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Study: A look at our biggest pet peeves and how we react to them

Study: A look at our biggest pet peeves and how we react to them

Everybody is wired differently. What might seem completely harmless to you can be annoying to someone else.

Maybe you get antsy when your housemates leave a mess in the kitchen, or ticked off when your partner starts snoring at night, or frustrated when your coworkers show up late to meetings. 

We wanted to learn the types of things that drive the majority of folks crazy, so we asked 544 people about their biggest pet peeves—both at home and where they work. 

Here’s what we uncovered. Hopefully the results won’t trigger you! 

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Are your housemates peeved? It’s likely because of your mess  

There are a few leading pet peeves among housemates:

  1. Leaving common spaces messy (63%)
  2. Neglecting to take out the trash (45%)
  3. Talking loudly on the phone (30%)
  4. Taking food without asking for permission (24%)

Your household pet peeves, however, can vary depending on your age. 

For example, roughly 2 in every 5 young adults (18-29 years old) get annoyed when housemates take their food without asking for permission—versus 19% of older adults, between the ages of 45 to 60. Meanwhile, 37% of older adults get upset when a housemate changes the room temperature—versus 30% of young adults.  

Are your colleagues irritated? They’re probably on the younger side 

We also asked about the top workplace pet peeves:

  1. Colleagues complain about their work and/or other colleagues (53%)
  2. Manager doesn’t give you credit when it’s deserved (50%)
  3. Colleagues show up late to meetings (33%)
  4. Colleagues fail to recognize your contributions (31%)

Like at home, your workplace pet peeves differ depending on your age. Only this time, younger adults are more likely to get annoyed by just about everything we asked about.

For instance, when it comes to the relationship with their manager, young employees are more sensitive when the manager says negative things about their work or coworkers (35% vs 15% of older adults); they are more likely to get upset when their manager cancels a meeting at the last minute (27% vs 12%); and they have a higher chance of being ruffled when the manager is late to their meetings (40% vs 29%). 

Our biggest pet peeves and how we respond to them

So what unsettles you the most? When we asked this as an open-ended question, we found that the responses varied widely: 

word cloud that shows the most common pet peeves among our respondents.

Loud noises, people interrupting you, leaving the lights on, and overuse of phones are just a few of our most common pet peeves. 

How do we respond when we experience them? The responses were equally as diverse. Here’s what a few of our respondents told us:

quote

“I get frustrated and leave.”
 
“I roll my eyes.”

“I calmly explain how much it bothers me.”

Now that you know what riles people up, hopefully you’ll be better about being on their good side—or annoying them, if that’s what you really want. 

P.S. Here’s our full list of the biggest pet peeves:

  1. Leaving common spaces messy (63%)
  2. Colleagues complain about their work and/or specific colleagues (53%)
  3. Manager doesn’t give you credit when it’s deserved (50%)
  4. Neglecting to take out the trash (45%)
  5. Bedmate takes too much of the blanket (39%)
  6. Colleagues show up late to meetings (33%)
  7. Colleagues fail to recognize your contributions (31%)
  8. Talking loudly over the phone (30%)
  9. When a bedmate moves around too much (29%)
  10. Taking food without asking for permission (24%)
  11. Cooking something that smells unpleasant (22%)
  12. Bedmate wakes you up early in the morning (22%)
  13. Bedmate is on their phone or computer late at night (22%)
  14. Playing music loudly (22%)
  15. Occupying the kitchen for a long period of time (20%)