Have you ever come in contact with someone who just a little bit annoys the heck out of you and you're not quite sure why? And post-hanging out with said person, you feel really awful because you realized that pretty much the whole time you were being a judgmental jerk?
Ya, I've been there too.
I have to say that the one things that gets to me the most is when someone tries to "win" in every conversation. You know the kind. During the course of every conversation you find out that you definitely weren't as successful as they were in high school, you could not have possibly been more stressed out than they were when planning your wedding, your weekend was surely not as awesome as the one time they...
I'm pretty sure that it's my own pride which is annoyed by this kind of person. I don't like being told that I had it way better or had it way worse, and I defensively decide that person is trying to "win" that conversation. And yet, the thing that annoys me is when I feel like other people are prideful. Obviously I exude the exact same "character flaws" that I am judging in others. Actually, I am probably 320 times more prideful than they are, which is exactly why that trait bothers me about them--because I can't get away from it in myself. Talk about seeing the speck in your neighbors eye when you have a beam in your own.
So I've been trying something new lately. When I feel like I am beginning to be annoyed and/or judgmental in a conversation, I just decide that the person I am sitting across is my absolute favorite and I don't get to see them often. Because, think about it, when someone is your favorite, you totally let those little things go. You enjoy every moment you have with them. You aren't sitting there being annoyed, thinking about how they are saying something or if they are trying to outdo you. Instead, you just really want to know what's going on in their life, you hang onto what they are saying because it's bound to be great, because you want to remember it later. When someone is your favorite, you love them past their flaws and many times don't even see them! Not only does this "choosing favorites" help keep me less judgmental, it also has the capability to exponentially improve my relationship with that person! I know I am more likely to show them compassion and charity, as they deserve.
Because, truly, when someone else annoys me, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me.
(I'm writing everyday this week thanks to encouragement from Jen. Check her page out to see others who are taking up the challenge!)