Here are some of the individuals and groups who tend to get on our last nerve:
- Fellow employees in a work setting.
- Team members in an organization.
- Strangers with whom we interact from time to time.
- Family members.
- Friends and acquaintances.
- Spouses or partners.
Hmmmm... That's pretty much everyone we come in contact with, huh? And, we should assume (correctly) that we get on their nerves with equal aplomb.
How best then do we deal with these irritating people? Be forgiving. Be less judgmental. Be accepting of decisions we don't like, but are not ours to make. Be more tolerant of non-harmful idiosyncrasies. In short, remember that patience is truly a virtue - and practice it with painful persistence.
There are times, however, when patience is not the magic elixir:
- When the behaviors of others are illegal or unethical.
- When the irritants purposefully hurt others (physically or emotionally).
- When the behaviors of others make group harmony/progress impossible.
In those cases, the uncomfortable need is for attention to be drawn to the offense(s) and intervention enacted. When they aren't, the irritants can become toxic and cancerous, as can our culpability.