Pet Peeves List: 87 Common Things That Annoy People

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Let's be honest; we all have a pet peeves list that drives us crazy about the behavior of others.  Some of our closest friends and family members may be the offenders, who constantly do things that get on our nerves. 

Unfortunately, many of them know it and still do those things to get under our skin.  There may be things we laugh about with them, but deep down, there is a level of disdain and aggravation when people cross the line.

There are pet peeves many of us have in common, and some are specific to you.  Some annoy us, while others make us want to scream in aggravation. 

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What Are Pet Peeves?

A pet peeve is a minor annoyance an individual finds irritating to them.  Often, they are specific behaviors of people close to us – like a spouse, significant other, immediate family member, or colleague.  In addition, these behaviors can range from personal hygiene, manners, disrespect, and other circumstances. 

Moreover, the thing about pet peeves is that they may seem like nothing to others.  They may even feel that their behavior is acceptable or insignificant.  However, to you, it is a source of irritation and frustration and could make you very upset.  

An example of a pet peeve is when a woman’s husband and son leave the toilet seat up after using the bathroom.   She almost fell in several times.  It frustrates her to no end when it happens because she has complained many times and feels that they are inconsiderate of her.  As the saying goes, guys, you flush it, then flip it (the toilet seat lid).  No one wants an angry wife or mother on their hands because they fell into the toilet.

Another example of pet peeves is when an office manager is flustered by workers leaving the lid up on the fax machine, when others interrupt her when she is on the phone, or when a subordinate fails to empty their trash at the end of the work day.  

Here are more common pet peeves that have the tendency to annoy people.

Pet Peeves List: 87 Common Things That Annoy People

1.  People who chew with their mouths open.

As my mother used to say, no one wants to hear you ‘smacking' when you are chewing your food.  It is an annoyance to listen to and gross to see.  So the socially acceptable thing is for a person to chew with their mouth closed.

2.  People who cut in line.

While at the grocery store, an amusement park, or waiting in line for the latest electronic gadget, nothing is more annoying than people who cut in line. 

3.  Someone who hogs the aisles at the store.

One of the most irritating things is going into your local department store to pick a few specific items and getting held up by people standing in the middle of the aisle talking. 

It wouldn't be so bad if they wouldn't block the aisles where no one could get around them and act as if they were the only people in the store.

4.  Loudly slurping food or drink.

Nothing turns heads faster in a room than a person slurping their drink, a bowl of soup, or a plate of spaghetti noodles.  To say it is annoying is an understatement and an inconsiderate thing to do in diverse social settings.

5.  Tap your pencil or pen on a table or desk.

I admit this is something I do, and it annoys others around me.  However, when I realize what I am doing, I stop.  Tapping your pen or pencil on a desk is the quickest way to turn heads and get on someone's bad side.

6.  Clicking your mechanical pen or pencil.

Like the last one, I have also been known to do this.  However, while it helps me think when I need to get focused, it bothers those around me. 

7.  Talking on a cell phone in public spaces.

As a former cashier, nothing is more annoying than someone coming to your checkout line while talking on their cell phone.  This is also aggravating when you work in an office setting and someone comes to your desk for service while on their phone. 

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We all get tired, and we all yawn.  Everyone doesn’t have to hear it.

You don't know if they are talking to you or the person on the phone.  That is why many companies post signs asking people to turn off cell phones while in the office.

8.  Scratching the chalkboard.

Nails on a chalkboard shouldn't be listed here as a pet peeve but a misdemeanor crime, punishable by several hundred hours of community service. 

9.  Borrowing a car and bringing it back to the owner on empty.

When sharing or borrowing a car, it is frustrating when someone uses your vehicle and is not considerate enough to replace the fuel they used.   Bringing the car back on empty is a pet peeve many of us have because it is so inconsiderate.

10.  Standing in front of the television.

My mom always asked, “Are you made of glass?”  That is a pet peeve many of us have, to be focused on a favorite tv show or movie and someone stands in front of the television. 

11.  Leaving the lights on in a room.

Nothing frustrates a parent more than a child going from room to room in the house and leaving the lights on.  Turning off the light when you leave a room is not hard.  It is as simple as flipping a switch. 

12.  Invading someone’s personal space.

A major pet peeve for many people is when someone is talking to them but standing so close to them that it makes them feel uncomfortable.  Many of us have a distance that we feel is a safe distance to stand away from someone when talking with them.  However, to stand so close that it invades our personal space makes us uneasy.

13.  Spitting on sidewalks or other walk areas.

Number one, seeing someone spit in public is nasty, but to see spit on the sidewalk or other walking areas is downright disgusting.  No one wants to walk through saliva.

14.  Leaving empty containers in the refrigerator.

It can be frustrating to come home and go in the fridge for a refreshing juice drink, only to pick up the carton and realize that the container is empty.  So if you drink it all, do the logical thing and throw it away.

15.  Leave the container ‘almost' empty in the fridge.

A major pet peeve that is almost as frustrating is for someone to drink all but a drop of something and put it back in the refrigerator.  If it is not enough for a full cup, please drink the rest and throw it in the trash. 

