Dealing with Annoyances Caused by Others

by C.
(Austin, TX, USA)

Table manners and stress

Table manners and stress

My biggest stress causes are when people monopolize conversations, and when people have bad table manners. One of the best ways to deal with stress resulting from these two annoyances - is to realize that I have no control over other people's behavior; just my own.

When I am around a person who monopolizes conversations and talks too much, I take it as an opportunity to improve my own listening skills. Yes, I'd rather the other person not talk so much, but I have no control over their actions -- only my own. I focus on really listening to what the other person is saying, instead of boiling over how annoying they are. I've learned some interesting things, gathered some interesting information this way. That's one of the stress relief tips that has helped me many a time.

As for bad table manners, too, I remember that I cannot control the other person's actions. The best way to deal with stress resulting from other people's bad table manners, is to lead by example the correct way to do things. Often, if the offender notices that you are doing something properly or politely, they will become aware of their own improper or impolite behavior, feel embarrassed, and make an effort to correct their own mistakes. This method, however, is only sometimes effective.

Often, it is best to just ignore the other person's bad manners, so long as they are not harming anyone else. Relax, and as the old saying goes, "go with the flow."

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