We all get annoyed for different reasons and to varying degrees, and it’s not always about other people. However, often it is. So, why do I get annoyed by other people?
Someone who pushes my buttons by doing something I don’t like, may just be a natural part of your day and not upset you at all. And yet, you may become upset by seeing a person on TV you don’t like, while I may consider them quite likable. So, maybe it’s not all about them, the ’other people.’
According to Julie Beck in her article in The Atlantic, some psychological research shows: “The way a person tends to make others feel is a consistent and measurable part of his personality.” The researchers called it ‘affective presence.’ I equate this to our ‘vibration’ or resonance. And it is when other people’s vibrations are out of sync with ours that we can find them annoying, for various reasons.
This means that there is no one cure-all pill that we can take to remedy us from our annoyances. However, as with all of our problems, there are solutions. And to discover what the best remedy for us is, we first have to work out why we are feeling annoyed.
Why Do I Get Annoyed By Other People?
We can become annoyed at others because of what they do or don’t do, and what they say, or don’t say. We may consider them to be ill-mannered, stupid, lazy, selfish, disrespectful, and some other traits that trigger annoyance feelings within us. And the issue here is that WE FEEL ANNOYED WHEN OTHERS THAT WE ARE OBSERVING ARE NOT ACTING IN WAYS THAT WE APPROVE OF.
What does it mean when we say I am annoyed by someone else?
We can become annoyed by other people for many reasons. However, we shouldn’t just assume that they are annoying us on purpose. Because, like us, other people have reasons for what they do, and they normally just behave in ways that align with their personalities and beliefs about life.
So, other people are interacting with the world in the best way they currently know-how. They do so in the belief that this is how they will achieve the best outcomes for themselves and those they love. And just because we are annoyed by their behaviors, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily bad people.
It’s also important to make a distinction between 1) Are other people actually annoying me? and 2) Am I feeling annoyed because of how other people are behaving? Once we work out what is really happening, we can come up with the best remedies.
In the first case when ‘other people are annoying us’ we will find solutions in the physical or exterior world. In contrast, if we are often feeling annoyed and become annoyed for many reasons, the solutions will be found in our mental/emotional aspects, or our internal world of thoughts and feelings.
1) Are other people actually annoying me?
Unfortunately, there are some really annoying people around. And some of them even know they are annoying and yet persist in their behaviors, much to our frustration. Those at the extreme end of the spectrum go out of their way to push our buttons and take satisfaction in our uneasy reactions. And the more we react, the more they continue to test our limits to see how far they can push us.
These people come across as generally nasty and are themselves emotionally unstable, emotionally damaged, and emotionally unintelligent. They have no respect for the feelings and boundaries of others and consider they have a right to make others’ lives miserable, much like their own.
Our best course of action is to stay away from them as much as possible. This is because it’s almost impossible to reason with them as they have no empathy. They simply cannot understand the annoyance, frustration, fear, etc. that their words and actions provoke in others.
So we don’t accept their behaviors, but we also don’t waste our energy by trying to change them. Because, at the end of the day, a jerk will continue to be a jerk, whether others approve of their behavior or not!
“Don’t invite annoying people into your life, and set ground rules for the ones you inherited.” – Alan Robert Neal
Then there are others who annoy us because they are inconsiderate and selfish. They try to manipulate circumstances to put their needs and wants before others. They may cut to the front of queues, always arrive late to meetings, or talk loudly on their cell phones in confined spaces.
These people consider that the world revolves around them. However, it’s unlikely that they make conscious decisions to annoy as many of us as they can….. it’s just the way their psyche has developed. And because they are not intentionally ‘out to get us’ we have the potential to reason with them.
It’s possible that they may be unaware of how their words and actions are affecting us. And if we let them know of a specific behavior of theirs that is annoying to us, and why it’s annoying, maybe they will be happy to change it? After all, often these types of people are just seeking attention and will settle for negative attention rather than no attention.
By making them more aware of the consequences of their words and actions, we are also encouraging them to pay more attention to the quality of their lives, and the impact they are having on others around them. And if they understand these things, there will be long-term benefits for them.
Because if they, as well as us, become more conscious of the effect we are having on our environment, we can consciously begin to act towards creating beneficial outcomes for ourselves and others.
2) Am I feeling annoyed because of how other people are behaving?
So we all act according to our personalities and exert an ‘affective presence’ on those around us. Everyone around us is doing it, and it affects us, and we are doing it, and it affects them. This is just normal life…. something that while we live within families, groups, and societies, that we cannot escape from.
And we can bet that there is always going to be something happening that we do not like, do not approve of, or just annoys the hell out of us! And these issues become more prevalent when we have already had our buttons pushed, or when things are not going the way we want them to.
