Imagine a summer day in a beautiful state park. The sun is shining amidst a brilliant blue sky, and a cool breeze gentle flows over the acres of lush green grass. Some of your friends are sitting comfortably on a red checkered cloth, with a picnic basket between them.
They start unpacking the cheese, fresh fruit and lemonade. However, fairly soon, a couple of ants begin to get their attention. By the time they’re unwrapping the biscotti, they’re brushing away more ants. Before long, tired of dealing with the annoyance, they pack up and go home.
What does this picnic have to do with YOU? Maybe you’re more like one of the ants than you realize. If your friends were honest (if they spoke the truth in love), which of your habits would they say can be annoying at times?
Whether or not you seek that type of honest conversation, I’d invite you to take an inventory of your own behaviors. Then, narrow your focus to your behaviors that could be annoying to others. For example, do you talk incessantly, rather than letting others join the conversation? Or, if others are talking, do you often get excited and interrupt them?
Instead, do you fail to maintain healthy boundaries and allow others to take advantage of you? Do you settle for false peace, rather than speaking up with your honest thoughts and opinions?
Maybe you struggle to keep your word (and often back out of commitments at the last minute)? Or, do you usually try to cheer others up, rather than allowing them space in which to feel their sadness, disappointment or anger?
Whatever your behaviors may be, work on eliminating those that are annoying. By doing so, you’ll find happier and healthier relationships – and, life’s picnics will be much more enjoyable. 🙂
*P.S. Keep in mind that this process does not involve beating yourself up emotionally; instead, it requires extending compassion and grace to yourself – exactly as you would to a good friend.