The “Side-Along” Driver and Other Annoyances

We all know people who seem to want to run our lives better than we do; you know the type. They can be naggers, buttinskis, tattletales, know-it-alls, and lately; the “side-along” driver.

Naggers like to nag, buttinskis like to poke their noses into other peoples’ business, tattletales like to dish the dirt on everyone, know-it-alls feel that they know everything about everything—and you can’t tell them differently.

Then there is what I call the ‘side-along’ driver. You’re driving, you know where you’re going, and you’re fully aware of the traffic. You are about to make a left-hand turn, but see a car in the distance coming from the other direction. Something tells you not to make that turn just yet, so you don’t. It is at this time that the side-along driver yells, “GO! Go, go, already!”

When I am driving, I drive my way. When someone else is driving, they can drive their way. I don’t like being shouted at, and I certainly don’t want to do something that I’m not ready that I don’t feel right about.

When someone else is driving, I may not agree with everything they do. In fact, there are times when I have had to clutch the seat and keep my mouth shut at the same time. What keeps me sane is thinking, ‘well, I wouldn’t do it that way, but I’m not driving.’ Plus I hope that some seriously strong angels are watching over me.

So why do all the naggers, buttinskis, tattletales, know-it-alls, and “side-along” drivers do what they do? I think that many people just want to be in control of everything at all times. It gives them a sense of security and purpose, and it may be the only thing that keeps them going each day.

How do I know this? I know this because at several times in my life I have been all those annoying things, and more. Once I realized the harm I was causing I was horrified; I had become one of “those” people. Oh, it hadn’t gotten to the point where the villagers were coming after me with torches and pitchforks, but it was close.

So each day I try not to judge or demand that everyone do things my way. I have to keep telling myself, ‘you take care of your own life; let others take care of theirs.’ I try not to offer opinions unless asked, and I especially try not to be annoyed, upset or impatient. It’s a tall order, and I’m working on it every day.

Besides, trying to make people do things your way is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

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