Have you ever noticed how other people seem to get in your way, cause more problems, or just seem to be so stupid and incompetent that it “makes your blood boil?” Having to deal with such people, and situations, is very upsetting. It seems like “there are so many of those incompetent people” out there. Understanding how to deal with these situations is critical to your own health.

Incompetence is… Everywhere

There are many examples of how the “incompetence of others” gets in the way of living your life:

  • The driver that pulls out in front of you without looking.
  • The “slow employee” who just does not “get it” or seems to need the help of others to guide him or her.
  • The “government employee” who seems to be caught up in rules, or is uninterested in providing services.
  • The store clerk who is unhelpful in multiple ways.
  • The people who just will not admit their mistakes.
  • “All those people who seem to make life difficult for us” and don’t seem to even know that they are doing it.

Ironically, it is really about how “those others” cause us to feel resentments, frustrations, and “get us upset” by the way that they approach life and daily tasks.

How The Incompetence of Other People Affects Us

It’s true that being around “incompetent people” can be overwhelming. Many times we feel that “if we could just shake some sense into them” and “point out the error of their ways” that, maybe, they would improve.

Being around incompetent people and situations “slows down our own pace of doing things,” causing us to be late, not get things done right, or just making our “lives difficult.” However, most importantly, getting upset over these type of situations causes our blood pressure to rise, muscles to tighten, pain to increase, and leaves us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Further, the more we allow ourselves to be upset over “the incompetence of others”, the more frustrated, resentful, impatient, and angry you will find yourself. Not surprisingly, this will spread into and infect other areas of your life.

The bottom line is that being resentful and upset over “the incompetence of others” will block your own progress in life. It will affect your ability to make changes, heal, have less pain, or improve your own relationships and life.

Can You Really Make Other People Less Incompetent?

One popular misconception is that we can change, control, or bring others “to the light and see the error of their ways.” However, shaking, yelling, being upset, and so forth, may tell them that you are angry and upset with them, but it rarely changes them.

We believe that if we force it hard enough, yell loud enough, and push it, that something will “get through to them.” The reality is that they will come to believe that you are the problem and they will not see their part in the situation. You may upset them, intimidate them, or frustrate them, but in the long run it will have little impact on changing them.

What is the Solution to the Incompetence of Others?

The reality of all of this is that your own frustrations with other people will cause you more damage than it will cause them. Even if you feel that you have a “perfect right” to “let others know” how you feel or think of what they have done, in the end it is not worth your time, upset, and energy.

You can become stubborn and dig in your heels, insisting that the world, others, bureaucrats, bad drivers, family members, and so on, are the source of the problems and need to change. However, it is smarter to “step back” and “take a deep breath” realizing that it is not your responsibility to solve the worlds’ problems or to set others straight.

Your only goal in life is to find ways of becoming less frustrated, resentful and upset. You have to focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself first. The more you focus on others, the more upset you will become.

The frustration and resentments are not worth it. All that is happening is that your body is becoming more activated, upset, tense, and tight, and will ultimately lead to an increase in your own health problems.

We all hope that we can control the world when we “grow up.” In reality, we have little control over what is happening to us in life. It is important to remember that those people who become the most frustrated, upset and resentful are not much different from the small child who is “throwing a temper tantrum.” It takes maturity, effort, time, and wisdom to step back and take things slower and with less upset.

You are not going to accomplish much with being upset except to “keep the soap opera” going. Let go of the drama of it all and just focus on taking care of yourself.

  • It requires dropping our need to be perfectionistic and having all the answers.
  • It requires pacing one’s self and the activities that one does.
  • It requires taking two deep breaths, dropping your jaw, and imagining feeling warmth and heaviness flowing from your neck to your toes.
  • It requires us to learn to be more patient with both ourselves and others.

Much of what we do in life are from learned behaviors that we have observed others doing in our past. It is time to learn new and more positive behaviors that are healthier and more realistic and relaxed.

If you find that you are unable to “let go of a situation,” then it is time to consider that you have an even bigger issue, and instead need to focus on finding help with your anger and frustration.

There are reasons that incompetent people exist and continue to function as they do. Volumes have been written about why this is so. However, the real issue is not about them; instead, it is about how your own reactions to the situation damage and enslave you and your life.

Remember, no one is perfect. All you have to do is to focus on finding solutions to problems for yourself, and only yourself. Stop rushing through your day. Let go of your fears about what will happen if you let go of your need to control life and other people.

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peter principle
imperfectionist
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