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Learn to Love Annoying People

Learn to Love Annoying People


    Unfriendly people.

    Bad drivers.

    Incompetent customer service reps.

    These are a few of my least favorite things. In fact, they’re downright annoying.

    Now, I’m normally known for my overly optimistic attitude and flashy smile. Hell, I write about happiness for a living. But encounters with irritating people are enough to turn this peppy rebel into a defensive, rage-filed driver who expects all call center responders are out to get me. It’s awkward and uncomfortable.

    But you get annoyed with other people, too.

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    (Yeah…I caught ya.)

    Remember that airline worker who wouldn’t put you on the flight you desired? Or the Wendy’s employee who always puts pickles on your sandwich even though you specifically asked them not to? I saw you pounding your steering wheel in a fit of rage as you tailgated that 90-year-old World War II veteran who was driving 10mph under the speed limit.

    Or wait, was that me?

    Either way, it’s pretty clear that other people have a way of getting under our skin.

    So we huff and we puff. We bitch and we moan. We yell at people for not doing what we expect them to do. Because you know that you’re right and that they’re wrong. You refuse to back down.

    But here’s the catch, darlin’…

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    All of that huffing and puffing? It’s not going to blow down their incompetently built house. Getting frustrated is not helping your case. It’s actually killing you.

    And it makes you look fat.

    Unfortunately, you cannot and will never be able to control the people around you.

    (I’ll give you a second to mourn the death of that idea.)

    Now…I do have some splendid news. There is one thing that you can always control: Your reaction to the situation.

    I bet that if you take the following advice, you may even find yourself empathizing with that evil airline employee whose life mission, it seemed, was to trap you in Fargo, North Dakota for the rest of your life.

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    So, the next time that you come across an annoying person, sit down, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of the following:

    1. Everyone has pain.
    2. Everyone has fear.
    3. Everyone has a dream.

    All anyone is ever trying to do is avoid the first two and accomplish the third.

    And if…

    …you consider other people’s hopes and dreams instead of stewing in angry frustration over something that they did, then you will undoubtedly want to help them.

    …you remember that everyone experiences pain, stress, and anxiety, then you might just feel less lonely and more connected.

    …you imagine what scares a person the most, then you will surely feel humbled.

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    …you read these 9 tips for dealing with difficult people, then you will feel armed and protected. (Number six is my favorite).

    Instead of adding fuel to the fire, let’s try to make the world a better place, shall we?

    Here are 9 super-simple things that you can do to brighten someone else’s day. Who knows? It might even brighten your own.

    1. Pay for someone’s coffee (c’mon, it’s a dollar).
    2. Leave your server an 80% tip.
    3. Tell someone that you are proud of their work.
    4. Hold the door open.
    5. Write an inspiring message on a piece of scrap paper and leave it on a table in a coffee shop or on someone’s windshield.
    6. Tell someone that they can go in front of you in line.
    7. Bake cookies for your neighbor.
    8. Send a birthday card to an old friend.
    9. Drop a dollar bill on the sidewalk.

    For more ideas, I suggest watching the movie, Amélie. And I also suggest reading this piece that shows you 10 small ways to make the world a better place.

    (Photo credit: Young Adult Woman and Man Holding Emoticons via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

    4. See failure as a teacher

    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

    5. Take baby steps

    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

    6. Hang out with risk takers

    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

    10. Focus on the fun

    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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