Today most women’s magazines feature a self help section. A recent one that caught my eye was how to handle annoying people. These solutions came off as too much saccharine and not enough substance.
For efficiency the expert categorized each annoyance according to the degree of irritation and methods for dealing with each:
Inadvertent Irritators – People who have issues that aren’t their fault; snore, hiccups and gurgles.
Solution: Picture the irritation passing through you.
Insensitive Irritators – People who don’t or won’t pick up on social cues i.e. ask embarrassing questions.
Solution: Mentally flee the scene
Inexcusable Irritators – People who are over the top rude. Tell racists jokes etc.
Solution: Retrain them like Pavlov’s dogs i.e. Smile when they behave, display no facial expression when they don’t.
Those are excellent suggestions for people who have to have a “cause” in their life and have tons of time. Personally I found them lacking from a practical standpoint. Speaking as one who acknowledges she is annoying and somewhat flawed; I have no qualms about offering my fast and easy solutions.
I renamed the irritations into simpler terms that leave no doubt as to their category:
Dumb ass – People who have issues that aren’t their fault; snore, hiccups and gurgles.
This is the same expert who writes about self esteem, so why would I permit someone’s snores, hiccups and gurgles to pass through me? It’s their issue, let them absorb the fall out. Picture the irritating habit passing through them. Failing that, suggest they remain at home until they figure out a solution for their issue.
Smart ass – People who don’t or won’t pick up on social cues
They do it on purpose and always at an alcohol free occasion where you have no means of self medicating into a stupefying haze. Excuse yourself to go to the powder room and make a run for it.
Jackass – People who are over the top rude. Tell racists jokes etc
This goes beyond annoyance. Why make an effort to control your horror when someone tells a racist joke? If you do or say nothing, they’ll think you’re dense and come up with something worse. Find a dumb ass and introduce the two.
If self help isn’t simple, it isn’t much help is it?