Reinterpreting Negative Experiences – Annoyance

When you Experience Annoyance, it brings an understanding of Patience.

Annoyance is an unpleasantness that distracts me from my ability to focus. It typically leads to my experiencing irritation, agitation or aggravation. Annoyance is a mild form of anger and, as such, it happens when something suddenly occurs that I’m not expecting. It is present when someone does something I find inappropriate and certainly if they say something that directly contradicts me. More often than not, annoyance accompanies a repeated occurrence of something that bothers me. I am annoyed when my importance is not acknowledged or I feel disregarded.

What happens when I experience annoyance? Usually I feel stress in my body that results from my instinctual response to an unwanted intrusion. The disorientation that come from being distracted, the challenge to my having my freedom impeded, the apparent ignoring of my rightful presence, all make me feel discounted or unimportant. I react by attempting to be recognized, to reestablish my place, to show my importance or, at the extreme, take control over the situation,such as when I am cut off in traffic. More likely I refuse to participate in order to assert my independence.

Yet I fail to account for the fact that I am the one who permits myself to be annoyed. I am the one who places my priorities above what else is going on around me. I am the one who expects my surroundings to support my objectives. I am the one unwilling to share time and space. What underlies this reaction is a self-centered need to be important coupled with an unawareness of my self-righteousness.

Being full of myself is a state of mind that results from a failure to recognize my underlying emotions. At the moment I am feeling disoriented I have the opportunity to look at my primary emotions. I can recall the acronym S.R.E.F.F. standing for Surprise, Resentment, Embarrassment, Fear, and Frustration. By focusing on my underlying emotions, I minimize my tendency to react to what is going on outside me and take care of my feelings of vulnerability.

Patience is the antidote to being annoyed because it gives that moment of reflection to get in touch with my feelings. It is variously defined as my ability to face a delay or my endurance before expressing negativity toward someone or something. Patience is a learned response to my instinctual inclination to favor short-term outcomes over long-term solutions. It involves the struggle between my basic instincts and my attempt to live by principled behavior. Patience is necessary for society to function where imperfections and differences of opinion exist in abundance.

Patience is an attitude that is synonymous with acceptance of reality so I do not attempt to mold reality into what I want it to be. Practicing patience does not mean I should accept unacceptable behavior from others, but it does mean that I should focus on taking care of myself and not expect others to act in a way I want them to. Patience and acceptance are at the root of maturity as expressed on pages 46 and 47 of the book.

Can you think of a situation where you felt the need to assert your authority in a discussion or situation? What was the result? Was there another way to handle the situation?

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