If you’re like me, you get annoyed sometimes. Maybe you get annoyed a lot of the time.

You have to wait in a long line. Your friend is late again. Wine got spilled on you.

These are all things that can lead to you feeling annoyed, irritated, and angry. But is that how you actually want to feel? If not, then this episode is for you.

Today, I use a recent personal experience of getting annoyed to show you how to manage this emotion effectively and genuinely.

Listen in this week to learn how to process negative emotions like annoyance and show up in an intentional way. I share why pretending you’re not annoyed doesn’t work, and instead, how to allow your irritation.

Things and people will annoy you. That’s life. But you get to choose how you want to show up.

What you will discover

  • How I get over my annoyance so quickly.
  • Why annoyance is not a useful emotion.
  • How to manage your annoyance.
  • Why I suggest you allow your annoyance before responding to it.
  • What happens when you process your annoyance effectively.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode number 393.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Hello, my friends. Okay, here’s what’s up. I get annoyed sometimes. I used to get annoyed all the time. But now, I get annoyed some of the time. And I handle it so much better than I used to. And so, I want to talk about being annoyed.

And I know that many of you have the same experience in your life of being annoyed sometimes. And I decided to do this podcast after I had an experience where my best girlfriend, who sees me all the time, said to me, “You’re funny. You get annoyed and you’re super annoyed, but then you’re over it so quick.”

And it happened right after we were playing a card game. There were three of us playing a card game. And it was one of those card games where you have the cards laid out. we were playing rummy. So, it’s like you put the cards down as you’re laying down your cards to be counted for you, if you’re doing well. And you play on each other’s cards and that sort of thing. So, it was like a whole thing.

And one of our friends was taking a picture from above, which was super cool, actually. The picture that she was taking was of all the cards on the table. She’s super artistic, takes really fun pictures. And she knocked over a glass of champagne as she was doing this and it spilled all over all of my cards and all over me.

And I had this moment where I was really annoyed with her. And it’s funny, I can’t hide my own annoyance when it comes, when I’m processing it. And I don’t say anything and I don’t react to it and I don’t, you know, yell or act crazy. But I kind of internally experience it. And so, it’s clearly on my face and I try to just keep my mouth shut and not say anything.

And then I take a minute, I process it, and then she’s like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that.” And I was like, “Oh, it’s fine. You have to take the pictures. It’s fine.” And I had shifted gears within just a few minutes.

And so, we were laughing about that because my other girlfriend didn’t get annoyed at all. Like, certain different things annoy each of us and this is just one of those, like, having champagne spilled all over me and my cards just gave me a moment of annoyance.

But anyway, they were asking me, like, “How do you get over that so quickly? How do you get over that feeling of annoyance so quickly?” And it’s from lots of practice.

Because I used to get annoyed, and then I would kind of lash out. And there are times – there have been a few times within the past couple of years when I’ve been kind of in a vulnerable state – I was already dealing with a lot of emotional processing – where I lashed out from annoyance. But it’s actually very rare now.

And it’s because I’m able to utilize the Model. I’m able to pause right in the middle of a Model and keep myself in check before I get to my A-line with emotions. And I do think it’s a level of practice.

I do not think this is something that gets better with age or time. This is something you actually have to practice. So, I Googled what it means to be annoyed and it says, “Slightly angry or irritated.” And I think that’s a pretty good definition.

I looked up what’s the opposite of annoyed, and it would be, “Delighted.” So, I like those two words together; annoyed and delighted. So, are you someone that gets annoyed easily? Are you someone that gets annoyed with the same person regularly, with the same things over and over? Do you get annoyed when you’re driving? Do you get annoyed when you’re waiting in line? Do you get annoyed when things take a long time?

I know for me, I have a very high expectation in the work that I do. And this is why I make an atrocious manager; because my expectations are so high. This is why I hired Erika to come in and manage the people. Because it’s really important that you’re able to manage your emotions in a way that you’re not being annoyed with people, and your expectations not being met doesn’t cause annoyance and reaction.

