Annoyance

Remember that all remedies start with knowing, we have to know the issue well before we can remedy it.

The following sections describe the essentials to do with annoyance. Knowing these essentials will help you more effectively apply the rememdies presented in this page.

Click here to jump straight to the remedies.

What is Annoyance?

Non-Acceptance

Annoyance is a rejection or non-acceptance of something. We often get annoyed with what we don’t understand (fear) or don’t accept (pride).

For example, when someone starts coughing and doesn’t stop we may get annoyed, this is because of fear, because we don’t know what is going on and our blissfully selfish state of not 'having to worry about anything or anyone' is being disturbed.

Because of pride we don’t accept certain things and when people want these things or do these things that we don’t accept, we can’t help but get annoyed. Annoyance has behind it a lot of attachment to our way of doing things and the things that we like.

Something Psychological

Annoyance is something psychological in nature, which is very good news, because this means that we can modify our states of annoyance. If we want to, we can transform our annoyed states into states of understanding and acceptance.

The key observation that tells us that annoyance is something psychological is that we, for example easily get annoyed with our parents but not so easily annoyed with our work colleagues when they do the exact same thing.

This also shows us that the desire to keep a good image before others has something to do with when, where and how we get annoyed. The respect we feel for another person also determines the deree to which we allow oursleves to get annoyed.

The main action of annoyance seems to be: to reject, avoid and block. We usually don't do any of things unless we are annoyed first.

The Things that Annoy Us

There are many things that annoy us in life. Is very difficult to find someone in life who does not get annoyed at one thing or the other.

External Things

We may get annoyed with the humid weather, with the flies, with mosquitos, with dogs barking at night, with pets making a mess inside the house, with the computer working slowly, with the car not starting, with the traffic lights, with the weeds in the garden, with phone calls, with cars speeding past, with the heat, etc.

In general, we can get certainly annoyed with elements totally outside of ourselves.

People

We may also get annoyed when someone chews with their mouth open, or chews loudly, slurps a hot beverage, coughs, sneezes, picks their nose, drops things, moves or fidgets a lot, eats non-stop, watches TV a lot, is on the computer a lot, smells bad, has bad manners, talks loudly, goes to the toilet all the time, breaks wind a lot, burps a lot, has bad breath, etc.

In general, we can, and do get annoyed at the small details or misgivings of human nature, which really are something more nuetral than negative.

Our Interpretations

We may get annoyed when people stare at us, we may also get annoyed with people’s facial expressions, with people pushing-in in front of us, with somebody who doesn’t hear what we are saying, with somebody who doesn’t understand what we are saying, with someone who does not consider us and does not leave anything for us to eat, with someone who lives in a mess, has a stupid look on their face, easily gets nervous, is scared all the time, bites their finger nails, has their hands in their pockets, doesn’t help, repeats themselves, scratches a lot, is slow thinking and moving, procrastinates, hesitates, with people who get annoyed, with people who are angry, with people who are slow to understand things, etc.

In general, we can get annoyed with the peculiar psychological characteristics and habits of people.

Summary of What Annoys Us

Basically we get annoyed with:

  1. Things outside of ourselves.
  2. The misgivings of human nature.
  3. Our interpretations of the psychological characteristics of people.

In general, though, all of these things are neutral in nature, they are certainly not voluntarily directed personal attacks, however the way we react to them most of the time as if they were.

Small and Very Numerous

Most of what annoys us are really small in nature and very numerous in nature. There are really too many things that annoy us in life. It is worth remedying all of them to get ourselves clear of them so to live a more peaceful life.

Another reason why we should remedy them is because our annoyances produce a very out of proportion reaction. This is because what annoys us is so quickly over and so insignificant, that it shouldn’t even be worth our attention but for some reason we give it way too much importance, which in the end only makes things worse for us, where we waste much time, energy and attention.

Observe that it is very difficult to get annoyed at something intangible or abstract, this is because annoyance only exists in matter, among the physical and material things of life.

