irritating people

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irritating people

Postby josephcmabad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:53 am

I've been struggling with this feeling of dislike for one of my office mates.. every time i see him it ruins my day.. mainly because of his arrogance.. can anyone tell me how to deal with this irritating feeling? what is the most direct Buddhist approach in relating with these kind of things..
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Re: irritating people

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:02 am

In the words of my teacher...
Just observe!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: irritating people

Postby chownah » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:05 am

I know of two approaches...the first is to work on developing metta....the second is working on eliminating the doctrine of self which is operative when you abserve a "self" who is "arrogant"....
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Re: irritating people

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:14 am

Not saying that you have a 'grudge' against him, but this list might help:

The Five ways for getting rid of a grudge:

1. Cultivate loving-kindness toward the person.
2. Cultivate compassion toward the person.
3. Cultivate equanimity toward the person.
4. Or one could just pay no attention to him and give no thought to him.
5. Or one may remember that whatever he does, good or bad, he will be the heir to that.

(sorry, don't have the exact reference, but probably from the Anguttara Nikaya)

When the positive thoughts don't work, there is at least numbers 4 & 5 above.
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Re: irritating people

Postby grasshopper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:50 am

josephcmabad wrote:I've been struggling with this feeling of dislike for one of my office mates.. every time i see him it ruins my day.. mainly because of his arrogance.. can anyone tell me how to deal with this irritating feeling? what is the most direct Buddhist approach in relating with these kind of things..


He may have been your father (or mother or a sibling) in a previous life. He may have looked after you, fed you, cleaned your sh!t, sacrifised his time, opportunities and career for you (as most parents do) but in this life for some reason or another he has become an arrogant person. Can you not forgive and generate love for him?

I think like this when I am compelled to engage with d!ck-heads..and so far it has worked really well for me.
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Re: irritating people

Postby ground » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:15 am

josephcmabad wrote:. mainly because of his arrogance..


What makes you so sure about there being "arrogance"?

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Re: irritating people

Postby josephcmabad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:26 am

I think like this when I am compelled to engage with d!ck-heads..and so far it has worked really well for me.

:lol: :thumbsup:

so my idea of his actions is what causes me irritation?
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Re: irritating people

Postby ground » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:38 am

Ideas and projections are the causes for one's own misery.

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Re: irritating people

Postby josephcmabad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:40 am

how can I change my projection of him? It seems impossible.. can't help but just hate the guy!
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Re: irritating people

Postby grasshopper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:49 am

josephcmabad wrote:
I think like this when I am compelled to engage with d!ck-heads..and so far it has worked really well for me.

:lol: :thumbsup:

so my idea of his actions is what causes me irritation?


No, that's not necessarily what I meant. His actions may well be very arrogant and cold but your reaction would be milder if you imagine him as your parent or a sibling in a previous life - which is what I do. Otherwise your reaction will overwhelm you and cause you great discomfort. But there are times where you may "hiss" without "biting" him otherwise he might just walk over you all the time.
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Re: irritating people

Postby ground » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:50 am

josephcmabad wrote:how can I change my projection of him? It seems impossible.. can't help but just hate the guy!


If there is obvious, observable misbehaviour in the context of the appearance of "this person" then this is the effect of dukkha and will perpetuate dukkha. So there is actually reason for compassion.
On the other hand the thought "This guy is such and such" is nothing but the idea of "self".

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Re: irritating people

Postby ground » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:58 am

This is actually a manifestation that one's own "being conditioned" conditions one's appearances.
It is hardly possible to delineate the borderline between one's own ignorance and that of others. It may appear as if there is no borderline at all and as if one's own liberation would liberate others.

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Re: irritating people

Postby Aloka » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:50 am

.

This talk from Ajahn Sumedho "Metta for all conditions" might be helpful.


http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/10/talk/3679/


:anjali:
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Re: irritating people

Postby phil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:02 pm

josephcmabad wrote:how can I change my projection of him? It seems impossible.. can't help but just hate the guy!


He's been deprived of the Dhamma, you haven't. Don't remember the source but once read a teaching that said that he who understands what a rare status human birth is will not be subject to petty grievances of this sort, so a kind of noblesse oblige can apply. Also, assuming a kind of dosa or other defilement is at the root of his behaviour, do you want to consume it and make it your own? Also you can reflect that all you experience through the sense doors is vipaka, the result of kamma, so in a sense you earned the dickhead, so take the vipaka wisely, it is yours, but if you respond in a way that creates new kamma that will impact countless beings.

