Responding to Life’s Little Annoyances

Early each weekday morning, a squeaky-braked school bus squeals to a halt at the corner across from our house and expels a loud air-brake hiss. After picking up passengers, it backs into a side street, emergency lights swirling and backup warning buzzer blaring. Most days, I don’t care, but when I’ve been wide awake in the too-early-to-get-up hours, and just drifted into a few more winks of shuteye, the noisy school bus is a great source of irritation.

Following are thoughts on responding to annoyances:

Consider Extenuating Circumstances

Perhaps now, more than ever, our annoyance sensors are on high alert. The frustrations, inconveniences, isolation, and fears associated with the pandemic messed with our patience levels and rendered responses more immediate. It’s almost as if we feel the hardships of last year give us the right to vent our emotions in unbridled fashion.

You may have other issues in your life as well—illness, financial distress, caregiving stress, job challenges—all factor in and trigger emotions that impact how we view and respond to irritants. But remember, with determination you can tame your responses.

Decide to Respond Differently

When my children were in high school, they worked at an ice cream store. They frequently told tales of rude customers, who responded in anger if something was not done totally to their satisfaction. Their stories made me think about my own responses when things don’t exactly suit me and helped me decide to behave differently to annoyances. While I can’t say I always succeed, I am more aware.

Behaving differently in a world filled with militant, angry people is challenging, but worth the effort. Decide to be the exception and temper your response to annoyances.

Embrace the Power of Positivity

When stressors are many, it’s easy to allow a negative mindset to control. If you don’t take steps to change that bent, your thoughts will automatically lean toward negativity. Intentionally adopting a positive perspective shifts your focus. Even when your situation feels hopeless, you can find positive aspects amid the difficulties and maintain forward motion.

Remember Others are Watching

Have you ever over-reacted to an annoyance in public only to realize the person behind you in line is someone you really didn’t want to see you behaving badly? People watch us to see if we mirror the values and faith we claim, and you can be sure your words and behaviors—both good and bad—are noticed.

What are the annoying noisy school buses in your life? Are you willing to take the necessary steps to respond differently to irritants and remain positive?

“Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble. Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 NET


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.



You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.