Follow Us on Twitter
Specials Free Resources
NVC Quick Connect
pet peeves
The Unfriendly Pet Everyone Owns
and How You Can Get Rid of It
By Neill Gibson and Beth Banning

Did you know in developed countries the pet population is almost double the human population? Why so many pets? Well, pets can provide companionship, encourage exercise, and ward off loneliness, all benefits that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. So isn't having a pet a great thing?

Yes! But there is one kind of pet you probably own that you'd be better off getting rid of...
Keep reading this article below >>


NVC Personal Growth and Healing Package

NVC Personal Growth and Healing Book or eBook Package
4 Title Package -- Various Authors
Package details / ePackage details
List Price: $49.80
Your Price: $19
Save 60% off list price
through Oct. 31, 2012
Book Pkg:   Add to Cart
eBook Pkg: Add to Cart


NVC Reference Library Package

NVC Reference Library Package
Various Authors
Product Details
List Price: $330.75
Your Price: $115
Save 65% off list price
through Oct. 31, 2012

Book Pkg:   Add to Cart
eBook Pkg: Add to Cart

Free Weekly NVC Tips Series:
Living Compassion NVC Tips
Workplace Communication NVC Tips
Compassionate Parenting NVC Tips
Compassionate Educator NVC Tips
Peaceful Living Meditations

Free Tips Series Highlight:

Living Compassion NVC Tip Series

Articles and PDF Downloads:
Key Facts About NVC
Articles About NVC
eNewsletter Archive


Recommended Resources

NVC Academy Theme of the Month

Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. talks about the keys to prevent all forms of conflict and violence in this 10-minute video.
Play Video Now
Share This Inspiring 10-Minute Video With Your Friends

Go to the video now and select the "Share This" link in the right corner to share this video using your favorite social media platform.

Special Notices
Author Events

NVC Mediation Immersion Program in Poland
with Ike Lasater (Words That Work in Business) and Ania Mills
Oct 24 - 28, 2012
The third retreat of the Poland year-long NVC Mediation Immersion Program.
Click here for more information.

NVC Quote of the Month

"We are never angry because of what others
say or do."

"The cause of anger lies
in our thinking - in thoughts of blame and judgment."

"Whether I praise or
criticize someone's
action, I imply that I am
their judge, that I'm
engaged in rating them or what they have done."

"NVC gives us tools and understanding to create
a more peaceful state
of mind."


The Unfriendly Pet... continued

In all our years of owning pets, and knowing others who do, we've never heard of anyone keeping black widow spiders, porcupines, or the like as the cuddly, snuggly, soft and furry pets we know and love (other than the Addams Family).

Yet most people own one kind of pet that offers none of the basic snuggly pet benefits. In fact, these pets pose risks to your emotional well-being and often to your relationships as well. What kind of dangerous pets are these?

Pet peeves.

Pet peeve ownership is so pervasive that in the US the 2nd week in October is National Pet Peeve Week. People seem to love their pet peeves. It seems everyone has adopted at least one pet peeve, and some people have dozens of them.

There are plenty of peeve breeds to choose from. There are rude-drivers-in-bad-traffic peeves, government peeves, drivers-using-cell-phones peeves, people-in-line peeves. Some people even band together to form clubs and political groups with others who own the same breed of pet peeve.

What breeds of peeves have you adopted as pets?

The High Cost of Owning Your Pet Peeves

We were talking about people's pet peeves over a cup of Fair Trade coffee recently. (Fair Trade products allow us to bond while playing with our greedy-multinational-corporation peeves.) Guess what we realized? The more you pet a peeve, the more frustrated, upset and angry you get. Seems painful doesn't it? Sort of like petting a porcupine.

Why would people do this to themselves?

"Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain." ~ Lily Tomlin

The best description we've heard of a pet peeve is that it's an opportunity to complain that is seldom missed. Well, everyone complains, so what's the trouble with letting a pet peeve run free for a bit?

Two things. Complaining is like sweeping feathers. It may seem like you're doing something, but you're not really making a difference. You're just agitating your mental and emotional environment.

And, what you focus your attention on grows. Focusing on what you don't like will cause you to notice it more often in your life. Now imagine a future where what you don't like is pretty much all you notice. Sounds like a sure-fire prescription for unhappiness, doesn't it?