Good luck, dickhead co- workers are like horribly loud neighbours, sounds trivial until you have one yourself.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: irritating people

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:26 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Not saying that you have a 'grudge' against him, but this list might help:

The Five ways for getting rid of a grudge:

1. Cultivate loving-kindness toward the person.
2. Cultivate compassion toward the person.
3. Cultivate equanimity toward the person.
4. Or one could just pay no attention to him and give no thought to him.
5. Or one may remember that whatever he does, good or bad, he will be the heir to that.

(sorry, don't have the exact reference, but probably from the Anguttara Nikaya)

When the positive thoughts don't work, there is at least numbers 4 & 5 above.


Very good post! :thumbsup:

What I find interesting is that the above is a set of 5 choices of endeavors to figure out for yourself and not 5 steps in a technique. If a person can do one, s/he doesn't need the other 4.

If somebody could do #4 or #5 completely, I don't think there would be the question to begin with. Are there specific techniques in the Canon for #4 and #5?

I haven't seen it in the Canon myself, but from what I have been taught by meditation teachers my guess would be that #3 would be achieved by being aware of the irritating person's behavior while not reacting to it. Until that effort bears fruit, not reacting to your observations of your reactions to the irritating person.

#1 is what I am most curious about. There are well defined techniques for envoking feelings of metta to a particular person. What I don't understand is how doing is different from burying your negative feelings about such a person under a metta rug?

Has anyone done metta toward a difficult person and gotten rid of their irritation completely or enough not have it spoil more of their day than the time they are with the person?
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: irritating people

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:24 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:(sorry, don't have the exact reference, but probably from the Anguttara Nikaya)


Aghatavinaya Sutta (AN 5.161), perhaps ironically found by searching google and getting the link via this forum.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: irritating people

Postby SDC » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:14 pm

josephcmabad wrote:
I think like this when I am compelled to engage with d!ck-heads..and so far it has worked really well for me.

:lol: :thumbsup:

so my idea of his actions is what causes me irritation?


That is how I look at the situation when it happens to me.

We have ideas of what is right and wrong. And when an experience violates those ideas we react. We don't necessarily want to react that way, but we have committed ourselves strongly to certain ideas about the way things should be, so it happens. Its habitual and embedded into our character, the idea of ourselves and who we think we are. So to turn against that anger when it happens is to turn against "myself" and we don't want to do that, so we blame the external conditions, even though our thinking is the most major part of the situation!

I will echo the advice to think good thoughts about this person and to sincerely wish them well despite their flaws. Imagine if you were like them and how painful it would be to go home at the end of the day and know you behaved as they do. As you soften towards this person you will see how much of the control of how you react in these situations is entirely up to you.

I hope this helps.
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Re: irritating people

Postby josephcmabad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:21 pm

4. Or one could just pay no attention to him and give no thought to him.


this seems the most direct thing for me to do..

So to turn against that anger when it happens is to turn against "myself" and we don't want to do that, so we blame the external conditions, even though our thinking is the most major part of the situation!


so I just shift my perspective? to know that it's myself that's causing me suffering..?
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Re: irritating people

Postby SDC » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:17 am

josephcmabad wrote:so I just shift my perspective? to know that it's myself that's causing me suffering..?


Its the idea of "myself" causing the suffering. To think "I" exist as a self and therefore everything that is thought and felt is associated with that self causes the confusion and then suffering.

We have our ideas of the way we think the world and the people in it should be. We think that if everyone followed these ideas, there would be no point in the day in which there would be anything to suffer over. However, reality shows, over and over, that this can not be possible, yet we still want it. Whether the people in the world are good or bad, that should not determine our mood. Attitude and in turn action to the circumstances in life is what counts not the circumstances themselves.

So yes, its a shift in perspective, in order to see reality for what it is. That is how I have come to understand it.
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Re: irritating people

Postby ground » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:45 am

josephcmabad wrote:
4. Or one could just pay no attention to him and give no thought to him.


this seems the most direct thing for me to do..


Perhaps it should be phrased "right (mindful) attention (to the senses and their objects)" considering the possibility that vision and habitual thoughts may occur anyway.
"Not getting involved" or "renounce".

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