Understanding Annoyance

Annoyance and Anger

Annoyance is not anger but a precursor to it. Before anger erupts we are often irritated or annoyed. Annoyance is a minor form of anger.

Annoyance or irritation usually concerns an issue that does not bother us too deeply, because when something bothers us deeply the usual response is anger. However, if what annoys us persists, annoyance can very quickly turn to anger.

Similar to Anger

Annoyance follows many of the patterns of anger in that there is some desire, intolerance and impatience behind it. In general, there is the sense of inconvenience behind it, which is similar to the sense of 'being harmed' that anger has. If something is perceived as 'bothering or inconveniencing us' we get annoyed and if soemthing is perceived as harming us we become angry.

There is also a mental pattern behind annoyance where we think that our pattern or way of doing things is superior to what is happening or what somebody else is doing or saying.

Annoyance is Fertile Ground for Anger

Annoyance is mostly a silent state in which anger brews. An annoyed person can be quickly identified, because annoyance is easily be seen on one’s face. The words and actions of annoyance are not as dramatic or intense as anger. They are also not as definite or decisive and irrational.

There is a downward spiral process which I would like you all to be aware of, and it goes something like this: annoyance to anger, anger to resentment and resentment to hatred.

This is certianly very interesting and goes to show how dangerous annoyance can be if left unchecked.

Trigger Point

Annoyance being similar to anger, means that we always have to have a trigger point. This is because it is impossible for a person to get annoyed without a trigger, that is without: a thought, a memory, someone saying something or someone or ourselves doing something.

It is quite common that all of the 'good manners' that we have been taught as part of our upbringing serve as trigger points for us to become annoyed with people. This one of people picking their nose is a very common annoyance triugger point for some.

Annoyance and Intolerance

Annoyance is about having a low tolerance level to certain things. It is a psychological kind of allergy, that instead of producing the allergic sneezing and coughing reactions we react with the tendecy to get a little rigid and abrupt.

We can tolerate a few seconds of say someone chewing with their mouth open but not one whole minute, for example. After a minute we will find ourselves in an annoyed state, about to become angry.

Annoyance has much to do with teh combination of pride and intolerance. It is usually very physical in nature and the strange thing is that when we get annoyed at others we are no better than them really, we do the same when the right moment comes.

How Does Annoyance Work?

Thoughts and Words

Just like anger, a state of annoyance can not appear without words and thoughts? You can try getting annoyed without thoughts and words and you will soon realise that it is near impossible.

The appearance of annoyance is dependent on our mind thinking and we think using words. There are always reasons why we get annoyed. The problem is that those reasons are processed at times so quickly that we barely notice it.

In many cases getting annoyed is a habit and our psychology mechanically reacts to life leaving us feeling annoyed and not really knowing why. Though the reasons are there, they are just buried in our past or deep in our memory, in a place of our mind called the subconscious.

Main Thought Behind Annoyance

As just mentioned above, there can be no annoyance without thoughts, and this is definitely true, becasue the main thought behind nearly every annoyed state is the thought: "that this is wrong". If we think something to be right, in place, adequate etc. there is no way that we are going to get annoyed. We only ever get annoyed when we knowingly or unknowlingly think that something is wrong or out of place or inappropiate etc. Observe your annoyances and you will find that behind it is the thought or belief that something is wrong or incorrect or out of place or inappropiate.

Works in Combination

There is one very important property of annoyance that should not be ignored, and that is that it never comes alone. It always works in a pair or in a group. There is always some other interest or desire behind it, which annoyance wishes to please. Annoyance seems always to please these desires by stopping the opposite of it happening.

Perception of Being Inconvenienced

In general, there is the sense of inconvenience behind annoyance. There is also a belief behind annoyance where we believe that our way is superior to what is happening or to what another person is proposing.

The 'Always Annoyed' State

Difficult Times

There are times in our life where we become intolerable to others and ourselves because everything annoys us.

There is a reason for that you know. It is usually because we are physically ill or something is not quite right in our life. An important relationship in our life may not be going well, our work may be stressful, our lust or our fear is out of control, we are in financial difficulty, or we are just not managing something well in our life and that mismanagement is making us feel awful, in debt and anxious.

