How to NOT be Annoyed by the People You Love
Today I share with you five of my favorite ten tools on how to not be annoyed by the people you love. In other words, how do you feel love and appreciation instead of frustration and annoyance towards the people you love. Do you find yourself doubting that it’s possible? Fortunately I’ve been in your shoes and in your head. Literally. Listen to the episode here or keep reading. Annoyance-free relationships are possible!
First, if you haven’t read last week’s post or listened to last week’s podcast, it’s helpful to note that I addressed five additional ways to not feel annoyed by the people you love. Keep reading here and then go back and check out that post as it’s full of relationship tools and readers have already implemented many of them in their relationships. Hooray!
Top Ways to Not Be Annoyed by the People You Love
6) Stop Trying To Change Your Mate:
Consider this a Public Service Announcement: Trying to change your partner does not work. I tried to change my first husband. For years. Then I tried to change my parents. I even tried to change my siblings. Here’s what I’ve learned: I am not good at changing other people. Further, do you want to know what else I noticed? People really don’t like it when you try and change them.
Have you guys noticed that like when you try and change other people, when you give them advice as to how you think they should live their life, they’re not like, “Yay, this will be fun. I can’t wait for you to try and change me.” Nope. People don’t want you to try to change them.
They want to be accepted for who they are. Ask yourself why you’re wanting to change the other people in your life? Your partner, your kids, your relatives? I’ll bet you’re trying to change them because you think that if they were different, you would be happier. You might even be telling yourself that if they changed and did it “your way”, they’d be happier. BS. You know what? They’ll be happier if we back off. If we stop giving unsolicited advice.
People have to learn for themselves. Join me in backing off from pretending we’re in charge of the universe. The other people in your life are on a path and just because it’s not the one you want them to be on, it doesn’t mean it’s not the path they’re supposed to be on.
7) How to not be annoyed? Question your intent to Connect or Correct
Before something comes out of your mouth, pause to check in with yourself and your intent. What is the intent of what you’re about to say? To connect with your partner or to correct your partner. What is the point of what you’re about to say? To bring you both closer in your relationship and feel connected or for you to point out something that your partner did wrong (according to you). Is what you’re about to say going to bring you closer or serve to validate you and make you feel right, as if there’s some tally sheet in the sky that you could win.
8) Clog or Clear
Picture a drain. Does what you’re about to say to your spouse clear the drain or clog the drain? Similar to the last tool, the skill to develop here is to pause before speaking to ask yourself what the purpose is of the words that are about to come out of your mouth? Pausing to think of your intent is one of the foundational tenets of mindful communication.
Paul and I will often stop mid-discussion and call ourselves out by saying: “Clog”. When I say this, what I’m telling Paul is “Yes, the conversation might have stopped abruptly but what I was about to say would’ve clogged the drain of our relationship. There’s no need to give voice to it.” I look forward to the day when I don’t even have to say “clog” but for now, it’s a great safety measure for my ego to stand down and focus on connection. Let. It. Go.
9) Greet Your Partner Like You’re a Puppy
At this time, this is one of my favorites. Have you ever been around a dog or a puppy? Think of how they greet you. Whether you just went out to empty the trash or you’ve been gone all day, each greeting is full of joy, surprise, delight, and excitement. I love greeting my spouse as if I’m a puppy. What this looks like is me stopping what I’m doing when he comes into the kitchen for lunch or, if I’m coming into the house, going to find him to shine some love on him.
Choose to Believe in the greatest possible version of a marriage for yourself. Remember dear warriors, we don’t know what the future holds. When we look to the past to determine what our future holds, we get more of that. If we want to keep evolving and growing closer, we get to dig into our beliefs and thoughts about our future. This is about opening your mind to ask yourself questions like: What would the most amazing relationship feel like?
The story I tell myself about my husband and my marriage is a love story on purpose. I direct my brain to see his kindness; to see how loving he is to our sons; to see how patient he is with me. I notice his romantic gestures, I see how he supports me, encourages me, loves me. When I choose to believe “I have a marriage unlike anything I’ve dreamed of” I look for ways that this is true. What would that couple do on weekends? On weeknights? How would they protect their intimacy? What would she say about her husband to her friends? How would she talk to her husband?
I am deliberate about the thoughts I think and the beliefs I have around the marriage I am in. I promise you, this may be the most powerful one. Call yourself and your friends out on any unhelpful beliefs you have or that you hear: Instead of believing something like midlife marriage is ho hum or relationships are hard or most people are unfulfilled in their relationships, choose to believe that things keep getting better.
How to Not be Annoyed by People You Love
Okay warriors, that’s them. Two posts on ten ways to add magic and magnificence to your relationship. You have so much power. If you’re feeling disillusioned or in a constant state of annoyance in your relationship, the great news is your actions make a difference. Choose one of these ways and you will notice a difference next week, if not today. You really are that powerful.
That said, this post is not for you if you are in an abusive relationship. As you heard on last week’s podcast episode, we have both had past relationships that were full of disfunction and abuse (emotional, sexual, and verbal). We hope this is not your current experience but if it is, please know these tools are not meant for you.
When you’re in an abusive situation, brainstorming love or greeting your partner like a puppy are some of the last things you should be doing. What to do? Reach out. Neither of us made the changes we’ve made in our life alone. We started on different paths but both of our paths included professionals to support and guide us. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. There were pieces of our abusive situations that seemed normal to us because we didn’t know differently. Please reach out to me or Paul. if our schedules are full or we are not a fit for you, we can direct you to someone who can help.
Let’s go warrior. You get to have the exact relationship you dare to believe is possible for you. No-one else can determine what’s possible for you. You really are that powerful. Let’s go