But what if they don’t stop?
My wife Rebecca brought this one home from somewhere. “Every irritation is an invitation to change.”
Sometimes my kids irritate me….and sometimes they irritate each other. And even though I may be tempted to believe that they are doing this intentionally…the truth is much more simple and revealing.
In reality I believe it is pretty rare that another person is intentionally trying to be irritating. When I get really honest with myself I can’t even imagine a person who woke up with the thought…”How can I irritate the heck out of someone today?” And then they put together a strategy and action plan to do just that.
I am not saying it doesn’t happen. I am just saying it doesn’t happen nearly as much as our reactions might indicate. I say that because sometimes we react to people as though they are purposely trying to irritate us….when they are not. So just what are these irritating people trying to do? The answer may be quite simple… They are only trying to do the same things we are. They may just be trying to survive the day, get things done, or even do their best.
When we are able to offer people the benefit of the doubt…and in the spirit of compassion consider their true intentions then their “irritations” may become invitations to a whole new perspective. A perspective that leaves us with more patience for others and more peace for ourselves.
As I was looking for an appropriate graphic for this post… I came across this one…which with a little modification can, I think, be instructive.
Here is my slight modification – “Some People Stay “Annoyed” and what an unnecessary tragedy and waste of energy that is.
Let’s make sure we aren’t one of them.