Pet Peeves List: 70 Things That Practically Everyone Finds Annoying

By Sky Ariella - Oct. 19, 2021
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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We’ve all had the experience of being overwhelmed with annoyance at a pet peeve that someone displays. It can be a friend, co-worker, or stranger who sets it off. Everyone has their own set of pet peeves that really gnaws at them.

A particular habit that sends one person into a full-blown rage will barely be noticed by another.

Understanding pet peeves that a lot of people find annoying can improve your relationships and interactions that are going poorly.

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What Are Pet Peeves?

A pet peeve is a behavior or display that generates slight annoyance in people. They aren’t things that are so inappropriate and rude that they necessarily warrant taking action, but they’re generally bothersome in a way that will make you roll your eyes in frustration.

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60 Pet Peeves That Annoy People

  1. Micro-Management. Most people don’t like it being insinuated that they can’t do their work well. Micro-managing inherently does that because it means being on top of every little thing that someone does.

  2. Loud Chewing Or Drinking. There’s nothing that disturbs a meal as quickly as loud chewing or drinking. It’s regarded as rude because it’s an unpleasant sound to hear. Nobody wants to be interrupted by munching or slurping while they’re trying to enjoy their dinner.

  3. Being Late. Everyone has important places to be, and being late to a scheduled meeting or meal can cause a rift in someone’s whole day. Every once in a while, circumstances happen. Once it becomes an ongoing issue, it’s a sign of disrespect and will be frustrating to almost anyone who endures it.

  4. Interrupting. This is a big habit to avoid if you want to remain on people’s good sides. When someone interrupts another person, it means they don’t care what they have to say. That can get annoying fairly quickly.

  5. Talking During A Movie. The purpose of going to see a movie is to experience a film. People in the audience can’t do that if one person is speaking loudly and filling the theatre with chatter.

  6. People Who Walk Slow. There’s nothing more stressful than being in a rush on foot through a city and getting caught behind a slow walker with no way to get around them.

  7. Staring At Someone’s Phone. In the technological age, a person’s phone is a sacred private possession. Looking at their screen to try and get a glimpse at what they’re doing will rub many people the wrong way.

  8. Clipping Your Nails In Public. The sound and sight of little bits of a stranger’s nail flying waywardly from a clipper send shivers down most people’s spines. It’s a habit that will gross out everyone around you if you do it in public instead of the privacy of your bathroom.

  9. Standing Too Close To Another Person. Personal space is valuable, and most people will become irritated if another person is standing within their bubble. While it’s always been an unspoken rule to give people around your room, this pet peeve became amplified in 2021.

  10. Talking To Someone With Headphones In. When someone is listening to music with headphones in, it’s giving a clear sign that they’re not in the mood to start a conversation. Choosing to ignore this and proceed with talking to them anyway will probably leave them feeling annoyed.

  11. Turning Without Signaling. Poor driving etiquette, like making a turn without signaling, will make other people on the road crazy. It often makes them have to stop short and narrowly avoid a crash. Don’t be surprised if a fellow driver flashes you some inappropriate hand gestures if you fail to use your signals.

  12. Slow Internet. People spend upwards of 730 hours online per year on average, and when they can’t do that because of slow internet speeds, you’re likely to hear a series of grunts in irritation.

  13. Slow Drivers. Similar to turning without signaling, slow drivers will bother most other people on the road. People have places to get to by a certain time, and going ten miles below the speed limit in a single lane road will definitely make them more stressed.

  14. Staring At People. It can make people uncomfortable to be stared at. If it goes on for long periods, they’ll probably become irritated by it.

  15. Speaking About Yourself In The Third Person. Nothing has quite the same ick factor as someone speaking for themselves in the third person. It can sound condescending and annoy most people who you’re talking to after a while.

  16. Talking When Your Mouth Is Full. Nobody finds it appetizing to watch someone pulverizing their food into mush because they’re chewing with their mouth open. This annoying behavior can ruin even the most delicious dinners.

  17. Saying “No Offense” After Something Insulting. Saying something that can be perceived as rude or insulting to another person doesn’t get washed away by inserting a quick “no offense” after hurting their feelings. Doing so will only annoy them further than the initial comment already had.

  18. Leaving The Water Running. Although this can just be a mindless slip up if it occurs once, leaving the water running as a habit can quickly bother your family or roommate. It shows carelessness, and you can end up paying in the long-run on your water bill.

  19. Cracking Knuckles. People can have a surprisingly strong negative reaction to auditory stimuli that they don’t like, and cracking knuckles can be very unpleasant for a lot of people to hear. It’s a common pet peeve that erks a large portion of the population, probably because of the idea of bone against bone.

  20. Tapping A Pen. Creating a catchy beat with your pen and desk may be a good way for you to focus on what you’re doing, but it’ll likely be distracting to everyone else around you.

