We all have something that trips our trigger. Whether it be bad table manners, the person that
pops their knuckles when nervous, the partner that is way too loud in public, or tells embarrassing jokes at the wrong time. No matter what our ‘achilles heel’ or ‘pet peeve’ is, we have something that causes us to ‘cringe’.
One of mine, is when someone reads the newspaper or a magazine, while eating and I am sitting at the table. I guess it brings up memories of when I was a child and my father would sit at the head of the table and read his neatly folded newspaper. We ate in silence in order to not interrupt his concentration. No matter what, if we were to start talking, we soon would see the intolerance on his face, and eventually his anger.
Even as a middle aged person, I recall that ‘punished’ feeling if I see the scenario. Certainly it doesn’t mean that the person sitting at the restaurant table with the ‘reader’ is feeling the same shaming puished feeling as I did, and still do. Their past may be different, therefore it doesn’t hurt their feelings whatsoever.
There are other things I can identify with as well. For instance, when a person yells or raises their voice, it can be more offensive to me than to others. It again brings up ‘childhood’ feelings that are not so warm and fuzzy.
I have seen other people’s ‘achilles’ heel or pet peeve come out. For instance, the person that was told as a child to never scrape their teeth on a fork, tend to get irritated with the person that is gliding their teeth along the fork with every bite, or the person taught to save all left overs, cringes when they see someone throw twelve green beans down the garbage disposal.
How about leaving the toilet seat up? Putting shoes on a table, walking through a house scuffing the floor, twirling hair, smacking gum, not putting clothes in the dirty clothes hamper, leaving cupboard doors open, leaving lights on, or sneezing without covering your nose and mouth? You see, no matter what, we ALL have these little ‘issues’ that truly can turn into a BIG DEAL, especially if you feel strongly about them!
How do you relay these issues to your ‘partner’ or friend, when you recognize it is happening time and time again, each occurrence, it seems to get louder and more noticeable? Obviously, it can escalate to where you have to say something in order to stop the madness. What if it is an ingrained habit your friend has, and therefore they chose to not really stop the so-called bad behavior, and don’t see the importance as strongly as you do? What if you HAVE the behavior that is grating the other person the wrong way? How do you handle it?
Sure, you can mention it to the person without criticizing. You can explain what bothers you, why it bothers you, and ask if they could make a conscious effort to be sensitive to our sensitivities. Maybe even try our best to understand the person isn’t intentionally doing it to cause harm, but doing it because they are unaware, never thought of it, or was raised to do it ‘that’ way all their life.
These small pet peeves can turn into full blown arguments if it is not addressed and responded to kindly. If something is bothering you, try to bring it up in a non-critical manner and share why it bothers you. Hopefully, in a perfect world, the person will be compassionate, and try to break their habit. If, however, you are the person that HAS a bad habit that bothers someone else, how about making a conscious effort to refrain? Conscious compassionate awareness is very important. Once you realize it causes an issue, being kind enough to curb it, if at all possible. Relationships get along so much better, when there is cooperation! Anyway, it will cause you to grow.
Now here is an asterisk here….. just because I wrote this, it does NOT give anyone permission to ‘control’ another! That is a whole different story with different circumstances and definition! Stay tuned!