Are You Bugged By Other People's Behavior?

In Nordic folklore, the nisse, or goblin, is short-tempered, but there for protection.

In Nordic folklore, the nisse, or goblin, is short-tempered, but there for protection.

You know how it’s easier for the people around us to see us our patterns than for us to recognize them ourselves? Well, I’d been married for years before my husband recognized the repetition of my complaints about the world around me.

“You’re always talking about how people aren’t examining their behavior enough. Did you know that?”

He was right. My recurring frustration is that other people don’t do what I do: They don’t tirelessly, exhaustively work to “get to the bottom of things.”

“It’s your bugbear,” he said.

In D&D, or Dungeons and Dragons, the bugbear is "chaotic evil."

In D&D, or Dungeons and Dragons, the bugbear is "chaotic evil."

As I talked about the idea of bugbears with close friends, I came to realize I’m not alone. Whether it’s “people aren’t responsible enough” or “people aren’t working to be more logical,” many of the people around me have their own bugbears. As I heard other people’s bugbears, Icame to understand the bugbear itself has some very specific, very common qualities:

  • It’s stronger and more pervasive than a pet peeve.
  • It comes from a deep-seated personality trait. 
  • It suggests I want the world to be more like ME.

Do you have a bugbear or theme to your “other people” complaints? What do those complaints say about your strengths? Please share your thoughts below! (I am genuinely curious to hear them!)