Question for Penny: I find myself easily irritated by people who are disrespectful or inconsiderate. I get so annoyed that I find myself talking behind their backs. I know it's such a waste of time...but what can I do to let it go?
Answer: You are right! It is a waste of time, indeed. Cultivate your own garden and let go of your tendency to examine and judge how others cultivate theirs. Catch yourself in moments of gossip about how others ought to be living and rid yourself of thoughts about how they should be doing it this way, or how they have no right to live and think as they do. Instead, put your attention on your own life and how to improve it.
Catch yourself when you are engaged in the habit of talking about others — about how they are wrong and you are right. Catch yourself and stop instantly. Just stop. Remember: the person making the time to judge others or gossip behind their backs is no better than the people they are actually talking about.
Spend your energy wisely and stay busy and involved in your own projects and pursuits. If you're so busy tending to someone else's business, you're certainly in that moment taking attention away from tending to your own business.
You energize the very thing you focus your energy and attention on, so why not focus your energy and attention on how you can do better rather than on how the other person should be doing "right" in your mind?