We usually feel annoyed like this because the problems or worry is consuming a lot of our energy and attention and anything that takes our attention away from this problem or down plays or ridicules this problem causes us to get annoyed.

You’ll see as soon as you do away with the worry, the problem, the issue, or you feel physically better, the constant state of annoyance will disappear.

Effects of Annoyance

Abrupt and Direct

The many states of annoyance directly affect the use of our word. When we are annoyed we usually become very abrupt and direct. Which is fine in an hurried or emergency like situation but in the ordinary circumstances of life it is very much out of place, and of course draws out negative reactions in other people.

Impacts our Health

Annoyance like anger also has a very detrimental effect on our health. It raises blood pressure, it lifts our heart rate, it introduces tension into our face, shoulders and neck and it uses up precious mental and emotional energy, which causes us to feel tired..

People Avoid Us

A very real direct effect of us being annoyed is that sooner or later peole will begin to avoid us and if they need something they will get it from another person and leave us out of the loop. Being annoyed is very detrimental to human relations and friendships. After a while one becomes a loner and gets the reputation of being a grumpy person.

Common Causes of Annoyance

Behind much of our irritation and annoyance is a kind of pride and arrogance. The following sections describe how pride and arrogance cause annoyance.

An Air of Superiority

In the person that gets annoyed there is an air of superiority is present in them. This may be a little difficult to verify at first but the proof lies in teh observation that when we are in the same situation we do the same: that is we slurp, burp, sneeze etc. We don't remember that we do the same and there is a belief that it is ok for us to slurp, burp, sneeze etc. but not for others. Why is that? Is there any real, valid grounds upon which we can say that it is ok for us but not ok for others? That is really difficult to find right?

It is only our 'air of superiority' that allows us to think that it is ok for us but not ok for others. If we go outside of this pride we will see that we are the same and there is no real reason for us to feel different. When we realise that we realise that they have an equal right to slurp, sneeze, make noises, speak loudly, sleep, eat, drink etc. then the cause for our annoyance is understood to not have any foundation and so our annoyance diminishes.

"Arrogance needs advertising. Confidence speaks for itself." - Victor Belfort

The Thought: "They Should Know Better."

Another cause for annoyance is that we believe others should know that what they are doing is annoying or that they are annoying us.

Nearly always the other person doesn’t know what annoys us, and so we are left feeling annoyed plus frustrated. The good question to ask ourselves is: "Can they know and why are they really meant to know?". It is as if we consider them to be inconsiderate (in truth though, we are the ones who are being inconsiderate) just because they don’t follow protocol or manners or etiquette or that they disregard the small details of life (personality).

Lack of Intellectual Flexibility

One of the cores of annoyance is a lack of intellectual adaptability. Behind this lack of intellectual adaptability is a kind of intellectual resistance or laziness. It is very similar to the situation where we are relaxing physically and then all of a sudden we are told to get up and do something and we get annoyed, but in the intellectual sphere.

Intellectual Laziness

Within annoyance there is a kind of intellectual laziness that does not want to make a mental effort to understand the other person or put ourselves in the shoes of others or to try and work out what the other person is really saying or to see if there is really a problem etc. It is a type of intellectual resistance that does not want to make the effort to think outside of its rigid patterns, likes and dislikes. This intellectual resistance also contributes to arrogance and selfishness.

For example, perhaps someone says something in a way that is different to the way we are use to hearing it, like someone tells us the time in the 24 hour format and get annoyed becasue we prefer the time being told in the am/pm format. Behind this annoyance is the resistance to make an effort to adapt to what we are being told. Pride is behind that resistance to invest intellectual energy to understand the \ new time format because we believe our way of am/pm time is better.

Annoyance Truths

Does Not Solve Situations

This is really fundamental to know about annoyance and also anger. That, in the very high majority of cases it does not solve the issue or problem at hand. It mostly makes it all worse.

