Each of us has certain challenges in life. Some things are easier to deal with than others. I have gone through a lot in my life, but oddly enough, sometimes I find it harder to deal with annoying people than more serious things.

Let’s face it; we aren’t going to like everyone we come across in life. Humans just aren’t built that way, and that’s okay. Whether it’s work, school, or other social interactions dealing with annoying people is hard and can challenge even those of us who are dedicated to a mindful way of life and cultivating peace and joy.

Everyone is a Sick Person

My boyfriend Glenn is a master at this. It does not matter what someone says or does to him; he handles it beautifully. It’s truly amazing. When someone hurts or insults him, I get angry, and I am ready to go to battle for him. But he just sloughs it off and moves on with life. The other day I texted him and asked, “how do you deal with annoying people.” His answer was interesting but made sense. He said he sees everyone as “sick people.” Therefore, how can you blame them for their actions? He sent me this western quote that explains it well:

“I don’t judge or hate my fellow man. Even when he’s tiresome and surly, I figure that’s just the human material, and him that finds any cause for anger and dismay is just a fool for expecting better.”

I love that. It rolls off the tongue with such wisdom and insight. The problem is, I can’t do it! I have this ingrained belief that people should be held accountable for their actions and words. I know my boyfriend’s solution is kinder and gentler. He believes that the annoying person doesn’t even realize they are being hurtful or mean, but they are, and they are affecting others. It drives me crazy. I wish I could adopt his way of looking at it, but for now, I can’t, so I have found my own way.

My Method for Dealing with Annoying People

For the past few weeks, I have been dealing with a tough client who has pushed me to the limits of what I can handle. The other day, the situation escalated, and I felt like running. I always do. But then, during a drive, I had a conversation with Glenn, and he put things in perspective for me. He gently reminded me that I tend to want to run and escape from difficult situations, but sometimes these situations are opportunities for us to learn how to deal with things and grow as individuals. I also like to keep in mind that sometimes I am an annoying person to someone else.

When we arrived back home, I decided to spend some time tapping on the emotions I was feeling (anger, frustration, disappointment, pity, and even guilt). It worked, and I felt better by the time I went to bed. I reminded myself that this person had rented space in my head and that only I could allow it or kick them out. Therefore, I decided to push them out with lots of mindful practice.

The following day I spent an hour doing something creative and then listened to Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now.” That always makes me feel better and reminds me that nothing that happened yesterday or the day before matters. I live in the present moment, and that is all that I have control over.

Leaning hard on my mindful practice and using my daily tools helps me tremendously when I encounter situations and people that bother me. Until I can get as good as Glenn and let it all go, and forgive before even forming a resentment, I will continue to use my method to find peace and happiness in the now!

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