Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thoughts on Feeling Irritated

Perhaps you never become irritated by other people, but I am not so saintly. There is this one woman I know who never fails to irritate me.  No matter the day or what mood I'm in, her mannerisms and the things she says consistently rub me the wrong way.

This morning, I was complaining about her to my husband.  This afternoon, in the car, I suddenly had a thought:  if the last time I saw her was my last encounter with her ever, would I still have complained?  Surprisingly, the answer was no.  If I knew that my encounter with her was my last on earth, I think I would have tried to find something about her to appreciate.

So why does it make a difference whether it's the last time I see her or not?  It's a simple matter of perspective.  If I know I will see her often, I go into the encounter prepared to be irritated (which, by the way, is not only judging her, but subjugating her as well).  If I know it's the last time I'll ever see her, there is an awareness of her "otherness" - her uniqueness - and the reminder that she is to be respected and honoured.

I felt remorseful for being so petty and exclusive.  If I need to pretend that every time I see her is the last time, I will.  I only know that I want to honour her and respect her otherness rather than be irritated because she isn't like me.

"Every man is in some way my superior, in that I can learn from him." 
 - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Amaris in Wonderland said...


This is something i really needed to consider - like yesterday. You are so right.

Thanks! :)

{{interweb air five}}

Anna said...

Sometimes I think I post these blogs just to hold myself accountable by making it public... I don't know if it helps, but it's nice to know that I'm "alone" in my humanity . :-) So... Thanks!

Elisabeth said...

This. Is. Amazing. I needed to hear this today. I do this with so many people. I get irritated so easily when people arent like me. Thank you so much for your perspective today!