- I expect the other person to be a mind reader: Classic example -- A roommate has this terribly annoying habit. It's "so obvious" he should change his ways. Every time he does this terribly annoying habit, my frustration builds. Soon I'm treating this person differently, and why? Because he never bothered to read my mind and know how much I hate when he [insert pet peeve here].
- It's easier to persecute someone else than to learn their story -- At one point I hated Bill O'Reilly so much that I used the word "detest", thinking "hate" was a little too commonplace and compromised the intensity of my feelings. Then I stumbled across an article giving me a little background on the man. Included were details on being physically abused by his father and info on being screwed over at several jobs before the Fox News one. Suddenly I had sympathy for the man. Ever notice how much easier it is to love (or at least understand) a person when you know their background? While it might be unrealistic to learn the back-story on every single person we encounter, we need to be creative and empathetic before being angry. Bothered because the couple in front of you isn't paying attention in church? Maybe it's because they had been fighting previously. Maybe it's some other reason. Instead of harboring anger towards a situation you don't know about, instead be creative in finding a reason to love.
- Projecting my own version of what people "should" do on someone else: This is by far my biggest issue. Especially when I've made a change in my life, I want everyone to make the same change. Once upon a time I thrived on watching TV. These days, I rarely ever turn it on. To do so, in my opinion, is akin to admitting a reliance on someone else's creativity in order to have fun. When friends talk about "just watching whatever is on TV" tonight, then, I find myself angry. And why? Because they don't see the genius light of my ways. In effect it's simply because they're different than me.
In all of them, I wanted the people to be more like me. And why? Was that my ultimate mission, my endgame? To create an entire world of little Giancarlos?
The real problem isn't Bill O'Reilly, or the roommate who won't put away the dishes, or people spending evenings watching 30 Rock. The real problem is me. Instead of trying spread the gospel of Giancarlo, I should be spreading the Gospel of Jesus.
I think the Bible suggests that somewhere, right?
(Correct me if I'm wrong)