What Do Your “Pet Peeves” Say About You?

As I sit in the USAirways commuter terminal trying to get home, dealing with an annoying 2 1/2 hour delay, I figured it would be a good time to reflect about my “pet peeves” since I am literally entrenched in multiples of my pet peeves at this very moment.

Generally speaking, I tend to be a pretty patient person. It takes a lot for me to get angry enough to get physically upset about something.  Plenty of things get under my skin, but I try not to lose my cool outwardly. That said, most of my pet peeves can still ruin my day if I let them. I often say I am slow to anger but easily annoyed. I can easily internalize my feelings, build resentments, and do a crappy job of managing my own energy and outlook on life if I get mired down by my pet peeves.

Since I am a fan of making lists, here is a list of my pet peeves in no particular order.

1. Travel delays on my return trips home.This is obviously on my mind at the moment. I tend to be a pretty patient, calm traveler, but when it’s time to go home like tonight, something in me snaps, and I feel like a contestant on the Amazing Race dealing with “Roadblocks” and “U-Turns” in a race against the clock trying to get to my destination…my own bed.

2. Nay-sayers. I HATE when someone tells me that I can’t do something – or that they don’t believe that I can do something – or they won’t let me try. I hate it. Capital H-A-T-E. HATE.

3. Energy Suckers. These are the people who take more than they give back…these are the people who will exhaust me if I am not careful.

4. People who don’t follow through on their commitments. I find it incredibly frustrating when, despite every effort I make being clear in my request, someone agrees to do something and then doesn’t follow through. I would much rather someone say no to me rather than making a promise they can’t keep or have no intention of keeping.

5. Making the same mistake more than once. This is one of my own personal pet peeves about myself. I have little patience with myself if I make the same mistake AGAIN and didn’t “get it” the first time around.

6. Close-mindedness. I have always found it difficult to have a fruitful, thoughtful discussion with someone who refuses to consider another point of view. What is the point in even having a discussion with someone if their mind is already made up? It’s like talking to a brick wall rather than having a true dialogue.

7. Mean people. I don’t want to and feel I don’t need to elaborate on this one.

So – what is the point in thinking about all of the things that drive me crazy? This can be dangerous, right? I could so easily go down the rabbit-hole of complaining and self-pity. I do that often enough. I could keep adding to this list for hours!

But instead, today I am thinking about what my pet peeves mean about me. What do the things that drive me insane say about who I am as a person and what I stand for? This is an interesting way for me to look at those negative forces and flip them on their heads. To turn it around. To see them in a different way, and to get a different kind of energy – or fuel I like to say – out of them.

So here is the list again – seen in my new way.

1. I value my personal space. I like my home, and I like to be home. Though I am a social person, I like having healthy boundaries and time to myself.

2. I believe in possibilities. I thrive when I see options. I value having control and responsibility over my choices.

3. I value reciprocal, healthy relationships, in both my professional and personal life.

4. I value credibility – my own credibility, and credibility in others.

5. My personal growth and development is very important to me. I want to keep learning and moving forward in my journey, and to continue to make meaning out of my experiences.

6. I believe that I don’t always have the answers. I am open to learning new things and new perspectives by staying open-minded.

7. I believe that the “Golden Rule – treating others the way I want to be treated – is the simplest pathway to peace and serenity.

So now I am sitting here in the same noisy terminal. The delay is now 3 1/2 hours – but I feel pretty calm and peaceful compared to how I felt when I began this post. Maybe I can learn something from this experience the next time something or someone pushes my buttons.

What do your pet peeves say about you? What can you learn about yourself by spending a few minutes reflecting about why these things drive you nuts? How can you use a different perspective to change your energy, change your outlook, and see some new options for action?