At the Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire, I help clients to control their emotions and language in dealing with annoying people. Since the pandemic, lots of you have been working in a different way. Some of you may have noticed that the people within the office have been acting a bit differently because of the circumstances and effect of the covid the past year. You’ve perhaps got a partner a home now that you weren’t used to having around and you now notice how annoying that can be to have them around the house every day! Some of you have had your kids there, maybe, you’ve discovered that your children are actually quite annoying.
I’ve been inspired by Brianna Wiest who has written an article called ‘ways to deal with people who annoy the crap out of you’. I particularly like that title and this is from the thought catalogue they do have an app. I’m going to kind of use some of those points that have been mentioned in the thought catalogue.
First of all, I am going to make a recommendation to you that you start to just slightly change your focus now. Very often, what can happen when we’re dealing with annoying people is that we focus an awful lot on the ‘what it is about them that’s so freaking annoying’ instead of the actual things that they do and we get down into the sort of nitty-gritty detail about the specific ways in which they do it, like the ways in which they do that annoying thing. You are putting your time and your energy and like just your thinking energy which is really valuable. You’re putting it into that annoying problem and it solves absolutely nothing.
In the past, you may have heard of me mention the reticular activating system. This is something in your brain and it works like a radar so that whatever you’re thinking about and focusing on it draws more of that into your consciousness.
Something that I do in sessions with clients at the Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic in Hertfordshire is I’ll get them looking around the room saying the word ‘red’ to themselves. We call it the ‘Red Test’ at NLP4Kids. This works with adults and children. You get them looking around going red, red, red, red, and their brain gets tuned in to all the red stuff that they can see in the room or the red that’s here is just like bolder than everything else and then you say to them. If you ask them to tell you about all the blue stuff in the room, their minds are ‘blank’ because they hadn’t been looking for blue. Here’s the thing – if that thing that annoys you about someone is like the red stuff, in that, you are constantly talking to yourself about it and like seeing it. If they’re doing it again and getting tuned into it then you’re going to end up seeing it everywhere. It’s going to feel like, it is, if not more consistent in the regularity at which it shows up.
One of the things that you can do is notice the blue stuff. Pick something that you can tune into and it doesn’t have to be something about that person, that annoying person but it could be so that it starts to divert your focus away from the annoying aspects onto something else and you get that reticular activating system working in a way that gets you to tune into more helpful stuff instead.
I’m going to share with you how I utilize the strategy I’ve just given you of going from red to blue with someone in a real-life scenario. We are going to stop focusing on the ‘why’ why do they do it, why do they do this annoying thing and why would they choose to do that. Here’s the thing when we think about anything in the format of a ‘why’ it doesn’t help you to come up with helpful answers. Let me give you an example, when we ask the question ‘why do they do that freaking annoying thing?’ or anything else that starts with a why it often gets us looking backwards into the past and negatively.
If you ask yourself ‘why do they have to chew so loudly’? or something like that what that’s going to force your brain to do is to look back into the past to your memories, experiences and interactions with that person when they were doing that annoying thing. and if anything, if you’re going to come up with answers to that question like the answers typically speaking probably, won’t be all that favourable to them. They’re not going to be all that positive.
These actions are going to cause you to into a negative emotional state of annoyance all over again. One because you started reflecting back on times in the past where they’ve been doing that annoying thing and then you’ve gone and got yourself like when we recall stuff. When we recall certain memories they will trigger us back into the emotional state that we were feeling back at that time. If you think back to a time in the past when someone annoyed you; you can expect that your body is going to get a little tensed up or that your breathing is going to go a little bit squiffy or that you just start noticing negative emotions that you did not want to have again.
Therefore, asking ‘why’ is bad for that reason but the other thing as I say is not just that it causes you to sort of reflect but it causes us to come up with answers to that why question which is most likely to be negative so unless you’re really checking yourself, like unless you’re being really conscious of the responses to that question if you just kind of like flippantly like go ‘oh I don’t have to be so annoying’ then your brain has a tendency to go well because they’ve never been taught good manners and to chew their food with their mouth shut because they like sitting close to you and seeing the look on your face when they make those chomping noises and it will come up like your own mind will come up with a list of really unhelpful reasons to answer that ‘why’ question so that’s why you shouldn’t ask why either of yourself or with anybody else.
In next month’s article, we will continue to focus on some tips and guidance in dealing with annoying people in your lives.
By Gemma Bailey