I frequently receive emails from people upset about something in their life that is not going according to their plans. They scrutinize the behaviors of others and complain because people are not doing what they are supposed to be doing according to their standards. Some of the most frequent complaints I hear are:
Lying – this ranks as one of the top pet peeves for most of my clients. Those who deliberately mislead or withhold truthful information with the sole intent of harming another, protecting themselves or creating drama in your life. While some like the delusional sense of power associated with lying, not all misinformation is an actual fib. Sometimes, people share information they believe to be true for a variety of reasons. Either way, one must confront a deliberate untruth, ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of what really transpired, take into consideration the nature of the one relaying the information, and ultimately draw their own conclusions.
Hypocrites – those who talk and good talk but fail to live up to their own standards of excellence. Based in feelings of insecurity, hypocrites feel they must project a certain image in order to be admired, loved, or accepted by their peers. Many live in denial of the truth about themselves because facing it is too painful or frightening. Being transparent about your own imperfections helps them to feel more comfortable opening up about their own. Whether or not they are ready to face their own insecurities, it can prove beneficial to call them on their pretense and encourage them to be more truthful. Whatever the case, refrain from judging them. They are struggling with their own personal demons.
Unfairness – wherever did we come up with the notion that life is supposed to be fair? It isn’t. If I do good I’ll be rewarded. If I’m kind people will like me. If I work hard I’ll get ahead in life. No one is exempt from injustice and unfairness. We learn nothing from a life that is balanced and just. Inequity teaches us valuable lessons such as forgiveness, determination and fortitude, assertiveness, and much more. The concept of justice is irrational because we are a world of imperfect, troubled people making decisions that impact others. By that very fact alone, life cannot and never will be fair and balanced. Acceptance of that simple reality can alleviate a lot of frustration and anger associated with life’s inequalities.
Pet peeves can seriously impact the quality of our lives. Here are some tips to lessen the effect they have:
1. Each of us is struggling with personal issues and unresolved agendas. Be understanding and compassionate.
2. Not everyone realizes they are lying, being hypocritical, or unjust. Don’t be afraid to bring this awareness to them. Do so in a firm but gentle way.
3. Being transparent about your own issues allows others to feel more comfortable in your presence thereby encouraging them to open up about their own insecurities. Treat their act of trust with tender care.
4. Take everything the person says with a grain of salt. To know the truth, one must often research independently from multiple sources in order to obtain it.
5. Life may not be fair but I must be. It is what God expects of me and will serve me well in all of my endeavors.
Keep in mind that all that occurs in life has a higher purpose. Whether it appears in the form of lies, hypocrisy, or injustice each life experience is here to benefit us and those around us. This one simple truth will alleviate the anger associated with each of the preceding scenarios. No need to get upset over that which is here for our own benefit.
My recommendation? If you want a pet, get a dog. Let go of the peeves. You’ll be much happier. Trust me.
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