Does what other people do bother you? Are you often bothered by the things that other people do? When you reflect on it, does it happen more times than you’d like?
I did a post in May of 2009 entitled, “Are You Captain Of The Universe,” where I argued that if you are such a “captain,” then you should resign your position. Click here if you would like to visit the post. I mention that post because if you are letting what other people do bother you, then perhaps you are at least, subconsciously, considering yourself a Captain of the Universe. You see, people who are easily irritated by the things that other people do, often blame others for their irritation. They also tend to think these other people should do what they think is the right thing to do – they want to take charge like a captain of a ship.
For those that are bothered by what other people do, what are their reasons for being bothered? Where should they look for the reasons? As mentioned before, they generally blame other for being bothered. In other words, they are blaming the person(s) who they are bothered by for their irritation. Does that seem reasonable? Who owns your feelings? Is it reasonable to give someone else control over your feelings? I don’t think so!
Often, when a person is bothered by what other people do, s/he thinks there is a right AND wrong way to do almost everything. This is an easy trap to fall into. Speaking from personal experience, it’s very easy to think that, “my way is the right way.” So often in life, we are expected to make decisions where we must choose the “right way.” For example, think of driving, shopping, raising a family, working, etc. For all of these normal things in life, a person is encouraged to make decisions that are considered to be right or correct. I think it’s easy to, at least subconsciously, fall victim to thinking that the decisions are ones that involve one right and one wrong choice. It is also easy to expect others to think similarly. I’m not stating we should have these expectations, but when we do it often leads to us being bothered by what other people do.
It’s fine for a person to have rigid rules for her/himself, but it’s not fine for the person to compel others to follow these same rules. Too often, others see this compulsion as an irritant and will break the rules out of spite. Even if a person goes along with the needless rules of the compulsive person, it’s usually for keeping the peace and not because s/he agrees with them.
Perhaps the most important negative consequence of being bother by what others do is the unhealthy relationships that are created. A relationship that is the result of someone going along with your unnecessary rules/expectations is imbalanced and insincere. And, of course, if the relationship is the result of someone who constantly breaks your unnecessary rules, then it will be imbalanced and filled with exasperation.
For our own well-being, I think it’s important for each of us to take inventory of the self-imposed rules we live by and get rid of the ones that serve no purpose other than keeping us confined and stressed. Most importantly, we shouldn’t directly or indirectly force our standards on others. If you do, then you are assuming the role of a captain of the universe and undoubtedly, are letting what others do bother you.
So, does what others do bother you? If so, then are you the person who can change what the others are doing? Are you in charge of them? Are you their captain? If so, then RESIGN your command and let them take charge of themselves. Each person must be her/his own captain – in charge of her/himself!