The holidays (and regular days!) can create a lower stress threshold, causing even simple things others say or do to become annoying.

When chronic annoyance is present, it is the annoyed, not the annoyer, who has some work to do.

Impatience, annoyance, irritability—these are signs that it’s time to check in with yourself.

First, notice your recurrent, disproportionate responses to the actions of others–whether your partner, co-worker, child, passer-by, or other.

Next, be courageous! Instead of reinforcing a story about how annoying the other person is, take your response as an indicator that it’s time to enter self-care.

Finally, self-soothe with an important question: “What is the Best Possible Reason this person is doing/saying what they are doing/saying?”

Reframing a situation based on the BPR helps you identify the other person’s unmet need. Once you think of the BPR, test that against your annoyance.

With your own boundaries in place, help where you can, and offer spaciousness and grace where you cannot.

Often, identifying the BPR will cause you to thank the formerly annoying person. Gratitude is grace for them, and you.