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Amy Winn

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Why is it that other people's behavior bothers us?

Today I witnessed a young mom with two small children and one on the way smoking a cigarette and it bothered me. So I am asking the question why, and does that bother you too?

We have all seen the disapproving glances that are given to someone with lots of tattoos or piercings by someone that has none. We have all seen drivers that are paying attention to anything but the road, and we shake our heads in frustration. We watch our neighbors spend money on beer when their kids have holes in their shoes, and get a knot in our stomach over it. But these issues do not involve our lives, our money or our decisions, so why do we care? Everyone says “butt out”, or “it’s not your business”, and at the same time I keep hearing that phrase “It takes a village to raise a child.”

So, folks, which is it, does it take a village, or do we mind our own business? When do we speak up and when do we stand back, and how do we control feeling torn apart when other peoples’ behavior bothers us?

Feel free to share what bothers you, whether or not you did anything about it, what exactly you did, and if you believe that it made a difference.

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  • Dec 8 2013: Since this discussion is to end soon, I wanted to share what I have learned from all of the feedback, First, my question might have been better stated that Why are we "curious" or "concerned", as opposed to "bothered", as it relates to others behavior. I found that many times, the way we behave is nothing more that what we have mimicked from our parents, and is simply the only thing we know. On the other hand, there are those that have never had someone to give them kind and caring advice and a little encouragement or cheering on to improve the way they handle things. This would not only alleviate them from standing out in a crowd, but may make their lives more manageable and calm if they felt that they had a grip on some difficult or stressful tasks. Lastly, I have gathered that sometimes there are issues that we have no clue about, like illness, grief, or stress that will make a person act impatient or careless as their mind is not in a good place. For these people, I stand my ground that we should all take interest in one another, as a little care, help and patience would go a long way to make their day easier. We have all had those days, and we have all longed for that little bit of understanding when we are not at our best, so I will personally start the new year with a new outlook on what I see that "bothers" me, and try to help when I can. Rather than get frustrated, I will offer a kind word or a smile and hope that it repeats itself down the road.

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