3 Top Tips That Help Me When I’m Annoyed

Being annoyed stems from our own thoughts, not others’ actions. Success can be found through prayer, Scripture, and practical exercises.

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)

I ride in the passenger seat as my husband drives our family to church. 

My mind has a lot of thoughts. “He didn’t use his blinker.” “He’s going over the speed limit.” “Why is he so close to the car in front of us?” 

Many, many times, I react to these thoughts out loud. I’ve gasped, hinted, been straightforward, and even demanded. This is not good. Sometimes I can keep my mouth shut, but it’s not the norm. My annoyance is a problem for me and, thus, for my husband. And it’s not just about driving. 

Do you ever get annoyed?

Can you relate? Do you get annoyed? If it’s not at your husband, it could be your child, friend, mother-in-law, or boss. It might be when someone chews with their mouth open, talks super loud on the phone, speeds, or drives too slow. Maybe you get annoyed at your own aches and pains, how people run meetings, broken things, other people’s emotions, interruptions, cracking knuckles, someone else’s impatience, your hard life, etc. The list could go on and on and on. 

For the first twenty years of my marriage, I thought HE needed to change. Now I know that it’s my problem.

Other people don’t annoy us! What?

Other people don’t annoy us. The thoughts we think make us feel annoyed. 

When I realized this, it changed everything! 

I know our thoughts make us feel annoyed, not other people’s actions, because, in my example of driving to church, no one else in the car was annoyed. 

I remember riding in a truck with another couple. The husband was driving crazy. The wife was laughing and happy and talking with me and didn’t seem to notice any problem. She wasn’t annoyed at all. Because she wasn’t having the same thoughts I was. 

When I am eating dinner with people and someone is chewing with their mouth open, my mind thinks, “They shouldn’t be chewing like that.” This thought makes me feel annoyed. I look around, and NO one else seems to notice. No one else is the slightest bit annoyed. It’s the craziest thing. 

It’s not the way someone chews that makes me annoyed. My own thought, “He/she shouldn’t be chewing with their mouth open,” causes me to feel annoyed.

Take every thought captive

I can take each thought captive and redirect it to think of another thought that would create an alternative emotion.

But guess what? It’s not easy.

I recently heard that to take a thought captive implied a battle. And I understand this perfectly.

Here are three things I’ve done to help me redirect my thoughts.

1. Seek Humility in the Face of Annoyance

Annoyance often arises when our expectations are unmet or others act in ways we think they shouldn’t. 

In these moments, it’s essential to cultivate humility. James 4:10 reminds us to humble ourselves before the Lord, recognizing that His ways are higher than ours. Instead of reacting with pride or self-righteousness when annoyed, I try to remember to humble myself and acknowledge my own imperfections before God.

Instead of judging myself and wishing I was different, less critical, and less annoyed, I can use this opportunity to come before God, focus on HIS greatness, and lay these imperfect thoughts and judgments of others (my imperfection) before him. I confess this to Him. 

I get curious with myself and ask, “What if my way isn’t the best way?” “What if it’s okay that he doesn’t do it just like me?” “What can I learn about myself here?”

My brain kind of relaxes, and I can look to God, bring Him into my thoughts, and confess my annoyance and pride to Him.

2. Respond with Love and Kindness

In moments of annoyance, responding with harsh words or actions can be tempting. However, Scripture teaches us that love is patient and kind, not easily angered or self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). 

Remember, our own thoughts are causing us to feel annoyed. My own thoughts are the ones that need to change. When I realized this, I started getting mad at myself when my brain wouldn’t quit offering me these thoughts. 

I was the one who needed my own compassion and gentleness. I had to choose to forgive my brain and myself for having these thoughts. By doing this, I mirrored the grace and mercy that God has shown me. 

Instead of allowing annoyance to dictate our behavior, let us respond with love and kindness towards others (and ourselves). By showing grace and compassion, even in difficult situations, we reflect the love of Christ.

Try This Exercise

One practical exercise I use to redirect my brain is Label + Gratitude. 

I use my feeling of annoyance as the signal. When I’m annoyed, I look around and label the first thing I see. I state the item’s name and then add a prayer of gratitude.

For example, when driving to church,
A stop sign. Thank you, Lord, that we have a car to stop at the sign.
A tree. Thank you for your beautiful creation.
A flag. Thank you for this country.

Or if I’m in the kitchen,
The dishwasher. Thank you, Lord, for an appliance that does chores.
The red glass thing in my window. Thank you to Judy, who prayed for me and gave me this.
The espresso machine. Thank you that I can make the most delicious latte every morning. 

By doing this, my brain is now thinking different thoughts—thoughts of gratitude. Because my thoughts changed, I am no longer feeling annoyed. I’m feeling grateful. I can then turn my gratitude toward whatever I find annoying and find something to be grateful for! “Thank you for my husband, who is a leader and drives us to church!”

When I first learned this, I tested it on the way to church when I was annoyed. Practicing this exercise worked! When I arrived at church, I had completely forgotten that I had been annoyed 10 minutes earlier. 

3. Turn to Prayer and Scripture for Strength 

When annoyance threatens to overwhelm us, let us pray to God and seek solace in His Word.

Philippians 4:6-7 encourages us to present our requests to God with thanksgiving, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Once my mind is calmed down, I can go to God in prayer and ask for strength to love my husband well. 

We can find peace and strength to overcome annoyance; through Scripture, we can find wisdom and guidance for navigating challenging emotions. Let us prioritize prayer and Scripture in our lives, turning to God for the strength to persevere even when we are annoyed.


As we journey through life, we will inevitably encounter moments of annoyance. However, as followers of Christ, we are called to respond with humility, patience, forgiveness, love, and reliance on God. 

May we lean on the wisdom found in Scripture, easy exercises like Label + Gratitude, and the power of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome annoyance and walk in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Word

Align your thoughts to the Truth. 

“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b “

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 

In Your Life

What is annoying to you? What are the thoughts you are thinking that cause you to feel annoyed?

Next time you feel annoyed, 

  1. Use it as a signal to try the Label + Gratitude exercise.
  2. Get curious. Instead of reacting, ask, “What if my way isn’t the best way?” “What can I learn about myself here?” “What does God say about my mind and emotions?”
  3. Then, turn to God with humility and gratitude and pray for his Holy Spirit to guide you.

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Let’s Connect

Tracy helps women simplify and organize their lives. If getting organized is on your list of things to do or you want to learn more practical tools to improve your life, connect with her through her website or on Instagram.