We all deal with annoying people sometimes. Whether the annoying person is a stranger at Mass, a co-worker, or your own husband, here are some ideas for ways we can answer God’s call to love every human being, even if they are getting on our nerves.
1) Pray to see them as God does.
Every person is a precious child of God. It can be hard to see that when they are getting on your nerves, though. Ask God for the grace of seeing each person as he does, in all their dignity and worth.
2) Recall a time when you were annoying.
We all have bad days. It can help you be kind to someone else who is having an “off day” to recall a time when you were annoying yourself. We all need love and kindness and an extra dose of mercy at times.
3) Know they are probably hurting.
Hurt people hurt people. Especially if someone is being angry, rude, or unfair in a way that does not make sense to you, recognize that they are probably wounded and suffering. It’s not an excuse for bad behavior, but it can go a long way toward helping you be more patient with it.
4) Offer to help.
Are they complaining or acting up about something you can help them with? Find a way to help them with whatever they are struggling with, or at least offer to help so they know they are not alone.
5) Ignore what you can.
If you can possibly ignore their annoying behavior, DO IT. Keep pulling your mind away and onto other, more important things.
6) Remember what you can control.
You cannot control others’ words and behaviors, but you can control how you respond to them. When faced with a challenging person, reciting your Morning Offering or using the Jesus Prayer can be a great way to offer up the challenge to God.
7) Reduce contact with them if you reasonably can.
You can always give someone space when they are in a bad mood, or reduce the amount of time you spend with someone who is a negative influence in your life.
Resources and Announcements
- At the start of the show, I mention that the March for Life in Washington DC is an official Pilgrimage site with the opportunity for a plenary indulgence attached to it. Here is more information about that.
- This week I also share my response to an email from listener Jessie who is struggling with using NFP to space pregnancies in her marriage. I encouraged her to go back and listen to episode 62, “Real Talk about NFP.”
- My newest book, Giving Thanks and Letting Go: Reflections on the Gift of Motherhood is available for pre-order. Until January 31, 2020, use code “BEAN” at checkout and get twenty percent off!
- February 20-23, 2020: Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CA
- Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN
- Saturday, March 14, 2020: Women’s Conference, Fresno, CA
- Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
- Want me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my book? Get all the information here!
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