A Change Of Attitude
SOMETIMES PEOPLE can annoy the hell out of us. You know… the noisy neighbours, the unruly kids, the nagging spouse… the list goes on. Whenever this occurs there is one thing to keep in mind that can make the difference between maintaining a friendly relationship and fostering one of ill-will… and that is our attitude.
We find it so easy to get annoyed by the sometimes shallow and often senseless behaviour of people in our lives. We’ve all been there and in retrospect, while maybe feeling a bit regretful about our angry outburst, we might ask ourselves, ‘Was it their behaviour or was it my annoyance that’s really the problem?’
The answer is neither. It’s our self-centredness that’s the problem. When our mind is preoccupied with ourselves, we’re like zombies and people often intrude upon our preoccupation with self. When this happens, before we know it we’ve lashed out at them in a negative way that in hindsight we might wish we hadn’t.
“If you want peace, stop fighting others.
If you want peace of mind, stop fighting yourself.”~ Peter McWilliams
If after our outburst we continue to believe that they are to blame and deserve our wrath, this only prolongs the pain and affects our ongoing relationships with the people close to us. So, if we want to maintain healthy relationships with family, friends and neighbours, we must change our attitude, not theirs.
When people act differently than what we expect of them, we must cease flying off the handle and blaming them when their actions annoy us. We need to stop believing that they can do any better than what they are doing. They are living their live as they see fit, and we should respect that.
Our problem is not what they are doing to annoy us so much as in assuming that they should always be considering our feelings and so, behave better for our sakes. They are not obliged to consider us. If we can understand this simple fact we will become more tolerant and our annoyance will hopefully dissipate…
Dan’s Quote: “Peace cannot be kept by force… it can only be achieved by understanding.”
Note: There’s an old saying, ‘You teach best what you most need to learn.’ It’s easy to write about our annoyance with others and how to fix it… but in practice it’s very hard to do, for me included. I still get cranky with people who annoy me, neighbours especially. By writing about it I am trying to understand it myself. I do think that bringing these situations to the forefront of our conscious mind helps. Cheers, Dan
Header: Watching the sunset at ‘Nitmiluk Gorge’ in Australia’s Northern Territory.