As I mentioned on Tuesday, I have been following the strategy of letting go of my top three pet peeves for a while now. I do think this is a fairly simple strategy, but as I’ve considered my experience with this strategy over the years, I’ve thought of three details about it that I should share with you.
First, I’ve noticed that there is a tendency for my pet peeves to make a comeback after a while. I’ll think I have released a pet peeve, but then months or years later I’ll be in a disagreement with my husband and suddenly a complaint about the pet peeve will burst out of my mouth. This makes me think that letting go of pet peeves is a constant process, not something you do once. If you stop letting go, they start coming back.
Second, pet peeves change. Now that we are parents, I have a whole new set of pet peeves about my husband, and I’m sure he has new ones for me as well. This is another reason why letting go of pet peeves is not a one time process. This process of identifying and letting go of your top three pet peeves needs to be done regularly, not just because they come back, but because new ones can appear.
Third, it seems to me that stress causes magnification of pet peeves. It’s no coincidence that a pet peeve would resurface during an argument. Stressful times in life as particularly likely to make pet peeves appear or reappear and seem like a much bigger deal than they really are. As my husband and I continue in our first year with our baby girl, this one definitely comes into play. I find myself needing to reset my perspective much more often, since I’m under much more stress than normal. Finding ways to let go of stress and connect with your partner helps a lot with this.
It may seem discouraging to think that this is a continual process, but I actually love that about this strategy. This is something that you can take with you and apply over and over, and every time you apply it, your relationship will benefit. If your goal is to have a peaceful relationship, this is surely a good place to start.