We all have someone in our life that has an uncanny ability to annoy us and/or push our buttons. Maybe it is a co-worker, maybe it is a family member, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is letting that negative feelings they cause to fester inside of us.
My friend Chad Bourquin has a technique he suggested for dealing with an annoying person that I consider simply genius. Write a letter to that person outlining all the things that you see in their life that needs “fixed”. You are not going to give this letter to them or anyone for that matter, so you have a license to be completely honest and let them have it.
Once completed, go back to the top of the letter, cross their name off and write in your name. These people portray and carry the exaggerated characteristics in us that we dislike the most. That is why they bug us the most. If they weren’t hitting that nerve, we wouldn’t care.
In his book Integrate the Shadow, Master Your Path, Dr. Matt James defines the shadow as all that you think is not you. And Carl Jung said “everything that irritates us about others can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves.”
Writing a letter to someone else letting them know what they need fixed, and then changing the addressed name to your own, can truly be an eye-opening exercise. Give it a try the next time someone truly irritates you and remember to be kind to yourself as you gain insights into your own annoying traits and hopefully reduce your stress in the process.
Please note that there is no guarantee a particular stress relief tool will work for you. Thus you must take complete responsibility for using them and for your own physical and emotional wellbeing. Further, Professor Pete Alexander is not a licensed health professional. Please consult qualified health practitioners regarding your use of any stress relief technique. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner.