How Much Is Your Annoyance Worth?

A true confession: I get really annoyed sometimes, even though I know it’s a waste of my energy.

Like when I want help in selecting make-up at Ulta for a photo shoot and all the sales clerk can do is fetch what I want. Like I’m supposed to know what I want???? (If I knew what make-up I wanted I would order it online!)

Like when I see composition notebooks (my future journals) at Office Depot with no price.

Like when someone sends me a phone number but no name.

Everyday stuff. My victory is that I really do get over these things quickly. And I know that everything always works out for the best.

Still, to help us all decide how much of our precious life force we should use up with a given situation, I’ve developed an easy-to-use questionnaire tool so you can know pretty quickly if it’s worthwhile to get annoyed or not. While the journal-writing group doesn’t begin until Ground Hog Day, this is a fabulous exercise for your journal, if you’re the kind of person who gets peeved at times.

Evaluate Your Annoyance Questionnaire:

1. Describe what is annoying you.

2. Would Oprah (or You as Your Best Self) spend her time feeling bad about this?

3. Why does this situation annoy you?

4. Is there something you could have done to avoid it, or make it less burdensome?

5. What is this situation teaching you?

In the above examples, I can tell you that I did not set up an appointment at Ulta, I based my expectations on past experiences and happened to catch them understaffed. If I really wanted help for my make-up for the photography session, I should have set up an appointment.

With Office Depot, I flagged someone down and got the price. Really, is that worth my time to get annoyed about whether the journals cost $0.50. $1 or $2? It was definitely  not a life-or-death situation.

With the phone number, is writing an email to clarify that much trouble? Or, I can simply ignore the email.

So, there you go. Life is precious and full of surprises. Let the bad ones roll off your back like water on a duck’s back.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!


3 responses to “How Much Is Your Annoyance Worth?

  1. Some of what you described was caused by a lack of customer service and you had every right to be annoyed. Customer service is a dying art.

  2. The problem I find is that I’ll experience all of your examples back to back and then I just want to hit someone. It is hard to sit back and be calm and rational when all of those things have happened in the past hour. I’m with you in theory, though.

  3. Sally, you’re right about customer service not being up to par — fortunately we have the option of NOT going back . The thing is not to let even a justified annoyance rain on your parade, so to speak.

    Carrie — it does seem like when it rains, it pours. When I feel like hitting someone, I try to ask myself, “Self, what can you do *right now* to feel better?”

    Thanks for writing!

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