And so, think about when it is that you get annoyed and think about, how are you handling it right now? Are you managing yourself? Do you feel like you’re able to get that pause? Are you able to process that emotion and let it go? Or is it something you react to and then you end up having to apologize about? Or is it something you react to and you never get over it and it keeps residue-annoying you as you go through the rest of your day?

If this is the case, I want to teach you how to not do that. Annoyance is one of those emotions that is not useful in any way. Nothing good from annoyance is handled in the A-line. You want to switch that emotion before you’re about to take action.

So, you might call it like, “This person’s just getting on my nerves.” I hear a few of you say, like, “This person, when they come over, they just get on my nerves.” Or, “The way they act gets on my nerves.” And it’s basically people behaving badly according to you will be annoying.

And it doesn’t have to be people. It can be things in the world. Some people get annoyed with the weather. They get annoyed with things that they can’t control at all out there in the world. They’re getting annoyed at, quote unquote, circumstances.

So, here’s how to manage it if this is something that you’re dealing with. Now, first, it’s really great. And I’m always telling people how to deal with the Model because, a lot of times, there’s a misinterpretation that because we understand the Model and we understand that all of our emotions come from our thinking, that we should therefore always control our thinking so we never have negative emotion. Or if we notice that we’re having negative emotion because of a thought, we should change it immediately.

This is not the case. You have the option of changing it immediately. But you absolutely don’t have to. The Model is just an indication. It just shows you what is actually going on for you and why you’re feeling the way that you are feeling.

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel that way. For example, if someone is tapping a pen repeatedly, “Why? Why would they be doing that? Tap, tap, tap, tap…” My brother used to do that just to make me nuts.

I want to be annoyed if that’s happening. If they’re taking too long to bring me my food – if I’ve been in a restaurant and my food’s taking an hour, I want to be annoyed. It will be my thought causing the annoyance. It won’t be the pen. It won’t be the food taking a long time. It will be my thoughts. And I’m okay with that. I want to be annoyed if that’s going on.

So, let’s be clear. First of all, is that just because you’re feeling annoyed, doesn’t mean you don’t want to. Now, it’s a very unpleasant emotion, not useful. But it’s also something that you don’t have a requirement to get rid of automatically.

So, the first thing you want to do is just notice it and allow it. And if it’s something that happens to you regularly, the way that I want to encourage you to do that is after the fact.

So, right now, you would basically go back and think, “Okay, when was the last time I was annoyed?” Or, “Who are all the people that annoy me?” Or, “What am I consistently annoyed about?” And you would just kind of have a look at it after the fact. “What caused it? What was the thought I was thinking? And how did I react to it?”

And just have a look at your own, let’s just say, annoyance experience in the world. And if you go back and you kind of analyze it afterward, you can see if it was a useful thing for you to be doing and if you could have handled it better.

So, for example, if someone is tapping their pen and tapping their pen and tapping their pen and then tapping their pen, if I don’t say something about it or ask them to stop tapping their pen and I just sit there and let my thoughts continue to multiply inside my brain, my A-line will be probably screaming at the top of my lungs for the person to stop, or to grab the pen, or to lose complete control over my own self. And the same is true if food is taking too long, if a line isn’t moving, that sort of thing.

Like, just being able to witness yourself after the fact will help you eventually witness yourself during the fact and then hopefully before the circumstance happens, so you’ll be able to prevent it.

So, the first thing you want to do is just notice the emotion, notice what is causing it, what is the thought that’s causing it, and be able to stay with an emotion long enough to process it, to be in the space of feeling that emotion.

When you resist it and you try to solve for it without feeling it, that’s when you grab the pen. That’s when you yell at the waiter. That’s when you scream at the people waiting in line, or you scream in traffic. Because you don’t want to feel that emotion. You’re resisting it. And so, you’re trying to change the C immediately and that’s where the A-line becomes this huge reaction.

