This came to me after a day of getting angry at seemingly little things and laying around depressed over my failure to control my emotions.
You may call them hot buttons, I refer to them as pet peeves. They’re the little things that other people do that just drive me insane. A couple great examples popped up today and I need to share them so we can all see how they come straight from the devil, creating anger, frustration and bitterness driving us away from our Lord and Savior who gave up everything for us out of sheer love.
It Started at the Barbershop
This morning my barber told me the wait would be 15 minutes so Jack and I sat down instead of making a donut run and coming back to claim our spot in line. Once I saw how many people were ahead of us, I knew he’d been off the mark. Still, it was too late to leave so we stuck it out and got our cuts.
We went to get donuts but only had just enough time to get to tee ball. We wouldn’t be able to stop back home and bring Mom a donut like we usually do. We arrived at the park but I’d forgotten Jack’s jersey and some water. Ughhhh!
We raced home got them, and didn’t miss much. There’s pet peeve number one. When people don’t say how long something is really going to take. Probably an honest mistake but I was hot about it, especially after everything started falling apart afterwards.
Gotta Keep Movin’ Forward
Pet peeve number two was a canine pet peeve and it set me off even more than the barbershop fiasco. Our little shorkie, Cady Jane, does a good job of barking when she needs to go out. Gets quite frustrating when she stops dead while I’m leading her to the door. One tug, nothing. Two tugs, nothing. Why you little ungrateful ‘you know what’!
I lost my composure for a bit. (Fear not, no animals were harmed during this tantrum.) Second pet peeve is having to stop while I’m moving forward with purpose. Having to turn around and go back is just as bad. On a day when the other pet peeve had already set me off, this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I imagine I looked like quite a dork storming around the house after Cady Jane’s stubbornness brought out the worst in me. At least I can look back on it and laugh. (Hehehe, yeah right!)
Let’s Call These Pet Peeves What They Really Are
How am I to shed these emotional reactions to my pet peeves? I can tell you from experience it’s not a case of denying the emotions – quite the opposite. I need to call them out and acknowledge where they come from. They’re nothing more than an extension of judging behavior. Pet peeves are my “shoulds” in disguise. When I expect everyone to do what I would do, think how I would think and speak how I would speak I’m really judging what they are doing instead of acknowledging that God gave us all free will so we can do whatever we please.
Some of my anger is directed towards them but an even bigger portion comes from my inability to enforce proper boundaries which act as the consequences to others’ actions. Pet peeves spring up as an easier way of dealing with those actions. Isn’t it far easier to get angry and pout when someone pushes your buttons than it is to actually do something about it? What would have happened if I’d just stood up and said to my barber, “Next time you say 15 minutes, I’m going to double it run my errands anyway. I’ll take my chances with losing my place in line?”
He’s a true professional so he’d probably have apologized. Some may say it’s rude of me to even mention it but, think about it…all I’m saying is “Here’s what I’m going to do the next time you tell me how long the wait is.” I didn’t tell him to do anything differently, did I? I didn’t force my opinion of how he should run his business on him, did I? We find examples of boundary setting all over The Bible. A great book that connects biblical boundary setting to the process of maturing into adulthood is “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Check it out, it’s an eye opener.
Obviously my Saturday was a poor example of boundary setting. Hopefully all of you can learn from my failures and not make the same mistake I did. As for me, I’m going to move forward and pray for more opportunities to set healthy boundaries so that I can let go of my pet peeves. They make me no fun to be around…
Question: What are your pet peeves and what have you done, or are doing, to learn how accept other people for who they are? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the form of a comment below…