Sometimes people seem to take delight in being annoying. As the old saying goes, they are trying to get your “goat”—your goat represents your unresolved issues.
Why anyone would want your issue-laden goat is a mystery. If they want your goat so badly, let them keep it! You don’t need it.
You do not need to let yourself become upset. When people say things that irritate you, use the moment as an opportunity to do some self-reflection. Ask yourself, “What meaning do I attach to their opinion? What does it really matter what they say?” Then take a slow, deep breath and let go of your frustration as you exhale peacefully.
Recently, I experienced an aggravating situation where I believe someone was trying to get my goat. A coworker seemed to have a grudge against me. For what, I do not know and it was difficult to find out since he refused to converse with me.
The other day, I greeted him by asking, “How’re you doing?” He ignored me. I stepped a little closer, put a smile on my face, and cheerfully repeated my greeting. His response was to grunt and walk away.
It’s not like he’s antisocial with other coworkers. I hear him talking and laughing with them. Yet when I approach, he moves to another part of the room.
Clearly, he was upset with me, but trying to find out why was unproductive. I suspect that, at least in part, he was giving me the “silent treatment” as a way of getting my goat.
I admit, it did bug me at first because it was pushing my buttons. Then I realized I do not need his approval or validation. My purpose for working there is to be productive, not to get him to like me. Realizing this helped me relax and focus on my work.
Any time you feel that you have to justify something about yourself, your buttons have been pushed. You don’t want to feed your energy to the problem and make things worse. On the other hand, you don’t want to ignore the problem because that, too, could make things worse.
How about a middle road? If someone is trying to get you upset, don’t argue with them or defend yourself. Simply refuse to play along. Don’t take the bait. It takes at least two people to argue. Therefore, if you do not participate, there can be no argument.
When someone is trying to push my buttons, I play the role of the “Watcher.” I just act as an observer to what is going on. I do not take their words personally, nor do I need to defend my ego. I just watch what is going on with the curiosity of a child. Everything seems so interesting through a child’s eyes. I become intrigued by what is happening.
The worst thing you can do is get caught up in the drama. To use a crude metaphor, if you find a pile of cow manure in the field, leave it alone. The more you poke at it, the more it smells. So don’t pay those insults any mind. Let them have your goat.
Today’s Loving Suggestion: When someone is trying to irritate you, whether at work, at home, or in traffic, you do not need to take the bait. Remember that participation in an argument is a voluntary action. You do not have to engage.
Be the “Watcher” and depersonalize their comments. Let your heart and head be calm and peaceful. Recognize when strong emotions like anger rise up within you, but do not feed those strong emotions. Just acknowledge them as an observer would with child-like curiosity. Notice that you notice.
If you have followed any of the suggestions in the Sir Rennity feature, I would love to hear your stories. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will keep your letters private unless you request that they be published.
The Sir Rennity feature is intended to provide gentle guidance for your life. These articles hold no intrinsic meaning. You give meaning to them based on the value you place on them, so the words here are meaningless unless you put them into practice.