It doesn’t even have to be other people annoying us. We can even become annoyed at ourselves because we are not meeting our own expectations. Or when we are feeling a little under the weather, what would usually be considered normal behavior by others could really ‘get under our skin.’
The reasons/excuses we can give for why we are annoyed are countless and vary hugely. But the common factor at the end of it all is: It’s the emotion, the annoyance feeling we are having that we don’t want to be experiencing.
This is vitally important because it provides us with the remedies we are seeking. It is the feeling, OUR FEELING, that we don’t want to be experiencing. Why is this important?….. because our feelings are our domain, and are our responsibility….. and it is up to us how we feel- regardless of what is happening around (or outside) of us.
How can we change ourselves so that we feel less annoyed by other people?
Again, this is a question that does not have a single answer. So, let’s look at the most obvious and easy solutions as to how we can better regulate ourselves so we don’t become annoyed as easily or as frequently.
- If we are overly tired, sick, or physically run down in any way, we will naturally be more irritable and less tolerant. The simple solution is to sort out our physical health. This may mean getting more sleep, or better quality sleep, eating a healthier diet, or even seeing a doctor and getting medicine if appropriate.
It’s also important to engage in a regular exercise regime. Physical exercise has been proven, beyond doubt, to improve our physical, mental, and emotional health. And when we are healthy, we will be better able to deal with problems and any related stresses by more easily coming up with solutions.
- We benefit when we become accepting of other people’s personalities/quirks, without feeling the need to be critical of them. It is when we ‘don’t approve’ that we suffer….. So it’s not what they say or do, but our reaction (disapproval of what they say and do) that causes us to feel annoyance, stress, frustration, etc. Again…… OUR FEELINGS ARE OUR RESPONSIBILITY. IT IS WE WHO ARE CAUSING OURSELVES TO SUFFER WHEN WE ARE HAVING NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AROUND US….. No one else is responsible for the thoughts that we are having…..
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright
Unfortunately, most of us carry negative programming in our unconscious minds and this comes to the forefront when we REACT to situations. An effective solution instead of resorting to habitual reactions is that we pause and take a couple of slow deep breaths. Then we can consciously evaluate any situation and seek neutral or positive outcomes for all parties concerned.
We should be doing this at all times anyway, in all situations. Because who amongst us doesn’t want to feel good all the time? And feeling good is an emotion we can train ourselves to experience much more of the time. It’s easy, as it just comes down to choosing better thoughts…. and this includes not getting upset or annoyed at things and people over stuff that is not really a big deal!
So, where to from here?
If we constantly get annoyed by either stuff or people, then we have a problem. And the problem is that we will continue to be annoyed by stuff and people for as long as we ‘allow’ them inside our heads.
For our wellbeing and sanity, it’s important to realize that we cannot (and have no right to) control all events, circumstances, conditions, and people that are part of our lives! And once this is realized, any sane person would stop trying to control people and stuff. A better option is to become more accepting of the fact that life is a continuous unfolding of events and people, and it is all happening for us to experience the contrast and diversity so that we come to know what it is we actually do want to be part of our lives…..
Sure, we don’t have to like it all, but we don’t also have to entertain negative, stressful, or anxious thoughts about the stuff we don’t like….. because in no way is it beneficial to us!
Instead, if something is going on that we become annoyed about, we can pause and realize that we have choices available to us….. and some of those choices will serve us better than others.
- If we are not able to change the person or situation that is annoying us, then detaching ourselves from the situation is the best option. If we cannot physically remove ourselves, then we should disengage emotionally so that we are no longer negatively affected by something that we have no power to change.
“Life would be much easier if I could mark people as spam.”
- If we can offer some positive input to help transform the situation into a better experience for all concerned, then do so. But we must always remember that just because we think something is right or wrong, it doesn’t make it so. Everything is open to interpretation, and our views, desires, wants are not always the same as everyone else’s. So sometimes, the best option is to accept that we want different things and that we do things differently.
- However, we are living our lives, and we cannot live the lives of others. And therefore, we have a responsibility to ourselves to make our lives the best experience they can be. With this in mind, we should always try to go for the best feeling thoughts we can in all situations, all the time.
Because, when our lives are made up of lots and lots of moments of good feeling thoughts, then our lives truly are an adventure worth living 🙂
So, why not try to ensure that your ‘affective presence’ is a positive influence on your own wellbeing and on all those that you interact with throughout your day…in this way we contribute to making the world a happier place, just because we are in it…… Don’t you think this is a great way to live our lives?
I would love to hear what your thoughts are, about how we can all contribute to making the world a better place. Please feel free to leave a comment for all our readers to be inspired by in the comments section below.
Shared with love and respect for all souls who choose to play the game of life. May you have an awesome experience!