DO YOU HAVE ANY PET PEEVES?
Hey, do you have any pet peeve? I sure did. Tons of them.
A pet peeve is something that is particularly annoying; TO YOU. Guess what? Somehow, we have conditioned ourselves to be annoyed in certain situations. That’s right. We caused the pet peeve! Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more.
One of my biggest pet peeves was bad customer service. You know that situation when you go into a store planning to buy something, but instead of receiving any service, you’re ignored? Even worse, sometimes the staff just stand around chatting with each other! I remember one time at a grocery store when I tried to get an employee’s attention. "Excuse me, excuse me..." They just continued to chat. Eventually one turned around, clearly annoyed I had interrupted: "Do you have dried cranberries?" "Yeah, aisle four." Then they went right back to their conversation. "Excuse me. I've already been to aisle four. I've been twice already, but I can't find the dried cranberries. Could you point them out to me please?" And then she looked at me and said: "Oh yeah, it's by the chickpeas."
Sometimes there didn’t even have to be anyone else to be around for me to get upset. I couldn’t pull a stuck drawer out or a kitchen cupboard was left open. I would get so upset I couldn’t eat my dinner until the cupboard was closed. That was a really a huge pet peeve of mine.
And bad parking? Come on!!! Or the guy who decides to merge right in front of you for no apparent reason just before you get to a red light, right? He can't even go anywhere! I would get so upset at that!
Or people out in public who watch videos on their smartphone at full volume and no headset. Really? Or, on an airplane when a mom explains that her young child sitting right beside you "just won't keep the headset on" so everyone has to listen to Finding Nemo on repeat for the next 17 hours. Now come on! That would make anyone upset!!! Or would it?
Things like that used to drive me crazy, but not anymore. Why? Because one day, I realized it was all my own doing. No one else was actually causing me to feel that way. It was how I was choosing to respond. Besides, nobody felt sorry for me; especially not the drawer. And the other people? I didn’t even know who they were. Several years ago, I decided to change my pet peeves into the past. To let them go. I'm the one programming my personal assistant in my head. And so are you!
If your personal assistant hears: "Oh, this is my biggest pet peeve" then your personal assistant is going to write it down and make sure it happens again. Your personal assistant is going to repeat that emotional experience for you: “so the next time somebody merges in front, I need to create frustrated and furious emotions. Got it. Check." Alternatively, knowing how careful we need to be when giving our personal assistant instructions – and everything we say inside our head is an instruction - we could respond to the same situation by saying: “This used to annoy me. In the past, I would have gotten very upset over this. Now I can just laugh at it."
You could even go one step further and tell your personal assistant that you’re glad you are not in a rush because you planned ahead and gave yourself sufficient time to get to your destination (see my blog on creating positive habits).
You're the one deciding how you feel. You can even instruct your personal assistant to generate gratitude or some other positive emotion. Imagine how great you’d feel arriving at your destination if you implanted 3 or 4 positive responses along the way. We need to be very careful, and purposeful, about what we tell our personal assistant. You're the one deciding how you feel.