August 31, 2010

Articulating Annoyance.

I'm used to listening to discussions on all different types of emotions and feelings--fear, sadness, anger, joy, hope, etc.  But there's one feeling out there that just doesn't get the street credit it deserves despite its flagrant frequency, and that is . . . ANNOYANCE.

People don't really talk about this feeling, probably because the mere thought of talking about it makes them even more annoyed.  In fact, because I am in a state of annoyance, I don't want to talk about it either.  BUT, because I don't have a television and it's 10:30 PM on a Tuesday night and I don't feel like reading, I decided I am going to at least try and articulate my annoyance.

To begin, there's no real reason why I'm annoyed right now.  It's completely unjustified, which makes it even more annoying because then I can't really blame the mood on anyone (which is always the easier route when you want to avoid taking control of your own moods).  I actually didn't even know I was annoyed until I caught myself in the middle of a negative stream of thought, and then realized that I had been clenching my jaw for the past hour (a sure sign of an irritable state).

How to describe this mood? It's is like the yellow light in a traffic signal.  Annoyance is not per se a bad mood (red light), but it's certainly not a go-ahead for positive and happy thoughts (green light).  It's more like a "proceed with caution because anything you do right now may really piss me off."

There are approximately ten main things that really annoy me (I offer the caveat that I'm completely aware of my own hyprocripsy in naming some of the following):

1) rudeness (including condescending tones, "better than you" mentalities, or pathetic attempts to validate the constructs of hierarchy)

2) inappropriately loud voices (please stop screaming, thanks.)

3) homophobic, racist, or generally bigoted remarks (you'd be surprised at how many people don't mind hearing unprovoked mean-spirited comments about a person's immutable characteristics)

4) the act of checking one's cell-phone in the middle of a conversation (a sure sign that the person, despite pretending to listen, would rather be doing something else. also may be categorized as rude (see [1])

5) chewing popcorn in the movie theater (my family hates watching movies with me because I give them the death stare when they sit next to me and shove heaps of popcorn in their faces.  One time my sister was chewing popcorn (very loudly I might add) in a movie and, because I found it completely distracting to hear her buttery fingers attempting to grab handfuls of popcorn during a quiet and sad part, I made her get up and sit in another part of the theater. I'm sure you will judge me because of this)

6) judgment (i'd prefer one not to judge the essence of another based on a differing belief (i.e. chewing in movies is annoying) or practices)

7) noise in the morning (excessive talking, mindless tv, loud radio, my mom clearing her throat = sure recipe for annoyance)

8) the sound of my dad eating cereal ( cant explain it, but trust me, it's annoying)

9) endless banter (it gets old after 5 minutes, if you'd like a real conversation, you can find me later)

10) people who have little spatial awareness (like when you try to pass them on the street and they unknowingly weave across the width of the sidewalk so you cant get around of them)

11) (i know i only said i had 10, but i thought of another) - when Alex takes out his contacts in random parts of the apartment and flings them, leaving little dry contact remnants that feel like shards of glass when you step on them) (they don't me)

anyways. . .

I think the main conclusion to draw from my annoyance is the fact that when I feel it, for whatever reason, I feel it.  It's not worth fighting or trying to convince myself that it doesn't exist; I just can accept that when, for a moment of time, I feel annoyed, that's ok.  And hopefully the mere observance of this feeling will be a step in furtherance of separating myself from it.  Then, like these moods always do, the annoyance will simply pass.


  1. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but can you please give me a list of 10 things that make you happy?


  2. Brett-you didn't sound ungrateful as much as whiny. I'll work on those 10 things that make me happy.

    Shalom brother.