Whatever is the opposite of a pleasure must be an annoyance. Annoyances come in many shapes and sizes and circumstances. They are the proverbial flies that buzzes around the room. Try as we might to extinguish it, it just flies away and returns to continue its natural routine, being an annoyance.
Besides the annoying behavior of flies there are always examples to be found in our fellow human beings. What about that person who constantly seems to be there, right in front of you. At every turn that smile, or grin, or grimace is there. And just when you think you are alone, that person shows up needing something and with the same smile, or grin or grimace you offer the help. Please note that I am not referring to a spouse, but I suppose this could be the case of annoyance. I’m not married.
Sounds, especially ones that you can’t do anything about or know from where they come can be enormous annoyances. The image above calls to my mind the annoying sound of someone clipping nails during a flight or shuffling cards. I must admit that most people don’t play cards on a plane anymore, but for some reason people still feel it’s ok to clip one’s nails…both the idea of and sound of are annoyances.
Rhythmic sounds are especially annoying. Examples of this include the dripping water faucet…drip, drip, drip. Another annoying rhythmic sound is a beat, especially one that is not necessary. I’m thinking of someone who constantly taps his or her pencil on a desk. Close to this is the constant walker. Some people just can’t sit still and so on a flight, they are up and down from their seats, walking the aisles and all the while knocking the top of your seat.
Computers and other gadgets can be great annoyances, but more so are the programs one uses on the internet. Making flight reservations, trying to find a restaurant, filling out an on-line form all fit this bill. I always find it annoying complete a reservation on line and then are asked to fill out a survey about how user-friendly or unfriendly the website was. It is hard to believe that these surveys make a difference, but I suppose that if enough people make a comment within the same range of information, a trigger goes off and somebody has to do something about it. I wonder if we then are the annoyances to the programmer?
Annoyances come and go just like our moods and levels of patience. Most of the time there is little we can do about the annoyances but there is a lot we can do about ourselves. Hence we often hear the expression, “Don’t let it get to you!” One of the easiest ways to control our response to annoyances is to remember that we are annoyances to others. It’s hard to believe, I know. A little introspection goes a long way and it saves us from the tension that annoyances can trigger. As any good psychiatrist would say, “You don’t have to live this way. There is a way out or around or even under.” This is great advice when facing annoyances for it usually the case that what bothers us, is often times in us.