But if you can allow for the emotion, if you can allow for the feeling of annoyance, you can take a breath, and that’s when you’ll pause. That’s when you’ll have that moment of clarity where you’re not reacting, you’re not going after someone. You’re just pausing, in that moment, in that space and making a decision on how to respond consciously.

And listen, if you can do it with annoyance, you can do it with anger, you can do it with frustration. You’re going to really learn how to navigate your emotional life in a way that serves you better than being reactive.

So, step number one is allow it to be there, don’t react to it. Breathe. I find breathing slows my thoughts down. I don’t know that it actually slows them down. But it allows me to witness them in a slower way.

And then find the thought that’s causing me annoyance. It’s really, really important that you don’t attribute the feeling to the circumstance. You must find the thought. You are causing your own annoyance. Maybe you want to keep causing it. Maybe you’re all in with your own thought.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t be, but you want to know what that thought is. “People shouldn’t tap pens. People shouldn’t clip their toenails in public. People shouldn’t let their children listen to iPhones or Gameboys or Switches at a high volume in the middle of a restaurant.”

Notice how these thoughts create annoyance when the circumstance is contradicting it. I know that some of you are cringing just thinking about those things because I know I’m not the only one that is completely annoyed when these things happen.

But they’re annoying because you have a thought that it shouldn’t be happening. You have a thought that people aren’t paying attention that they should not let their children do that and that they have no awareness, or whatever. What is the thought that’s making you feel that annoyance?

So, as you’re breathing, as you’re allowing for the emotion, you’re finding the thought, and then you’re just going to pause. You’re going to make a conscious decision about what you want to do.

I, most often, just let it go. I mean, obviously, champagne is spilled on me. What am I going to do? I could say, “Please be more careful next time.” I mean, it’s ridiculous. She obviously didn’t mean to do it. She felt terrible that she had done it. It was fine. I’m not going to lecture her on how she should behave.

But I will say that we were on this girls’ trip. There were five of us girls on this girls’ trip last week in Columbia. And one of the things that annoys me is when I have thoughts about people being late. Notice how I qualified myself there, right?

And when people are late, I have lots of thoughts about how they should not be late and they should be more on time. And so, one of the things that I do there is I feel myself getting annoyed, getting annoyed, getting annoyed, getting annoyed. And as they show up late, I could be, like, screaming at them and yelling at them or whatever.

But I take a breath and I chill out, I just say, “Hey, guys. It’s important for me that you’re on time, especially when we’re trying to catch a flight or we’ve asked someone to meet us somewhere. We need to be on time.”

And when you say it, “Is that okay? Are you guys down for that? Could you please be…” and of course, when I said that, they’re both like, “Oh my gosh, we’re so sorry. We didn’t mean to. There was a miscommunication,” or whatever, whatever the situation was.

And then it was like, it wasn’t even their fault that they were late, so we had a good conversation about it, versus if I would have yelled and screamed or whatever.

Now, there are times where I don’t do this as well as I would like. I take a breath. I feel the emotion. But I can still hear my own annoyance in my own voice. It’s crazy. And so, when I do that, it’s like I haven’t processed the emotion yet. I haven’t really taken enough time to notice that I’m the one causing it for myself.

Whenever I attribute an emotion to someone else’s actions, that’s when I try to control them. And that’s when I talk to them in a way that isn’t the way I want to talk to someone. And because I always speak very direct and I always tell people the truth and I don’t sugar-coat anything, it is even more important for me to have my emotion processed before I communicate.

Because otherwise, I’m being reckless in the way that I want to be in the world. And so, kind of dialing that back and having that ability to manage my own emotion and get to a place where I’m simply being accepting and loving and kind is a challenge.