  21. Correcting Grammar Or Pronunciation. It’s tough to get more annoying than interjecting while someone else is speaking to correct their grammar or pronunciation irrelevantly. It can make the speaker lose their train of thought, and their patience will be close behind in going off the track.

  22. Repeating “Literally” In Every Sentence. It will literally get so annoying to hear the word literally in every nook and cranny of a person’s sentences. It gets in the way of the speaker’s message and makes the person listening feel irritated.

  23. Leaving Dirty Dishes In The Sink. Leaving a pile of dirty dishes in your kitchen sink is a nasty habit that will disgust and bother the people around you, whether they are your roommate or are just visiting.

  24. Dog Owners Not Picking Up After Their Pet. It will absolutely kill someone’s day to be walking down the street care-free, only for a step to land in waste that a dog-owner neglected to pick up. It’s a smelly hassle, and being the perpetrator of this situation will make some enemies in the neighborhood.

  25. Pushy Salespeople. It’s a draining experience to be walking through a mall and be bombarded with the tactics of a pushy salesperson who won’t leave you alone.

  26. Pessimism. Even in the face of adverse circumstances, most people prefer to look on the bright side than drown in pessimism. Being the person who always has a cloud hanging over your head will begin to bother people around you who are trying to maintain a positive outlook.

  27. Being Told To “Calm Down.” The irony of using the statement “calm down” to try and put out the fire of someone’s anger is that it will act like gasoline, sparking an even bigger explosion. It insinuates that their reaction is blown out of proportion, which will frustrate many people in the heat of anger.

  28. Passive Aggressive Comments. The only thing that’s worse than someone being straight up rude to your face is having the attack be sugar-coated-in passive-aggressiveness.

  29. Waiting For An Elevator. You’ve finally arrived at the last step to reaching your destination, a simple elevator ride. It can be a pet peeve for many to wait in a lobby for what feels like forever waiting for it to arrive.

  30. Children Crying On Planes. While most adults probably wish they could let out a wail of frustration while flying on a plane, children do it to their heart’s content. Dealing with another passenger’s children having a tantrum on a flight is a pet peeve nightmare for travelers.

  31. Sneezing Or Coughing Without Covering Your Mouth. While the act of sneezing or coughing without covering your mouth was once a simple pet peeve that bothered most people, it became more hazardous in 2020 and beyond.

  32. Excessive Public Displays Of Affection. It’s normal to see people holding hands, hugging, and kissing in public, but there are boundaries to what people are willing to see. Being excessively affectionate in public will probably make the strangers around you feel uncomfortable and awkward.

  33. Asking Nosey Questions. Being interested in the lives of your friends and families is okay. However, once your questions become prying, they’ll start getting sick of the nosiness.

  34. Littering. This is one of the more serious pet peeves on this list because you can actually receive a ticket for littering. We all live on the same Earth and need to take care of it if we want to continue doing that. It will bother a lot of people to see others contributing to trashing the planet.

  35. Cutting People Off When Driving. It’s a major pet peeve of drivers everywhere to be happily cruising down the road, only to be cut off by a driver swerving haphazardly into their lane. It’s an annoying driving behavior that puts everyone on the road at risk.

  36. Stating, “You Look Tired.” It’s stressful enough waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but being told that you look tired on an off-day can make it even worse.

  37. Smacking Your Gum. Most people avoid chewing gum during formal and quiet situations because it can be loud to chew. Choosing to do so anyway will probably result in receiving a lot of sideways glances in frustration.

  38. Laughing Loudly. Some people can’t control the volume of their laughter, especially when a joke is hilarious. Even so, a boisterous laugh may bother the strangers around you if you’re eating at a restaurant or reading in a library.

  39. Laziness. Life is about getting things done, and individuals who suffer from laziness will likely be a drag to the people around them.

  40. Bragging. Whether you’re bragging about how much money you have in the bank, your impressive job, or how attractive you are, it’ll probably leave the people you’re talking to stunned. However, they’ll probably be in awe of how annoying it is to listen to, not the wonderful accomplishments.

  41. Biting Nails. It’s unclear if it’s the snapping sound or watching pieces of nail fall to the ground, but there’s one thing that’s obvious. People hate seeing others bite their nails.

  42. Blasting Music. Even though your favorite music artist is the best thing you’ve ever heard in your life, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Blasting your music forces everyone to be distracted by it.

  43. Eating Someone Else’s Food. Eating a good meal is a simple pleasure in life that your roommate or co-workers look forward to. If you eat the food they’ve left labeled as theirs in the fridge, they’re going to be disappointed at the least and aggravated at the most.

  44. Snoring. This is luckily a pet peeve that you probably won’t have to deal with from anyone other than your partner, but it can be a doozy when it comes to getting in a full eight hours of sleep per night.

  45. Saying, “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way.” This sentence is the ultimate form of invalidating the way someone feels, and that’s more serious than a pet peeve for a lot of people.

