Feeling Irritated? Get Curious! This Is Your Greatest Opportunity For A Lesson

Marieke Stoop
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Everyone has core competencies; they are the things you do best. These core competencies result in positive feedback from others. Core competencies cannot be learnt. They are authentic and suit you. You can develop skills however. Core competencies can include being: accurate, energetic, sensitive, patient, responsible, innovative, focused and discreet.

Each competency has pitfalls

One pitfall is always appended to a competency and both are therefore inextricably linked. Competencies are pitfalls if you do too much of it. Your strength of that competency becomes a weakness.


  • If you are energetic, your pitfall is your pushy nature
  • If you are discreet, your pitfall is reticence

Irritation is your allergy

If a person is pushing too much at your competency; it could cause irritation by you. Your response/ reaction is an allergy.


  • If you’re complacent you are irritated indulgently by anger and aggression
  • If you are trustworthy, you are annoyed by immensely dishonesty

Your irritation is your biggest challenge

Hidden in irritation/ allergies are challenges. The annoying attitude of the other is your greatest opportunity for a lesson. The person who irritates you most, shows you your challenge. It’s what you can learn from them. Irritation comes from within yourself and says more about you than about the other person.

Feelings of irritation and contempt are indicators that you’ve arrived at your pitfall. Your challenge is to find the positive competency opposite to your pitfall. In this competency you can develop yourself; it’s present in your heart and if you use it you will see yourself at full potential.

It is possible that when you are discreet, you will “freak out” when you are confronted with indiscretion. Your challenge (openness) is asking too much of your allergy. You do not know how to deal with openness, as your pitfall is that, by your discretion, you are a closed person.

Likewise, it may be that the other who is accommodating will “freak out” when he is faced with anger and aggression. That allergy arises because his challenge (assertiveness) is asking too much of his anger. He does not know how to deal with this, so his pitfall causes interest in others and neglect of its own interests.

Core competencies are derived during conflicts

Your core competencies are derived when conflicts arises. These conflicts have all to do with your challenge. Many of these challenges lead to conflicts and allergies. Ultimately it is about creating balance in the competency as much in the challenge. It is often difficult to combine those together. This requires practice.

What happens when two people are alike or polar opposites? It becomes a battle, where in case of similarity there is respect, but this is not the case with a person who is a polar opposite in behaviour and reaction. In extreme cases you will have the tendency to act completely from your allergy. Those are times when the environment will no longer recognise and understand you and your behaviour. The recommendation is to have a “time out” to prevent a worse case scenario.

In short you learn more about yourself from persons you face difficulties with.

Marieke Stoop

Tip: Author Daniel D. Ofman has more books written about core competencies