There’s a definite shift in what I can tolerate as I age. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say there is a shift in what I choose to tolerate as I grow older. Things that didn’t bother me before now seem incredibly annoying. Can you relate?
Things that Irritate Me More as I Age
I realize other people remain open-minded and accepting as they age. However, I know lots of others who become more discerning about how they spend their time and energy as the years go by. With age often comes a greater capacity for reflection and a desire to focus on what truly matters to them. Priorities change and a desire for a more intentional, fulfilling, and comfortable life seems to become more important than people pleasing.
There are some things I have no control over, which I try to accept gracefully. But there are plenty of situations that I can control, so why not avoid those situations? Often, it’s as simple as making a different choice.
Here are some of the things that irritate me more as I grow older.
I used to prioritize style over comfort. All the time. I love the look of high heels, and when younger, put up with the discomfort and blisters regularly. These days, I care less about how I look and more about simply feeling comfortable. I still look for fashionable shoes, but I tend to go more often for flats and low heels now.
Ridiculous Fashion Trends
A good example of a ridiculous fashion trend is shirts that don’t cover my belly. I don’t know about you, but I still need and want the bottom half of my shirt! These midriffs, as they were called in my teenage years, are pretty unflattering on a very large percentage of people. I admire the confidence of those who wear this style without hesitation, but I prefer for my belly to remain covered.
Overly Complicated Recipes
While I love to cook, I gravitate toward quick and easy recipes these days. Why do some recipes contain overly complicated and time-consuming techniques? And what about those that require too many ingredients? My final pet peeve is recipes that include some random spice that I don’t have in my cabinet and don’t want to purchase because I doubt I will ever need it again. Why not keep it simple?
Loud music never bothered me when younger. As I age though, I find it sometimes causes me discomfort in the form of a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sensation in my ears, generally known as tinnitus. I also know now that prolonged exposure to loud music can lead to permanent hearing loss. I can certainly control the volume of music I play at home or in my car, but not in other situations like in my exercise classes. The young instructors leading the classes play the music at a painfully high volume and when I ask if they can turn it down a bit, they tell me to wear earplugs. If a large percentage of people need to wear earplugs, admittedly most of whom are age 50Plus, maybe the volume is just too darn loud. I am guessing a lot of young people are either not aware or don’t care that they are damaging their hearing with their prolonged exposure to loud music.
Why does everything seem to be slowly evolving into a subscription service? Subscriptions make sense for products I use all the time, but most of the time I want to make a one-time purchase. I understand companies make more money via subscriptions, especially because many people forget about the app at some point, but do not cancel the subscription. Those seemingly small monthly fees add up over the years. Subscriptions are the reason many of these companies don’t get my money at all.
Life is too short to waste time on people who don’t follow through and do what they say they will do. Sure, we all make mistakes or forget to follow through sometimes, and everyone deserves a pass when that happens on occasion. However, if it happens regularly, then it’s a pattern and not one I will put up with for very long.
Some people are very good at small talk. I’m not one of them. I’m much more comfortable one-on-one where I can have meaningful conversations. I’ve noticed as I get older that I tend to avoid situations and people that require that I spend chunks of time making superficial small talk.
Gossip and Drama
The older I get the more I realize it’s not worth being around people who create drama, stress, and gossip. I find I’m much happier when I distance myself from this kind of pettiness and negativity. It’s much better to surround yourself with positive people who support you, spread love, and want to improve their little piece of the world around you.
People Who Talk Too Much
I become very impatient when cornered by people who talk too much. I used to listen politely to people drone on and on without stopping to ask a question or take a breath because it’s easier than trying to interrupt or redirect the conversation. However, those days are gone. Whether the person is a know-it-all, a self-centered narcissist, or simply talks too much due to anxiety, I don’t care. Time is precious and these days I try to make up an excuse and gracefully exit the situation. If I can’t interrupt even long enough to state my reason for departing, I just walk away. I do my best not to appear rude, but sometimes it’s the only way out.
Lack of Me Time
Not everyone needs my time, but for me, scheduling time for myself is a healthy way to recharge, destress, and recenter. Life is a balancing act where the scales can easily get tipped off center. Once I start to see the signs of overwhelm and the stress that often accompanies a lack of my time, I knew I need to schedule some time for myself. Sometimes that means alone time, and other times, it might mean going out with a friend for a relaxing coffee or spa day. Otherwise, I find myself irritated, agitated, or angry at usually insignificant things.
Why Certain Things Bother Me More as I Age
Why do these things bother me more as I age? I think it’s because as people age, we realize that we have a choice in how we spend our time. Through experience over the years, we learn we can control our own behavior, even if we can’t change anyone else’s. We can set boundaries with other people and determine how and where to spend our time. This wisdom that comes with age is very freeing.
The Wisdom That Comes with Age
With age, I also notice I am more accepting of things I can’t control. This is a good thing. What’s the point in getting upset or angry if there is no way to avoid or change the situation? This wisdom is often associated with the accumulation of knowledge, experience, and an understanding of life that deepens over time. While not everyone automatically becomes wiser as they age, many people do develop certain perspectives and insights. Here are some aspects of wisdom I think accompany age.
Perspective and Context
With age often comes a broader perspective and an ability to see situations in a larger context. This can lead to a more balanced and nuanced understanding of events, relationships, and challenges.
Experience and maturity can contribute to better emotional regulation. Older individuals may have learned to navigate and manage their emotions more effectively, responding to situations with greater calm and wisdom.
Tolerance for Ambiguity
Wisdom often involves an increased comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty. Older individuals may be more accepting of the fact that not everything in life has a clear answer or solution.
Acceptance of Impermanence
Wisdom often involves an acceptance of the impermanence of life. Older individuals may be more inclined to appreciate the present moment and embrace change as a natural part of the human experience.
Wisdom is closely tied to reflective thinking. As individuals age, they may engage in more introspection and self-reflection, gaining insights into their own beliefs, values, and behaviors.
The Bottom Line
Since we know aging is inevitable, why not do it joyfully? Spend some time thinking about changes you can make moving forward. Stop putting yourself in uncomfortable situations if you can help it and learn to accept those things that you can’t. Pinpoint the things that annoy you more now than when younger that you can change. There’s no shame in taking care of yourself and setting boundaries. In fact, we should all do so more often.
Use the wisdom learned through the years to be more discerning about how you spend your time – it’s very freeing. What are some of the things that irritate you more as you age?
Here are some commonly asked questions about why certain people and situations might bother individuals more as they age, along with brief answers:
Why do I find myself more bothered by certain people’s behavior as I get older?
With age often comes an increased awareness of personal boundaries and values. You may be less tolerant of behaviors that conflict with your evolving values or that you find disrespectful.
Is it normal to become less patient with people as I age?
Yes, it’s common for individuals to experience a decrease in patience with age. Factors such as changing priorities, accumulated stress, and a desire for more meaningful interactions can contribute to reduced tolerance for certain behaviors.
Why do I have less tolerance for drama and negativity as I age?
With age, individuals often prioritize positive and meaningful relationships. There may be a reduced tolerance for drama and negativity as part of a desire to maintain a more peaceful and fulfilling social environment.
Is it normal to reassess relationships and friendships as I age?
Yes, reassessing relationships is common as values and priorities evolve. You may find that certain relationships no longer align with your needs, leading to a reassessment of their significance in your life.
Why do I feel a stronger need for alone time and personal space as I age?
The need for alone time and personal space may increase with age as individuals seek moments of reflection, self-care, and a break from external stressors. It’s part of a natural inclination toward self-discovery and well-being.