How does this work? Let's say you've adopted a drivers-using-cell-phones peeve. It drives you nuts when drivers talk on their cell phones! It prompts you to drag out your pet peeve and start playing with it. If you've got a captive-audience passenger, all the better. Maybe you can let your peeves play together.

And since what you focus your attention on grows, after you pet your drivers-using-cell-phones peeve for a bit you'll likely drag out some of your other inconsiderate-people peeves and let these all play together for a while.

Now ask yourself, does this sound like a joyful experience for you? Does petting these peeves leave you feeling lighter, more joyful, and more at peace with the world? Do you suppose it lowers your blood pressure or cholesterol level? Do you think petting your peeve is going to make any difference to that other driver using his cell phone?

Definitely not!

Setting Your Pet Peeves Free

A while ago, we started setting our pet peeves free. One by one, we let them go off to enjoy the wild, feral life that is in their nature. We didn't do this so the peeves would be happier. Happiness isn't in the nature of a peeve.

We did it so we'll be happier, because happiness is in our nature. And we're committed to experiencing more and more of our true nature.

So, would you like to start setting your pet peeves free too? It's actually easier than you think. Here's the fastest, easiest way to set them free.

Start turning your focus away from the pet peeves clamoring for your attention, and focus instead on what you enjoy in that moment.

Does just turning your attention from what you don't want to what you do want sound too simple?

Ask yourself: "What would my day be like if, moment by moment, I was able to turn my attention to what I enjoy in my present circumstances?" (Remember, what you focus your attention on grows.)

A Positive Balance in Your Emotional Bank Account

Imagine that you have an emotional bank account and that every thought makes an emotional deposit.

So if your peevish thoughts constantly deposit frustrated, upset and angry thoughts in your emotional bank account, they will grow and grow. They'll even start multiplying through the action of compound interest. "Stupid drivers using cell-phones!" compounds with the thoughts: "They obviously don't care about anyone else's safety." and, "Those are some of the most inconsiderate people I've ever seen."

Try petting one of your favorite peeves right now and then see how you feel. Happy?

Now imagine that any time you notice one of your pet peeves wants to come out and play, it's possible to turn your attention to something that you enjoy or are thankful for.

You notice a driver using a cell phone. Have cell phones made your life any easier? (Do you remember using pay phones?) Can people be reached more easily in emergencies? Can people call for help no matter where they are? Are people able to spend more time connecting with their friends and family?

Will thinking these enjoyable, grateful thoughts make any difference in another driver's behavior? No, these thoughts are every bit as ineffective in making a difference in the situation as playing with your pet peeve. But these thoughts will make deposits in your emotional bank account day after day.

And imagine if you learned to compound these thoughts with thoughts that clarify what's important to you and what you can do to experience more of that. Then how you would feel? Would these thoughts be more likely to lower your blood pressure?

Happy or sad, good or bad, pleasure or pain-it's up to you. Focus on what you enjoy. Enjoy being thankful. It's something anyone can do, even you, even when your pet peeves want to come back for a visit.

What you focus your attention on will grow in your emotional bank account. So start saving your happiness today. With a bank-full of thankful you can easily set your pet peeves free.

Can't Seem to Live Without Your Pet Peeves?

When we started setting our pet peeves free, we found a few peeves we couldn't seem to pry out of the house with a crowbar. No matter how much we focused on other things and withheld our attention from them, they just didn't get the message.

If you find that some of your pet peeves are harder to set free than an adult child living at home, consider signing up for our free Weekly Action Tips eMail series. Each week we'll show you how you can transform even your most stubborn pet peeves (and your other unwelcome mental pets) into more fun and cuddly companions.

Remember, the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice.

Neill Gibson is coauthor of the PuddleDancer Press booklet What's Making You Angry? He and Beth Banning are the founders of Focused Attention, Inc. They would love to help you learn new business communication, relationship, and personal growth skills that will support you in having more fun and success in your life, and help to foster a world that works for everyone. Check out our new "We Are the Ones" video at


Keep learning these vital communication skills with these books and training resources:

This Month's Specials: Every Day Book Package Specials:



pet peeves




NVC Personal Growth and Healing Package

NVC Personal Growth and Healing Book or eBook Package
4 Title Package -- Various Authors
Package details / ePackage details
List Price: $49.80
Your Price: $19
Save 60% off list price
through Oct. 31, 2012
Book Pkg:   Add to Cart
eBook Pkg: Add to Cart