I am forcing my eyes to stay open, struggling to stay awake, as Lisa has been talking for the past hour, without coming up for air….I am waiting in angst for the people who said they would be there and aren’t. The whole reason I changed my plans….The meeting is running later and later and I have to hurry to get somewhere…

Martha Beck says, If you want to witness the most savage, antisocial aspects of the human species, don’t attack or threaten people. Annoy them.” Even the most peace- loving Quaker will lash out once they are annoyed.

People can and will be very annoying. [I, on the other hand, am never so.] It’s almost as if you can’t help but be annoyed by people. Usually, they don’t mean to be, even though it seems that way. Politics, manners, religious beliefs, personal histories, insensitivity, oversensitivity, and just not thinking, all are fair game for the annoying.

Annoying people can only annoy us as far as we let them. I know it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s true. Two of the main reasons annoyance can leave us incapacitated, or at least semi-capacitated:


  1. We are so taken aback by the annoying that we can be caught off-guard.


  1. The reasons and extent to why we are so annoyed have more to do with our own histories and hang-ups.


For instance, talking incessantly is very annoying, but I guarantee it is more annoying to me than to you because it brings flashbacks of when I did it as a coping mechanism for insecurity.

Just knowing these two reasons can empower us. These are two things we can sort of prepare for. We won’t let ourselves be caught off guard. Since I know my history and the ensuing flashbacks, I can be prepared for it. I can set my boundaries from the start.

“That’s the last time we do that,” my boyfriend eloquently said as we walked to the car several hours later. I just nodded enthusiastically in my agreement. I don’t have to stew about it anymore because I have made a conscious decision to disengage.

When we set boundaries, we feel less hijacked by annoyance. Know your boundaries and stick to them.

c. 2015


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