  46. Eating Smelly Food In Public. Some of the tastiest food can smell terrible to the people around you in a small space, like public transportation. Eating an egg salad on the morning bus to work will make enemies out of the other people on your route.

  47. Looking At Your Cellphone When Someone Is Talking. People want to know that they’re being heard when they speak. When you look at your phone screen while they’re talking, they’ll feel ignored and frustrated with the inconsideration.

  48. Not Taking Responsibility. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes, but people who can’t take responsibility for these missteps will be perceived as annoying.

  49. Leaving The Toilet Seat Up. The principal perpetrators of this pet peeve are the male gender, and it’s been bothering women everywhere since the dawn of time.

  50. Complaining. Aimlessly complaining about a situation or issue rarely does anything to solve it. Usually, complaining only results in bothering people listening to it.

  51. Scraping A Plate With A Knife Or Fork. The noise of metal scraping against a porcelain plate can blast through an entire restaurant and disturb most patrons along the way.

  52. Talking Trash About A TV Show Someone Likes. Everyone is entitled to enjoy the TV shows that they find interesting, even if you think it’s in bad taste. Speaking negatively about the shows someone likes won’t do anything to change their opinion about the show, but it will make them frustrated.

  53. Couples Arguing In Public. Arguments between couples are best done in private because listening to loud public arguments is a huge pet peeve for a lot of people.

  54. Playing Loud Games On Public Transit. Public transit forces strangers together in a small space. Playing games loudly on your phone will intrude on people’s auditory space, which can quickly become irritating.

  55. Leaving Someone’s Text On Read. It only takes a few seconds to read and answer someone’s text message. Choosing to ignore them instead is a major pet peeve that people deal with through phone communication.

  56. Immature Jokes At Work. There’s a time and place when raunchy jokes are acceptable, but the workplace isn’t it. While making an immature joke at work probably won’t get you fired, it’ll definitely annoy your co-workers.

  57. Burping. Burping in public is an unattractive habit that will disgust anyone in earshot.

  58. Being Added To Superfluous Group Chats. Being added to a large group chat will make you phone ping endlessly until you remove yourself. A minor annoyance that many people face in the world of texting.

  59. Getting Stuck In Traffic. It always seems that a traffic jam pops up when you’re in a rush to work or an event, causing a headache and mounting frustration.

  60. Having To Repeat Yourself. Needing to repeat the same sentence three times over because the other person wasn’t listening is a pet peeve that makes people feel disregarded and annoyed.

  61. One-Upping People’s Stories. Telling a great story to a group of friends can be really satisfying — until that one guy jumps in with his story about a similar thing — but better. Funnily enough, people do the same when a friend shares a story of misfortune, and it’s equally annoying in that situation.

  62. Mishandled Food Deliveries. Spilled liquids at the bottoms of bags, cold salads placed on top of hot pizzas, fried rice that’s completely coagulated because it took 75 minutes to arrive at your door. Any pet peeve around food is extra annoying, since you’re also hungry.

  63. “No Offense.” There’s no reason to say “no offense” unless you’ve just said something offensive or you’re about to. While it’s okay to apologize for inadvertandly offending someone, this phrase has become such a byword for “I don’t really care about your feelings” that it grates on most people.

  64. People Who Copy Your Input. There’s nothing more annoying than making a contribution to a conversation, only to have someone else make the exact same point moments later. It’s especially annoying when it’s your boss doing the stealing.

  65. Food Bandits. A shocking amount of people seem to think it’s all right to take any food found in a communal fridge. While people have varying opinions about what’s okay and what isn’t, we can all agree it’s a major problem when food you’re expecting to find for lunch isn’t there.

  66. Saying LOL In Real Life. It’s bad enough that the world of digital communication has become predominant in our lives. We don’t need ROFLs and LOLs in our day-to-day vernacular, thank you very much. Heck, Larry David covered this a decade ago on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

  67. Spoilers. While some people don’t mind a bit of spoiling, others will have an absolute meltdown if you spoil a plot point from a TV show they’re watching or a book they’re reading. It’s safest to check everyone’s status before revealing anything, unless it’s The Sixth Sense — we’re pretty sure the cat’s out of the bag on that one.

  68. Tailgating. There really isn’t anything sillier than tailgating a car in front of you. It’s unsafe, irritating, and doesn’t achieve any sort of results. Almost everyone has tailgating on their pet peeves list.

  69. Last Minute Assignments. It’s 4 o’clock, and your boss emails you about a major assignment that’s going to take hours to complete. Or it’s Friday afternoon and you get word of a major issue you have to deal with. Some people thrive in situations like this, but for many, it’s just a pain in the neck.

  70. The Sound Of Styrofoam On Styrofoam. People say nails on a chalkboard is bad (and it is), but how many chalkboards do you encounter in your day-to-day life? Not many, we’re guessing. Styrofoam, on the other hand, is everywhere, and the sound it makes when rubbing against itself is excrutiating.

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Author

Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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