We may get annoyed about someone chewing with their mouth open, but they still have to eat, we can't stop them from eating. Someone drops a plate of food on the floor, getting angry won't clean up the floor. Only a a decision, a plan and action will solve the situation.

Annoyance is Contagious

If you get annoyed, most likely someone else near you will also get annoyed, or worse still angry. This is because annoyance and anger are both very contagious. When there are two or more annoyed or angry people there is conflict!

Remedying Annoyance

There are really three time frames related to anger and annoyance. They are: the before, the during and the after. There are remedies to be applied in each time frame. The 'before' is the lead up to getting angry, the 'during' is when we are angry and the after is when we have already gotten angry.

For each of the rememdies to be effective we must have created for ourselves a foundation in the comprehension of anger. That is the best case scenario. If though we are lacking this base of comprehension we can still apply these remedies. The more you apply them the more they will work for you.

Common to All Remedies

Alert and Aware

The most important key to making any remedy work is to be alert and aware. Being alert and aware gives ourselves the precious time we need to apply the rememdies. If we are not alert there is no way that we can apply a remedy to anger, especially because anger can appear so quickly.

We have to know that we are gettting angry and we have to be aware that we need to apply a remedy and we have to apply it consciously. If we do nothing we will get angry all over again!

When Getting Annoyed

Annoyance is different to anger in that it is more of a non-verbal state, where we usually try and keep feeling annoyed and not openly express it, unless we can't stand it any longer. In most cases there is a a little bit of time before we end expressing our annoyance and that is where we first of all must concentrate and apply a remedy, and a remedy that does not involve us having to walk away. Because there are times when to walk away is just not appropiate and produces a worse reaction then if we would have expressed out loud our annoyance.

There are several things that one can do to unravel our annoyance when we notice it appearing. These counter measures are all laid out below for you. They start with the very basic and move to the more advanced.

Immediate Counter Measures

1. Breathe Deep

We often ignore the benefits of breathing. As soon as we know that we are getting annoyed: Breathe in deeply. Breathe out deeply. Deep breaths have the ability to calm us down and to create some time and space within us so that we can think.

Take as many breaths as needed until you feel yourself calming down, even if it is only just a little. This also takes our attention away from what is annoying us. It is pretty clear that we get annoyed because our attention is hooked by something.

2. Solve the Situation Don't Get Annoyed

Sometimes we can solve the situation and sometimes we just can't. In the cases where we can solve the situation: tell yourself forcefully that getting annoyed is the problem, not the other person or anything else. Tell yourself that you need to solve the situation and not get annoyed. Annoyance is a unwelcome guest.

Getting annoyed will only make things worse, it is not the solution! The solution is outside of getting annoyed. When annoyance subsides the solution or the insight to solve the problem will avail itself.

When we can't do or say anything to solve the situation we just have to remain silent and find the solution within ourself. For example, when someone is chewing out loud or is very slow moving, there is nothing that we can do really, we have to find a solution within ouirselves and see for example, that the chewing will stop soon, it is not done on purpose to annoy us, it is just cause and effect, the human body makes that noise when it chews food, it is just a matter of science.

Or another example could be that because another person is slow and indecisive we are going to miss the train. In such a scenario we can say to ourselves, "well if we miss the train we can just get the next one or we can go tomorrow instead. These small examples show us that we can find a solution within ourselves becasue one outside of ourselves can not be reached. You will see that as you work more on remedying annoyance more and more, you will opt for the solution inside of yourself.

3. Divert Your Attention

Give yourself some space or isolation from what is annoying you. It turns out that the more of our attention we place on the thing that is annoying us the stronger our annoyance gets.

We therfore have to divert our attention. Doing this will give us a brief break from where we can remember and apply our remedies and reflect understanding that getting annoyed is inconvenient and does not have a very strong basis for us to be feeling this way.

Giving yourself this space may even require you saying, give me a minute please! It may even require you having to temporarily leaving the room or scenario. Giving yourself timeis very important, because in this small interval of time we can reflect and gain a clearer perspective about what's best.

