Surviving Irritating Behavior

This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen aimed at helping Baby Boomers and seniors find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives.

MY NEWS:  Tomorrow, I’m going to start attending a class on screenplay writing.  I can’t wait!  I’ve already downloaded Final Draft software onto my computer and have begun writing a screenplay based on my memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and I’m finally doing it.

Now, onto my blog:


Is this how you feel sometimes?  I certainly do–more and more as I get older.  So many little things seem to irritate me, draining too much of my time and energy.  However, harboring upset feelings hurts ourselves much more than the ones who caused them.

Recently, it was the conversation and voice quality of a woman at an exercise class I attend that annoyed me.  I’ve heard her speaking before, and she has a certain pitch which seems to shatter my ear drums.  Her usual non-stop, rapid-fire conversation about some innocuous thing in her life, projected loud enough to wake the sleeping in the back row of a large theater, results in her delivery landing on the ears of many who aren’t interested, including me.  She is a drama queen and seems to crave attention, so she has honed her skill well.

Perhaps you’ve been the receiver of such behavior or maybe even the sender?   How do we survive irritating people whom we encounter so often in our crowded society?  The first thing, in my opinion, is to accept that we cannot change them.  I certainly couldn’t have approached the woman in my class and asked her to change the quality of her voice and, truth be told, her entire personality.

What I can do is change myself.  I have learned to carry earplugs with me.  I quietly donned my orange neon plugs and went about my exercise routine calmly and contentedly.  If my tormentor noticed them poking out of my ears, maybe she got the idea that they were my firewall against her, but I doubt it.

The point of all this is that you have choices as I’ve emphasized many times in prior blogs.  Don’t just let life happen to you.  Take charge.

If you’re around irritating people: family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers in your personal life, your work life, your leisure life, or wherever, decide what you want for yourself.  Do you want to suffer silently and be the loser, do you want to confront the situation head-on, or do you want it to change with as little effort and stress as possible?  If it’s the last on that list, then alter yourself in some manner so the irritating behavior no longer affects you.  It just might add a few more minutes to your life or at least make that life less agitated.

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Lee Gale Gruen’s memoir: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available on  For the book website, CLICK HERE:

1 Comment

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One response to “Surviving Irritating Behavior

  1. …a great idea to take a screenwriting class and buy the necessary software so U can help your book to be visualized! U go,LGG! Good luck, and keep me posted re your progress.

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