Annoying behavior that's (unfortunately) revealing.

Anger tells me more about myself than just about any other emotion.  Maybe not specifically anger, because I’m not a very angry person, but certainly impatience.  And that tone of voice we get when we’re annoyed?  One of my least favorite things when I hear it coming out of my mouth. After going through a series of trials, minor and major, I realize this behavior refutes what I think I know about what kind of person I am. 

What kind of person is that, exactly?  Why, of course the kind who sometimes gives others the benefit of the doubt.  The kind who keeps a civil tone.  A peacemaker, maybe?  At least that’s the kind of person I wish lived inside here all the time. 

Just for kicks, I kept track for about a week, of what kinds of annoyances brought out the worst in me. It would come as no surprise to astute observers of human nature, that the things other people do to push my buttons are the same things I like least about me.  It’s back to the competing theories: Do everyday events shape/determine our behavior, causing us, eventually, to become the way we’re acting?  Or do we demonstrate who we really are by the way we handle everyday annoyances? 

If so, yesterday’s hours-long verbal wrestling match with Comcast and my new computer programs and the service technicians in another country aren’t demonstrating very many nice things about me. The stuff that makes me wince when others do it - that’s the same stuff that embarrasses me when I hear myself doing/saying it.  By last night, I’d heard a lot of it.  Not from them.  From me. Must. Try. Harder. 

Ó Anita Garner 2010

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