Are You Irritated?

Most Saturdays I do a HIIT-style conditioning class at MOVE fitness club, an all-women’s gym, where I start out in a low energy state, and end sweaty and filled with endorphins, and in a positive mood, and then walk back along Queen Street with my gym buddy, Lesli. On this Saturday, our conversation veered towards a common topic – perimenopause, supplements, local talks about the issue, what we do, what we are not interested in doing, etc., and we both agreed we are often talking ourselves out of being irritated. Meaning, we both acknowledge that we often feel slightly irritated and are managing it.

How common is this? Are you irritated? I don’t think it’s only a perimenopause thing for me. I think I’ve always been predisposed to easy irritation. Mind you, I’m also predisposed to easy laughter and noticing small joys and framing my life through a lens of gratitude.

But this is about being irritated. Many things bother me and I’m often telling myself not to be irritated (or just acknowledging the irritation and letting it flow).

Some things that cause irritation:

  • slow walkers
  • fast walkers
  • people who do not veer to the right and yield when walking on busy sidewalk (especially if they are walking in groups)
  • drivers who are trying to hit me when I’m walking or who fly by open streetcar doors or crosswalks
  • individuals who do not sneeze or cough into their elbow or a tissue
  • expressions about diet and exercise that are out of date and ignorant of the benefits of good nutrition and fitness that have nothing to do with weight management
  • people who do not say thank you when you hold a door open for them
  • people who do not follow a sense of order – at the gym for example, when there are stations to do certain things – please stay in your station
  • dog owners who let their dogs walk off leash in busy urban areas (which heightens my stress about my reactive dogs)
  • sidewalk cyclists (over the age of 16)
  • loudly expressed biases and expressions of disinterest in caring about inclusion
  • non-epidemiologists who are suddenly experts on epidemiology
  • hypocrites

Myself. I irritate myself often too. I’m being/have been too lazy, unfocused. I care too much about what others think, assumptions they are making that aren’t true.

There are many more things that irritate me. I realized some time ago that I like people, in general, as a whole, and there are certain individuals who do not irritate me, who delight me, but there are others, usually acquaintances or strangers, around whom, I need to create physical or mental distance.

Lots of things help me deal with irritation: exercise, maturity, self-talk, laughter, sex, books, movies, great conversation, etc.

How about you, are you easily irritated? How do you manage it?

Nicole Plotkin is a law clerk who loves to run and lift weights and enjoy life with her husband and two dogs. Wash your hands.

4 thoughts on “Are You Irritated?

  1. oooh yes. I have quite the short fuse, so I spend a lot of my time being irritated. It’s something I try to work on, with the result that I’m now sometimes irritated with myself for being irritated. Self-improvement is so much fun 😀

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