now. They are the ones who go about their lives doing what they do without any care of how much they drive you bonkers. Or maybe they are the frustrating Brother in Laws that are constantly poking fun of you and laughing when they see you have gone from cool and collected to steam pouring out of your ears. We all have a few in our lives that we just can’t get rid of and learning how to deal with bothersome people is a skill. Today we are going to explore a few ways of dealing with annoying people without going to jail.
When I was younger I truly thought that the number of annoying, rude, and stupid people outnumbered the cool, fun, normal people I preferred to spend my time with. But the truth is that annoying people are everywhere, all the time. I just had a much lower tolerance when I was younger and in turn I was probably REALLY infuriating myself.
As I’ve gotten older I have realized that how people react to situations has everything to do with them and what is going on in their lives and very little to do with me. And in return, how I react to them has everything to do with me and how much coffee I have had and little to do with anything else. You can only control your reaction.
Genuinely annoying people are annoying to a lot of people, not just you. For example, that guy who is standing in the line at the coffee shop talking very loudly and laughing that barking bold sort of fake laugh into the phone is just as aggravating to every other hipster there who just wants to Zen out and read cool creative blogs like Dancing with Fireflies while sipping their chai lattes. However this is a great chance for you to practice positive reactions. As you find yourself reaching for your favorite pen, and visualize doing a ninja leap across the long bench table and flying through the air to silence this creator of disruption in a way that would honor your love of Kill Bill. You must stop, my friend, and find a moment of clarity and instead pull inward the motto that the pen IS mightier than the sword… but you should just create a really descriptive character mimicking this playboy of jerkiness, then use your creative dexterity to practice writing death scenes for your next murder mystery.
Writers have a lot of power when it comes to dealing with people. I try to be careful, but anyone who knows me has to know that they can at any moment be fuel for my blogger’s fire. One of the most popular posts on my blog is a rant that I went a little crazy with about the annoying things I see on Facebook. Truly, I don’t think it is even one of my better rants or posts, but weekly people are drawn to the conflict and check it out. Facebook is a great source of inspiration, but it is FULL of annoying people.
So how do you combat irritating people without making yourself unhappy? I have a few rules for the people I keep in my life. Sadly, there are also people who I have had to walk away from because they just make me unhappy and take the joy out of life. So, what are my rules?
Pretend you are having a dinner party and you are going through the list of people in your life your guest list must contain only people who:
- Are glad to see you
- You feel a positive connection with
- Make an effort to see you or connect with you
- You feel GOOD when you are with them and after they are gone
The people who make this list are the people who should be in your life. We waste so much time trying to pretend that we are someone else, when the truth is that when you are real and truthful about who you are, your friends will like you. And those who don’t like the real you, are not your real friends. I have a few really great relationships, people that I value and love for the real people they are. So when someone comes along with meaning to just disrupt that flow, it doesn’t matter because I am the one in control of how I feel.
Yes, even the people you love can be vexing. My husband must have ESP and knows exactly when I am in a good flow of writing or intensely focused on something, because that is exactly when he gets bored and wants to come into my office and stand right next to me. “What are you doing?” he asks EVERY TIME.
I have a choice to be impassioned because I am ripped out of that creative space and thrust back into reality OR I can choose to stop what I am doing and know that he loves me so much that it is hard for him to stay away when he has free time. It’s hard to be mad at someone who just wants to spend time with you, so even though I sometimes have some residual frustration usually pertaining to the piece I was writing or reading, I try to take a deep breath and focus on the fact that I love him more than I am annoyed.
As creative people, we have so many options for working out our feelings. We write, we dance, we sing, we create out of our emotions. Creative people use a special part of our brain and see things in different ways. Unlike people who are trapped behind limits and unfertile imaginations, imaginative thinkers have resources for dealing with exasperating situations. We are the masters of our own Universe, and how we choose to react to people who talk during the movie is up to us.
How do YOU deal with Annoying People?