Dealing with Obnoxious People

Someone posted something you don’t agree with on social media. Somebody ignored you at your local coffee shop. Your coworker or sibling keeps borrowing your things without asking. Your parents are micromanaging or being overbearing. You can feel your blood pressure rising. How do you deal with these inconvenient and frankly annoying situations? How do you get past these emotions and deal with your problems in a rational and virtuous manner?

Recently on Trending, Timmerie spent a segment talking about how to face obnoxious people or situations with a supernatural outlook and make the most of what you’re given every day.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who was discussed on a recent episode of Morning Air, is often referred to as the greatest example of embracing small sacrifices, doing the little things well, and looking at things with a supernatural perspective. And the key to emulating St. Thérèse is humility.

Get over yourself. As difficult as that may be, it is that simple. Whenever we experience annoyance or inconvenience, very often our first reaction is to focus on ourselves. “It’s bothering me. Why is this person doing this to me? Why wouldn’t they think about how this makes me feel?” Sometimes, the person on the other side has no idea that they’re bothering us or that they’re even doing anything wrong!

Timmerie recounted a story from the life of St. Thérèse, who was often annoyed by another nun who was notorious for fidgeting with her rosary or her hands. Thérèse could not put into words how much it bothered her. Her meditations often became sessions of suffering in silence and perspiration as she tried to ignore it. But she realized that this was God’s way of calling her to “bear wrongs patiently”. Instead of trying not to hear the noise, she embraced it and actively listened to it like music. And soon, Thérèse’s meditation “was passed in offering this music to Our Lord.”

“No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The only one who can disturb your peace is you. God will not send you a challenge that you are not capable of overcoming. Of course, as human beings, we will all fail at some point, but with God’s grace, it is within our capabilities to sanctify every annoyance we encounter with joy. God allows us to encounter trials, but He is also the answer to all of them.

When we live in a world that has so radically embraced the Old Testament formula of “an eye for an eye”, it becomes increasingly difficult to fight back with Jesus’s method. But He did not come to affirm the status quo. Jesus was a challenger, a trailblazer, and a pioneer in virtuous living.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.

If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.” (Matthew 5:38-41)

Kill them with kindness.

Tune in to Trending with Timmerie weekdays at 6pm CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.