It’s a challenge for many of us to be able to do that. And for me, I know for some people they’re very good at faking those reactions. I am not good at that. If I’m annoyed, I’m not good at pretending to be kind. I have so much, like, laced annoyance in what I’m saying and it comes out as sarcasm. It does not come out well.

I actually need to be in the emotional state where I can communicate from a genuine emotion of acceptance and from a genuine emotion of love in order to do that. And so, the best way I know how to do that is to pause long enough, take a breath long enough in order to change my thought and therefore change my emotion.

So, let’s do an example. I’ll do the example of when the champagne was spilled. I was like, “Okay, this game is ruined. Why is she messing around doing this? She’s not caring about our game. She doesn’t care who’s winning. I care who’s winning. This game matters so much”

Like, in my mind I can hear how ridiculous it all sounds, “Now there’s champagne all over me. Everything’s ruined.” It’s just a lot of drama. And I just notice those thoughts and I’m like, “This is no big deal.” I’m able, in the moment, to just change it, “We’re going to wipe this up. We have towels. This is no big deal. It was an accident. It’s totally fine.” I just switch gears, right?

If someone’s late, you can make it mean all sorts of crazy things, “They don’t respect my time. We’re going to miss this plane. This is so rude of them to be late…” whatever. You go through the whole thing. Or I do. I go through all of these thoughts in my head and I just start getting more and more and more annoyed.

And when I process the emotion and I think about it, I’ll be like, “I wonder if something happened. Did they know what time?” And then I can answer, “They didn’t know what time.” Or, “They’re running late for a good reason.”

And I can still talk to them about being on time without being annoyed. Maybe they didn’t know what time. Maybe they don’t know that we were waiting for them. Maybe we didn’t realize that we’re trying to catch a plane. Who knows?

And so, when I think about it that way, it’s just so much better. It’s just processed in such a kinder way. I’m able to communicate in such a kinder way. And it sounds so basic and so simplistic. But truly, changing our thoughts changes how we behave. How we show up in the world literally ends up changing our relationships.

Because if I’m not processing my annoyance and I’m feeling annoyance pretty regularly, everyone’s going to think I’m a bitch, “God, she’s just mad about everything all the time.”

And I don’t want you to pretend like you don’t have emotion. This is, I think even worse, is when you’re annoyed and you’re like, “Oh no, that’s fine. No worries,” and inside you’re seething mad. Or, like, overly happy when you’re actually really upset, really depressed, that kind of pretending, for me, that feels toxic. That feels like inauthentic BS. And that is not what I’m recommending.

I’m not recommending that you cover up your emotion. I’m actually recommending that you allow it, that you feel it, but you don’t react to it, you don’t speak to it, you don’t lose your mind over it.

When we start thinking that certain emotions are unacceptable, we try not to feel them. We resist them. That’s not what I’m recommending. When you have emotions that you don’t want to react to, the answer is not to resist them. The answer is to allow them. Allow them to be there. Allow them to process through. Find the thought. Change the thought. Take a pause. And then choose consciously how you want to react. What action do you want to take?

And here’s the thing. In the beginning, you may not be able to prevent yourself from reacting to your emotion of being annoyed. You may have to start processing, start understanding it after the damage is already done. You may be able to do that now, go back and analyze what happened, “What was I thinking? What was I feeling? Why did I react? Why couldn’t I pause?” Try to understand it afterwards.

The more you do this, the more you analyze yourself and your models after you have created a result you don’t want, it’s much easier to then try to change during the model that you’ve created right in the middle of it and then eventually before.

Being annoyed usually doesn’t serve your life. But it’s one of the human emotions. It’s one of the halves of – it’s the negative half of the 50-50 for many of us. And learning how to manage it will actually help you have emotional control, have cognitive control in your life. It’s worth doing. It’s worth practicing. It will make the people around you more connected, more at ease with you if you’re not constantly reacting to being annoyed.

Have a beautiful week, everyone. I hope you’re not very annoyed this week. I’ll talk to you next week. Take care. Bye-bye.

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