When others are behaving in annoying ways, do you get reactive? Discover another way to respond.
We all get annoyed with people at times, and it is easy to believe that our irritation is about what someone else is doing.
It is easy to think that we are irritated because they are being annoying—they are being needy, angry, blaming, resistant, withdrawn, obsequious, boring, invasive, pathetic, judgmental, anxious, dramatic and so on.
Yet, not everyone will feel irritated or annoyed with these behaviors. When you do, there is a good reason for it, and it is always more about YOU than about the other person.
People are mirrors for us. Their annoying behavior is mirroring something about your own ego wounded self. While their way of acting out their wounds may not be the way you act out yours, the fact that they are abandoning themselves in some way may be mirroring your own self-abandonment.
For example, June discovered that when she is tired she tends to withdraw, shutting down her usual friendly and bubbly energy. Her husband, Pete, who tends to be a caretaker and is often needy for connection with June, responds to her withdrawal by becoming agitated.
June, unaware that she has started the negative system with her withdrawal, feels pulled on by Pete's anxiety and responds with irritation. Pete now doubles his efforts to connect with June by becoming overly talkative.
June responds with anger to Pete's efforts to connect with her, blaming Pete for pulling on her with his neediness.
In a phone session with June, she complained about Pete's pull on her and how often she feels irritated with him. As we backtracked through their last interaction, June realized that she abandons herself when she is tired, and that her withdrawal is actually a pull on Pete to make her feel better.
While the way Pete acts out his self-abandonment is different than the way June acts out hers, they are mirrors for each other in the fact that they abandon themselves.
"June, your irritation is a signal that you are judging Pete for the very thing that you are doing—abandoning yourself. Next time you are aware of being irritated, it will be helpful to you to do some inner inquiry and discover how you are abandoning yourself and what would be loving to yourself.
"For example, right now ask your inner knowing what would be the loving action when you are tired? What can you do rather than shut down?"
June opened to learning with her inner wise self and asked about the loving action when she is tired.
"Oh, I can begin to see the problem. I have a judgment about being tired. I don't think it is okay to be tired. In my family, no one was allowed to show they were tired. We just had to keep getting things done. So I don't even let myself know that I am tired.
"My inner guidance is saying that the first loving action is to acknowledge that I am tired and be in compassion rather than judgment for my tiredness. I can see that if I did that, I wouldn't shut down and abandon myself as a way of dealing with being tired. I could just tell Pete that I am tired and need to rest."
By doing Inner Bonding rather than acting out her irritation, June learned some very important things about her beliefs and behavior. Acting out her irritation is a way to control Pete rather than love herself. Moving into the Inner Bonding process is a loving action toward herself, and will lead to further learning and loving actions.
Next time you feel annoyed with someone, try exploring within instead of acting out from your ego-wounded self.
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This article was originally published at http://www.innerbonding.com/show-article/961/what-to-do-when-you-are-annoyed.html. Reprinted with permission from the author.