Annoyed by Jsome1
Do you find people around you rude and obnoxious? Does the store cashier ignore you to chitchat on the phone or to their coworker? Do people honk their horn for no reason, tailgate and speed through exit ramps? Do you find others are short-tempered, pushy and impatient? If so, what can you do about it?
Not much, I’m afraid. You can’t change other people. It’s true – ask any woman who married a man she thought she could “perfect.” The best solution is to treat people the way you want to be treated. Yes, it’s Pollyanna. Yes, it doesn’t work when you’re overworked and stressed out. But hopefully you’ve been taking my previous advice and doing your best to life a happy, fun, stimulating and emotionally satisfying life.
But for some quick techniques, try these tips:
- Take a deep breath. This tip is repeated over and over on my blog because it works. If someone writes a check for a tube of toothpaste, or yells at their kids and makes them cry, there’s not much you can do to change it. So you must ask yourself – what is more important, being righteously indignant and letting your blood pressure rise along with your temper, or simply taking 5-10 calming breaths while you remind yourself that this is only a 5 minute or 10 minute part of your 24 hours today.
- Speak up. If a coworker is taking over the meeting, your waiter is sarcastic or offensive, or your colleague is taking credit for your work, let someone know. In the meeting try saying “We’re getting off-topic here, can we go back to point #2, I’d like to go into that some more.” For the waiter or the colleague, you can choose to talk to them personally or speak to a manager or supervisor about their behavior. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
- Divert your attention. Sometimes the problem is a rude family member, an obnoxious neighbor, or even a loudly barking dog. If this is the case try to do something to take your mind off the annoyance. Go play with the kids to get away from the complainer, figure out your neighbor’s schedule and try to do your yard work when they are out, and turn up the TV or listen to your MP3 player if the dog is too noisy. It isn’t a perfect plan, but with practice it can ease your stress level and put a quick stop to the irritation you feel.
- Look for the lesson. Yes, we’ve all heard this one, and we hate it don’t we? Why can’t we just be mad, and push them back? Well, maybe it has something to do with us. Perhaps we are worried and upset and are unconsciously giving others the “evil eye.” Maybe we’re self absorbed and they bumped into us because we weren’t paying attention. Make sure that you’re not the reason for the rudeness before you go judging the other person.
- Exaggerate. When someone is insufferable and offensive use your imagination and go overboard. Use the old curse “May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.” Imagine throwing a pie in their face, or beating them with your golf club, pulling a machine gun on them or even tossing them into a rabid zombie pit. The idea is to go so far above what your feeling of revenge is that you see the silliness in it and laugh.
Feel free to share your own tips in the comment section. (I’m sure we could all use the help.)