Annoyances: What to do when
you feel annoyed with the people in your life
By Susie and Otto Collins
Did you read about this guy who had been drinking,
decided to climb a fence and jumped into the Niagara
river, heading over the falls? According to the news, he
became the only person known to have survived a plunge
over the falls without a safety device.
After this man was released from a hospital and arrested, he
told reporters that he had been suicidal but that this
experience made him want to live.
This is what we call learning from the "power of contrast."
He wanted to die and then found out that maybe he didn't.
When we read about this man's "adventure," we thought that
it was a good illustration to answer a question from one of
our newsletter subscribers.
Our subscriber had a question about a quote by Robert
Johnson that we used in one of our newsletter articles
"We forget that in falling in love, we must also come to
terms with what we find annoying, distasteful and
intolerable in each other and also in ourselves. Yet it
is this confrontation that leads to our greatest growth."
Our subscriber asked, "I would dearly love to know how to
confront these things in a way that promotes this growth.
Can you help?"
In our experience, there are at least three ways to not
just "confront" but also come to terms with and embrace
the things we find annoying, distasteful and intolerable
in other people and in ourselves.
These ways are:
1) These annoyances can signal a place within you where
you may need to grow next or something you may need to
Recently, Otto sprained his ankle and has found it very
annoying to not be able to walk and move as he normally
likes to. But, as he reflected on the "real" energetic
cause of his sprained ankle, it may have been a signal
for him to slow down since we have working much longer
and harder than normal on several projects during the past
month. His "growth edge" may be to continue to appreciate
the passion with which he approaches everything in his life,
while at the same time learn balance.
2) These little (or big) annoyances may be magnifying
some behavior within you that you need to look at and
Several years ago, Susie supervised several employees.
At times when she found that these employees were not
completing various projects to her satisfaction, she
jumped in, took over and "saved the day."
In the process of "taking over," she tended to insensitively
step on her employees' "toes," making them feel inadequate
and incompetent. As luck would have it, she attracted a boss
to her who treated her the same way she had treated her
Because she got to feel firsthand how her employees must
have felt, Susie changed the way she supervised them to
reflect a more "team" approach. She learned to not rush
in and "take over" but rather give encouragement and help
3) As we said earlier, there is a lot to be learned by the
power of contrast.
By looking at what you find distasteful about others, you
are able to determine what you want and what you don't want
in your life.
For example, we get many pleas for help from people in
relationships where they are not being honored in various
ways or even abused by their partners.
Those people have the opportunity to look at their partner's
behavior and decide if this is what they want in their life.
They are given the opportunity to begin saying what they
want and if they are still not being honored, begin making
the changes that will bring them the life they deserve.
So, in giving you these examples, we've given you perhaps
a different way to look at what you find annoying and
distasteful in others and in yourself.
If you are finding that you are becoming annoyed, upset or
irritated with other people's behavior (or even you're own),
take this opportunity to look within yourself and ask, "What
can I learn from this situation?"
By asking this simple question, you will find yourself
healing and growing in ways that you never felt were
Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are
Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books
on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No
More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic"
and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great
relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on
love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles
like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips
newsletter visit http://www.collinspartners.com