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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Day 1: That’s sooooo annoying

June 8, 2009



Sure it’s Monday, but I had a good weekend and plenty of sleep. The shower was hot. My hair isn’t any more sticky-uppy than usual. And after 30 minutes of yoga, and a couple of buttermilk pancakes I’m feeling pretty mellow. But since this is Day 1 of my Annoyance Challenge I’m going to have to get with the program… fast! Not a problem. Even though I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t get annoyed all that often. (How annoying is that?) I can always recycle some not-yet-expired annoyance or concoct a fresh batch out of nothing. And maybe that’s the point. All of us have the capacity to build on a present time or cherished inconvenience (frustration, rudeness, snub, etc.) and buff it to a brilliant gloss until we’re totally pissed at the whole freakin’ world.

Annoyance is like hunger… except backwards. When I’m really hungry I snag some Trader Joe’s dark chocolate. (Don’t tell David. He thinks we have mice.) That takes the edge off. Hunger + food = less hunger. But even when I’m mildly irritated, I can instantly rev up my grumpiness tenfold by mentally, verbally and/or physically attacking the cause of my annoyance. That squirrel on the bird feeder. My split thumbnail. The client whose check is still not in my mailbox!? Annoyance + mental garbage = more annoyance.

I’m nothing special. We can all work this little miracle of insanity. The question is why would anyone choose to feel more annoyed when it’s sooo annoying? Not sure about that yet, but I’m on a 30 day quest to discover as much as I can about my love-hate relationship with annoyance. And in the process, I’m also hoping I can locate the fine tuning dial at Annoyance HQ. Then I’ll be The Decider when it comes to dialing it up or down.

It’s all about self-control and my personal mission to help teens get along better with their friends and families. The Annoyance Challenge is also about world peace. Seriously! Obama goes to Cairo and tells a zillion people that those “others” who have always annoyed the crap out of you may actually share some of your core values. So instead of jumping down their throats or slitting them, how about working together and maybe we can all get some of what we want… peace, security, respect, and justice for us and our families?

Sounds like a plan to me.

See you tomorrow. When I’ll begin taking an unbiased look at the stuff that usually drives me nuts. If you want to share your own annoyance triggers, that’s what the comment button’s for.



  1. I like the idea but what is the bottom line? What do I need to do between today and tomorrow?

    Comment by MamaZuzi — December 6, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  2. MamaZuzi, the bottom line is to figure out how to get back in control when the forces of annoyance make you act like someone that you wouldn’t want to go camping with. First step, (and this is just me talking) is to notice the physical sensations that come along with (often preceding) my awareness of “Hey, I’m annoyed!” Tune in to the body then the accompanying thoughts and grab the duct tape so you don’t mouth off and embarrass yourself.

    Comment by Annie Fox — January 17, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  3. […] I take on a challenge my goal is to learn and to teach. Like my previous Annoyance Challenge. Did I want to learn to  be more annoying? Teach others to shorten their tempers? No and no. […]

    Pingback by Day 30: Kindness and Respect Challenge (What did we learn?) | Annie Fox's Blog — October 30, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

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