5 Ways to Handle Annoying Situations

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The word “annoying” most likely brings a few scenarios—and people—to your mind. Chances are you’re going to deal with some annoyance in any given week, if not any given day. Annoyance is natural, a byproduct of the regular frictions in life. But the way you handle it can affect your relationships, your job, and your personal emotional state. Managing annoyance in a healthy way is crucial: here are a few ways to do it.

1. Get the difference between wrong and neutral

Sometimes people will annoy you by doing something wrong. But frequently, there’s not a moral or ethical implication to the annoying behavior. It’s just annoying to you. Understanding the difference between being bothered because something is wrong and bothered by something because it’s a pet peeve is crucial. In the first case, it’s best to bring the issue up and resolve it. But in the second case, it might be better to overlook the annoying behavior. After all, it’s not really wrong to hang toilet paper so that it unrolls from beneath or above. But if one way really bothers you, you might have to remind yourself that it’s not a big deal. It’s much easier to let something go if you know it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

2. Check motives

When somebody is driving you crazy, it’s easy to assume they have a vendetta against you. They’re doing it on purpose, they don’t care about you, they know it’s annoying you—assuming you know someone else’s motive is dangerous. Frequently, people aren’t aware of their own annoying habits, or if they are, they don’t think of the habits as annoying. It’s best to sit down and make them aware of the problem, rather than blow up. If you’ve already talked, remember the person might have forgotten. Allow for a learning curve.

3. Forgive

Ask yourself if the issue is worth the relationship. If it’s just an annoyance, it probably isn’t. Let it go, or talk to the other person to resolve the conflict, and then let it go. Apologize if you need to. Then choose to move forward without focusing on the annoyance.

4. Remember you’re also human

For some reason, other people’s bad habits are more noticeable than your own. Everybody does something annoying sometimes. Knowing you probably annoy somebody else makes it easier to put your own irritation into perspective: everyone needs a little grace sometimes.

5.  If all else fails, remove yourself

It’s not losing, or backing down, or being weak. It’s a sign of maturity and self-understanding to know when you’ve had enough and need a break in order to handle annoyance in a positive way. Whether you have to say, “I need to continue this conversation later when I’ve cooled down” or whether you need to avoid looking at your Facebook feed for a while, know when to step back.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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