We’ve all met people in our lives who drive us crazy for various reasons. It might be that annoying neighbor who always stops by to have a lengthy chat when you are trying to relax on your front porch. Or it could be that you know someone who complains all the time, all the while doing the very things he complains about. And maybe you work with a narcissist who is one day self-absorbed, rude, and controlling, and the next, acting as if she is your best friend. Then there are the whiners, the liars, the fakes, and the manipulators.
When I encounter any of these types of people, I start to wonder…do they have any idea how they are behaving? In the privacy of their own minds, do they admit to themselves that they lie, offend, control, gossip, or pester? Right after they say something awful about someone, do they gasp internally and regret their words? Are they repeating silently, I’m NOT going to lie, I’m NOT going to lie, realizing that they fail at this on a daily basis? Do they sit and do nothing all day at work, and feel terrible when they go home for letting everyone else in the office do all the work? Sometimes, I want to shake them and say, “Don’t you see what you’re doing???”
Based on the fact that these people do not change their behavior over time, I have to assume that they don’t realize that they are the way they are, or that they have no will power. I WANT this to be true, because the alternative is that the behaviors are intentional, and sometimes just downright mean-spirited. I don’t want to believe that there people out there who are just plain mean.
I seem to spend a lot of time noticing how people interact with each other, and wondering what motivates them to behave the way they do. So, my next level of concern is this: what about me? Do I exhibit any of these annoying or rude behaviors, and am not aware of how I’m behaving? Am I included in someone else’s list of who annoys them? What is it that makes a person become aware of their own behaviors, and how can we see things in others so easily, but not in ourselves?
I’m glad that the annoying people make up a very small percentage of the people I encounter on a daily basis. I’m also hopeful that my good friends will let me know if I’m falling into one of these categories of annoying.