He's so irritating!
She drives me crazy!
I cringe when he walks in the room!
I can't even listen to her talk!

Does this sound like something you hear yourself saying at times? Is there someone in your life that just pushes your buttons? Is there a person in your family, workspace or circle of acquaintances that you find yourself avoiding because they simply drive you nuts?

YOU are NOT alone!

This is a very common theme that I hear from both my private clients and those in my workshops. I invite you to consider a perspective adjustment that may change the way you think.

In such a situation, what is really the problem? Many would say, "It's the irritating person! We must figure out a way to change him or her!" The powerful person would say, "I'm the problem!"

Using myself as an example, many years back, I had a particular person in my life that drove me nuts. I will not go into detail for privacy reasons but suffice it to say, I found myself thinking about her constantly, wondering why she acted the way she did. I allowed her to frustrate me on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to a point where I found myself complaining about her to my husband, my mother and my best friends. My thoughts about her could often be translated to "Why doesn't she listen to me?" which further boiled down to the embarrassing, "Why doesn't she think and act just like me?"

I finally realized, I was giving away my power to be happy in far too many moments....wasting it on complaining, avoiding, dwelling, and aggravation. I finally realized that there was a lesson to be learned in such a relationship and in fact, this amazing person, without even knowing it, was trying to give me such a gift.

When I jumped off my high horse, leaving my ego on the saddle, I was able to ask myself, "What is she trying to teach me?" From such a perspective, the answer was obvious. She was putting a mirror in front of me, showing me who I was choosing to be in this relationship. This choice, from a deeper level, was not okay with me and a part of me knew that all along. I was trying to save her. And it wasn't for HER benefit. It was for mine. I wanted her to see that I was the all-knowing. I wanted her to know that I could fix her. On an intuitive level, I knew this was my motive and it was not in alignment in any way with who I am and how I think about people. So really the irritation was never actually with her in the first place. When in her presence, the reality was that I was irritated with MYSELF!

Now, many years later there is NOTHING this person could ever do that could possibly frustrate or irritate me. I am grateful for the role she served as I have a new appreciation for people and I have learned to accept them for who they are and where they are on their own personal journey. I believe that people do not need to be fixed but may just need help uncovering the greatness that already lies within them. I have learned that my desire to help others is not something to be forced but to be offered without strings. I have accepted that I can not help everyone because not everyone wants or needs my help! And lastly, I have learned that when someone evokes such a response in me, it's time to ask myself, "What is it about ME that I am allowing this person to affect me in such a way?" and "What is this person unknowingly trying to teach me about myself?"

Are you giving away your power to be happy in too many moments? Is there someone in your life right now trying to teach you something about yourself?
Will you continue to expect them to think like you or will you
access YOUR power and search for the gift?

Author's Bio: 

Laurie McAnaugh, M.Ed, a dedicated certified professional life coach, teacher and founder of Access Your POWER, believes a strong sense of self is the single most important quality you will ever create. She has found that bridging proven, traditional coaching techniques with alternative methods of guidance creates a more effective and holistic space for forward movement. She relies heavily on her own intuition, allowing clients to reach a higher level of awareness while inspiring them to also consult and trust their own inner wisdom as a means for personal and professional excellence.