3 Reasons Why Some People Tick You Off
If you have ever thought to yourself, "I can't stand people sometimes", you have probably shrugged it off as you having a bad day, or worse, blaming the other person for some obvious shortcoming. Some days you might give people the benefit of the doubt, and other days might be much more challenging to the forgiving goddess that you normally are.
First, forgive yourself for missing these opportunities to grow. And then, stop blaming THEM. What is that gets under your skin and makes you so angry anyway? Serenity now... Maybe it's about you.
Something you have never done and perhaps can never see yourself doing, but unconsciously you know you are capable of doing it. The person has committed a minor atrocity (like stealing paper from the company supply closet), and you are disgusted by their lack of integrity. You would never do such a thing...until you hear how much the person has been struggling to make ends meet. Man, would you do the same thing every now and then to save a few bucks, or feed the kids? You're not really hurting anyone in the process... Suddenly, you shudder at the idea that you would even imagine such a thing. You become angry or disappointed with your own willingness to compromise your values, but you unload your disdain on the other person. You cannot assume that everyone's story is your story, and you cannot compare your personal journey to that of another person. What is really making you feel angry, or perhaps more accurately, conflicted, is that you have two values in conflict that are generating guilt. Take yourself out of the other person's story, and examine which two of your own values are not being honored; explore what some of your interpretations are around the story.
Something that you no longer do and perhaps thought you were over, and you don't want to go back to. You like to consider yourself reformed and perhaps more civilized, so when you witness someone repeating your old habits, you feel compelled to assert your self-righteousness and back them down from making the same mistakes. Let's be honest, you see them as being weak. It is easy to feel entitled to mentor another person and show them a different point of view, but be careful that you are not allowing your own agenda and intentions drive your actions (or reaction). Another way of looking at it is by expressing gratitude for the lessons you have learned. Take a moment to acknowledge the other person's feelings, even if you don't approve of their actions. After all, your approval is not required, and you are not charged with "fixing" other people. Address your own assumptions around the situation and your fear of backsliding.
Something you do once in awhile, you're familiar with it within yourself, and you don't like that you do it. Everybody loves a hypocrite, right? Exercising judgment over others doesn't really feel good, but sometimes it just feels right. When you feel more powerful around being right, you may be at odds with yourself, knowing that you are not living fully in your power, purpose, and integrity. This judgment may manifest especially with people you feel you are sometimes beneath (like a sibling, a boss, or a friend). When that person's faults become evident, it triggers a sort of validation for you, and as an added bonus, an opportunity for you to relish in that moment by gloating, chastising, or otherwise being a jerk. But what do you have to prove? What is really happening is your own inner critic is using you as a puppet to voice the admonishment that you typically reserve for yourself.
In each instance you are experiencing a disconnect between your awareness of self, your core values, emotional intelligence, acceptance, and forgiveness. Disapproval, frustration, annoyance, betrayal, and criticism are variations of anger that are often spurred by a person's need to "win" at any cost, even if it hurts in the process. Don't choose to have that anger and anxiety stay with you. Get real with what you're feeling, and figure out how to let it go.