Because we are human it is not uncommon for us to feel irritated by things that other people do. However, for some of us, it happens regularly and has become a fixation.

As a general observation people who are easily irritated typically blame others for it. Why is this? To find the reason behind the irritation we need to look inside ourselves, instead at those around us. Irritability can certainly have many causes but one of the most common causes is having too many restrictive zones. While restrictive zones guard our idea of acceptable modes of behavior, their boundaries can also be defined by rigid ideas and unnecessary rules about our idea of wrong behavior by others.

These folks believe there is a right way to squeeze the toothpaste tube, a right way to fold the laundry, a right way to do just about everything, and they have all the so-called "facts" to support their belief. The issue isn’t so much that these folks feel compelled to follow these restrictive and unnecessary rules, but the problem is they have the same compulsion about other people too!

Some of the time others may go along with them, just to keep the peace. However, other times people will deliberately or unconsciously break these unnecessary rules, just to upset the compulsive folks. It's important to become aware of the self-imposed rules we live by and get rid of those that keep us rigidly confined for seemingly no important reason. It is also important that we don't impose our personal standards on others.

Why spend your days stressed out and irritated over insignificant things? Relax and loosen up a little! I guarantee everyone, including yourself, will feel better for it. The late Dr. Richard Carlson said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff”. Save your energy for the larger and more important things in your life.