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How to face annoying people

How to face annoying people
Highlights

The desire to annoy someone is sign of subconscious anxiety,” says Dr Hemanth Mittal. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an...

Why do some people like to irritate others? It doesn’t help them and it only makes the world a worse place. It makes me so frustrated. How to deal with such people?- K Raja, BA student.

“The desire to annoy someone is sign of subconscious anxiety,” says Dr Hemanth Mittal. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves,” opines Carl Jung.

Everyone is annoyed by something. Many of us are annoyed by lots of things. Most of these annoyances have more to do with our personal sensitivities — our neuroses, our upbringings, our points of view — than any objective "annoying" quality.

Very famous psychologist Carl Jung said that when someone’s act annoys or irritates us, it is actually something about ourselves that we are not fully aware of. No matter how different an annoying person might be from us, deep down the reason we don't like him/her is because they remind us of a part of ourselves that we don't like.

Few studies also concluded that everyone subconsciously dislikes different aspects of themselves. It's only when another person expresses those aspects that we begin to dislike them or find them annoying. Naturally this leads to everyone getting along with a given person with varying degrees of ease. For example, if I have never struggled with my weight, I may not find a person's frequent talking about calories super annoying. (I may not like it, or it may be boring, but it won't make my skin crawl.) However someone else may find such behavior very annoying - because they have their own conscious or subconscious insecurity about their weight.

Some people usually annoy other people to gain attention. There can be other reasons too, but the need for attention is the usual one. Also, they have nothing else better to do. They are bored. And don't have a life.

Many people with anxiety find that they're annoyed much more easily, and this annoyance can cause pressures between you and the people and activities in your life. Any time you live a stressful life you may find yourself annoyed more often.

At its core level, the reason that you feel annoyed when you have anxiety is pretty simple - anxiety is annoying. It's something that nags at you each and every day, controlling your thoughts and placing you on edge. There's a reason that anxiety can cause annoyance and anger - you're essentially living a life bombarded with thoughts and emotions that become harder and harder to handle.

It should be noted that anxiety also changes your brain chemistry. It causes your brain to actually translate information differently and respond to that information with different emotions than you would if you didn't have anxiety. So some the feelings of annoyance may actually be due to the way that your mind now responds to the world around it and not necessarily because you're actually irritated for any other reason.

However, it seems that annoyance or rudeness is reaching considerable proportions in our society. Annoying people don't always feel or control the impact their behavior has on others. Often they work out their frustrations in a non-constructive way. It’s like a sort of passing the abuse onto others as a release. It is a way to feel better about themselves, which, of course, only works for two seconds.

Here are few tips for preserving your peace of mind when you encounter insensitive and rude people:

1. Realise that annoying people are inevitable. You can’t always walk away. It’s not always a matter of simply associating with different people. More importantly, we’re not built to be inclined to like everything about everyone, and vice versa. But do understand that continuing to be passive and let ourselves be repeatedly filled with rage will only harm your own life and well-being.

2. Realise that people can’t read your mind. Most of the time, annoying people don’t know that they are annoying. You don’t have to be rude with them, just let them know it. People won’t know you don’t like something until you tell them.

3. Accept that being quiet does not mean being weak. You don’t always need to stand up for yourself especially if there is nothing you can do about a petty issue. Pick your battles wisely. Fighting the good fight needs more of your energy than the minor conflicts.

Consider how silencing your reaction might shift the mind of the difficult person. Often people who react negatively regret their behavior when they calm down. But if you counter with negative energy, they are more likely to stick to their story and justify their jerkiness. If instead you surprise them by shifting your attention elsewhere, you remove energy from the fight. They might give in once their ego is no longer involved.

4. Manage your non-verbal behavior. If you are going to stay out of the fight, don't roll your eyes, mutter under your breath or make an ugly face as you turn away. You are still sparking the fire with your gestures.

5. The best thing to do is take a big breath, let it out slowly and focus on breathing comfortably. You are strong when you control your reactions. The disrespect the person is showing has nothing to do with you personally.

Choose one word to anchor your mind until the need to react passes. Choose “compassion” or “tolerance” for the person who obviously is not happy. Choose “calm” for your own peace of mind. Say it over and over like a mantra until you feel the word flow through your body. Practice some relaxation technique like yoga or meditation.

6. Think more broadly. What will this matter tonight, tomorrow or in the future? What is more important to you, getting the last word in or living a long, healthy and somewhat peaceful life? Your health has more value than one-upping an idiot. Consciously and deliberately choose your reaction. This is your power. Don't give it away.

7. Don’t lose your temper. Whatever you do, don’t lose your temper. Visualize somewhere calm and try to breathe slowly so that you don't start shouting at them, especially at school. Walk away from any situation where you are getting angry and if they follow you, tell them firmly that you don't want to talk to them.

8. Regularly rest and rejuvenate. The more emotionally balanced you are, the less the idiots will trigger you.

9. Give them a mental hug. This little trick can transform the way you feel about someone who makes you angry. Try to empathise with the rude person, and realise that they’re angry, or scared or both. They are being rude as a coping mechanism for their fear. And so, mentally (and once in a while physically), give them a hug. Have compassion for this scared person, because you too sometimes get scared. We’re the same. We need a hug, some compassion, a little love.

10. When everything else fails, walk away. When you’ve tried everything on this list, and nothing is working, it’s time to take a cue and walk away. If necessary, stop the person mid-sentence with a light touch on the arm and say something like: “It’s been great chatting with you, but I’ve really got to be on my way. Have a great day!” Then turn and walk away.

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