If you can learn how to accept the person who annoys you the most, it will free up energy that you can use to pursue your goals. Your annoyance might stem from someone on your team or at home or an occurrence while you were driving to work. While we feel justified in our anger at someone else, we often forget that there are others who might have perfectly valid reasons to be angry with us. After all, who amongst us is perfect? There is another great reason never to harbour criticism and resentment for others: it will use up your store of energy and hoarded resources. Let’s assume that when you wake up in the morning, you have only twenty-five gigajoules of energy for use throughout the whole day. Isn’t it smart to use that energy to help you move forward instead of being coopted by an annoying person or an event or people over which you have no control?

Let’s assume that there is a person who really annoys you. You can maintain your peace of mind by considering that, just as there is 25% of them that annoys you, there is likely at least 25% of you that annoys them. In your annoyance, you might gossip telling others about their particularly annoying traits, but meanwhile: you forget, I forget, that we all annoy everyone to some extent. But while in the process of being mad at someone or judging them, we set ourselves on a pedestal and push the other person down.

25% of me aggravates you and viceversa

It is much more productive to ask yourself a question before you act negatively: what is it about me that causes them to be critical of me? In this enlightened state, you might wonder: are there times when they have been benevolent and forgiving towards me regarding traits I have that are annoying to them?

Corporations depend on their members to be high performing participants in various projects, and therefore, teamwork is paramount. But when we are part of the team and are stressed about deadlines, it is easy to point at others and find fault with them. In doing so, we begin to feel superior and that superiority can lead to arrogance, and that arrogance leads to false images of ourselves. Humble means being teachable, but judgement and arrogance mean nothing in and nothing out.

When we maintain a false image, and think of ourselves as being above reproach, the finger always points outwards to others, forgetting that at least 25% of us, at any given time, is annoying to someone else. Fault-finding leads to feelings of superiority which leads arrogance, which in turn leads to a false image of ourselves and false images eventually turn to dust!

Guess what? No one really wants to deal with someone who is perfect anyway. Picture a party with two bowls full of nametags. If you could take a nametag stating, “Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m perfect. I’m confident and I never ever make mistakes”, or another with the words, “Hi, I’m Jamie, and I’m imperfect and I embarrass myself from time to time”, which would you choose? Who would you prefer to talk to? I suspect that you would want to talk to those who admit to being perfectly imperfect people versus those who claim confidence.

Allow yourself to be patient with your imperfect prospects, clients, and suppliers and most importantly, allow yourself to be patient with yourself. When we see ourselves as imperfect, we bask in the ability to connect with others more easily and feel a high level of compassion for everyone we meet. They, whoever they are, are imperfect, just as we are.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

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