4. Voluntarily Direct the Force of Annoyance into Inventing the Solution

Annoyance like anger makes force and energy available and channels it into thoughts, words and actions that are inconevenient and detrimental. We have to retrain our psychology by channeling that force and energy into our intellect searching for the wise, peaceful and 'beneficial to all' solution, which in some cases may just mean that we remain calm and silent.

After Getting Annoyed

After we get annoyed we usually don't feel much regret becasue annoyance is not as outwardly or inwardly destructive as anger. However we can work to understand as deeply as we can why we allowed ourselves to get annoyed and take part in the thoughts, words or actions of annoyance. Doing this will prevent us from getting annoyed in future occasions.

Annoyance can be investigated in much the same way as anger. Please refer to the points below to better understand our annoyance and thus provide ourselves with the remedy.

1. Stay Quiet and Look Inside

There are certain particular points to look into to help us understand our annoyances. These essential points are:

At this stage what is important is to discover what is behind the annoyance. There always has to be something behind it, because annoyance like anger never ever comes alone. As soon as we have found what is behind it we are ready to move onto the next step.

2. Understand the Role of Annoyance

Once we have found something behind anger we can better understand how annoyance simply fulfills the role of protecting or forcing the way for a certain desire to be met or for a certain obstacle to be removed or for some kind of compensation.

3. Work the Desire Behind Annoyance

The most common factor behind anger is desire. Here we have to understand that desire is due to the need of compensation.

In many cases desire could be something for normal and understandable such as the desire to not be late, and other times it could be something that we don't know and something that we prefer that other don't know about, for example if jealousy or envy is involved.

Every desire wishes to compensate for a certain lack within us. There may be other more open and correct ways to compensate for that lack, and maybe it is only us that has to fill that lack. However, we must for oursleves really first of all find out what that lack is. Once we have truly found it, we can correctly fill it.

4. Replace Annoyance with Creative Thinking

Once we have understood the above steps we need to put into practice that understanding. Which is to effectively use something else other than annoyance to solve certain issues and problems.

Doing this reinforces the understanding that annoyance does not solve issues but makes them worse outside of us and inside of ourselves. Annoyance is not needed either, it is simply not required.

Understanding that annoyance is something outside of the issue at hand is also helpful. The real issue coulds be for example, to make something happen, and getting annoyed is totally outside of that issue of making something happen. It is totally in fact unrelated to it. For example what does driving the car home from work, have to do with getting annoyed with a person who wants to turn against the traffic and stop the traffic flow behind him?

Special Area of Investigation: Arrogance

We Are the Same

Everytime that we get annoyed we can observe that we are the same as teh person we are getting annoyed at or we are the opposite. The element in us that does not ever want to recognise this is called "arrogance".

We have annoyance basically because we are the same, it is in some ways not being able to stand ourselves. One definition of arrogance is to depreciate others when we are the same or susceptible to being the same.

For example, when we get annoyed at an old person, we forget that we will be there soon. And the harsh treatment that we give an older person will be what we will receive when we are old from a younger person.

Arrogance

In arrogance there is always some kind of rejection, unfortunately it is rejection that ignores our reality, and this is where we lack humility. Humility is not to be under, it is to see the truth and be balanced with the truth. Arrogance ignores reality as does false humility, just in opposite ways. One ignores and soars above reality and the other ignores and drops below reality.

Looking into Annoyance

If we look into what annoys us we will find that we are the same or that we do the same. Even our act of getting annoyed speaks volumes: it actually is saying that we have something just as strong as what they have. We get annoyed because we have a habit or a way of doing something that is different to their's but just as rigid, intense, imposing, etc. So we are the same, just with a different face.

Annoyance when Remedied Brings Tolerance and Patience

Annoyance of course is replaced with the conscious awareness that we are the same or susceptible to the same. This, in turn brings a degree of understanding, tolerance and patience. It is also awareness of the real difficulties that people face. Less annoyance is a state that is more aware of reality, especially the reality of people. It is also more acceptance of ourselves which extends to others.

All the best with your efforts to rememdy annoyance. With persistence you will remedy it totally!