Do the slightest annoyances make you angry? You can take a few simple steps to make a difference.
Even minor everyday sounds can sometimes have a surprisingly big impact on some people while others are unperturbed no matter what is going on around them. For example, your colleague is trying to stay on healthy diet, so they are munching on carrot sticks every day – and each crunching sound is like a small explosion in your head. Don’t be too hard on yourself though, because all those little annoying noises, or ‘background stressors’ as researchers call them, affect more people than you might think.
In your own home, you have some control over your environment but that doesn’t always apply to the workplace. Loud telephone voices, squeaky chairs, keyboard clicking, printers and photocopiers. These are all a normal part of working life but a change in attitude can make it all the more bearable.
Here are four strategies that can take the pain out of those pet peeves:
1. The best way to tackle obstacles is to acknowledge them, accept them and then keep on going in spite of them. They’ll soon fade into the background.
2. Need a break from office goings-on? If your employer doesn’t object and if it’s safe to do so, put a pair of headphones on for a few minutes to give yourself a break. These kinds of annoyances don’t usually last for long so you may only need a few minutes.
3. Change direction. Thinking about the things that you do that might annoy people will put your colleague’s annoying habits into perspective and remind you that they’re not doing it to deliberately annoy you or because they don’t care. It’s just all part and parcel of working with others.
4. Don’t fall into a pattern of complaining about the things that annoy you to anyone who will listen. It will only make these minor peeves seem much bigger than they really are, leading to further irritation, and earn you the reputation of being a complainer.