16.  Talking during a movie.

One of the most annoying things people do is try to converse with you while watching a movie.  You are locked in and focused on the scenes of a thriller film.  Yet, your friend or family member chooses that moment to discuss something of very little to no importance. 

17.  Someone following too close in their vehicle.

Driving can be stressful.  However, it aggravates many drivers even more when the motorist behind them follows too close.  It is simply unacceptable when you look in the rearview mirror, and they are so close you cannot see their license plate.  Back off or pass. 

18.  Texting while on a date. 

Dating can be unnerving.  As you meet your date, you are dedicated to getting to know them; hopefully, they feel the same way.  But when a person consistently texts others, it is annoying and shows that they do not value you or your time. 

19.  Using improper grammar on social media posts.

I have seen many friends on social media get bent out of shape when someone doesn't use proper grammar in their posts.  It is clearly a pet peeve to use your when it should say you're, you are, or their in place of there, they're, or they are. 

20.  One-uppers.

We all get annoyed when someone feels the need to one-up us.  If we hit six home runs in a softball game, they hit seven.  If we were sick for two weeks, they were at the point of death for three.  One-uppers are annoying, and most of us try to avoid having meaningful conversations with people like that if we can help it.

21.  Cracking of the knuckles. 

It reminds me of a box of Rice Krispies, snap, crackle, and pop.  While this doesn’t bother me much, I have seen others get so annoyed that they wanted to cause physical harm to the person cracking their knuckles. 

22.  Someone picking their nose.

Our mothers tried to tell us not to pick our noses in public, but many did not heed that message.  It is disgusting. 

23.  People not covering their mouth's when they cough.

This has become even more prevalent as a pet peeve since the introduction of Covid-19.  However, we still have many people who cough with no attempt to cover their mouths.  No one wants to get the germs and possible spread of sickness due to the carelessness of another.

24.  People who sneeze before reaching out to shake your hand.

Sneezing is a part of life, but nothing makes people more uncomfortable than when someone you meet sneezes and then reaches out to shake your hand with the hand they just sneezed in.  It is distasteful and inconsiderate, to say the least.

25.  Someone being late.

When people are consistently late meeting up with you, it shows that they don't value your time.  If the meeting is scheduled in advance, it would be a common courtesy to plan your daily activities around the meeting so that you arrive on time.

26.  Leaving the refrigerator door open.

Our food can only stay fresh if the refrigerator door is closed.  So if you open a door, close it, simple as that. 

27.  Opening a door to come into a room, then leaving it open when you leave. 

It is impolite and inconsiderate to knock at a door and enter a room, then leave and fail to shut the door back behind you.  This can be frustrating; a person comes and disrupts your privacy, then fails to give it back by leaving the door open.    

28.  Failure to replace the toilet paper roll when it is empty.

A common pet peeve in a household is when someone fails to refill a toilet paper roll in the bathroom when they emptied it.  This sets up a scenario for someone to use the bathroom and have no toilet paper to use when needed.  Do the considerate thing.  If you know the roll is empty, refill it.

29.  Sharing unwanted personal details with strangers.

It is uncomfortable for most of us when a person we just met needs to share personal, intimate details with us.  They often share too much information about a fungus, sickness, or other medical condition they or a family member have.  Keep it to yourself, please?

30.  Playing loud music in your vehicle.

We have all heard those vehicles drive down the road where the driver's music is so loud it rattles the windows in your car, office building, or home.  ‘Why does everyone have to hear what you are listening to?' is the question I often ask myself.  Not to mention, some music is so loud it sounds like the vehicle itself is about to explode or fall apart.  This isn't very pleasant.

31.  Drivers who do not use their turn signals.

Though using a turn signal when driving is a requirement to pass a state driving exam, drivers today still fail to use their turn signals.  It is not just annoying, but it is unsafe and inconsiderate.

32.  Someone who is a know-it-all.  

We all can learn from each other, so a know-it-all gets on people's nerves.

33.  Lousy Tippers.

Waiters and waitresses in the hospitality industry work hard for the small wages that they make per hour.  Therefore, they rely heavily on tips.  Some people are great tippers, and others are just too cheap to tip a hard-working person. 

However, many people know they have been demanding, and the waiter gave them excellent service with a smile.  So quit being so cheap and tip at least 20%. 

34.  People who interrupt your conversation.

When we are in a conversation with someone, it is very annoying when someone steps in and interrupts the conversation.  You want to say to them, ‘please wait your turn.'  Simply put, interrupting someone's conversation is very rude.

35.  Holding up the checkout line to grab a few more items.

We have all been there.  We go into a store to grab one thing and get moving.  However, a person with a basket full of items is at the register in front of us.  While the cashier is ringing up their merchandise, the customer constantly returns to the sales floor to get ‘just one more thing.'  Finish your shopping, then get in line.  Please?

36.  People ask if you are a basketball player because you are tall.

Many tall people have never picked up a basketball.  However, the assumption is often made that because a person is 6'5″ or taller, they must be a basketball player.  It is annoying to tall people everywhere. 

37.  Meetings that should have been an email instead.

Our jobs can be very demanding and stressful.  So, time is valuable because we often work with tight deadlines. 

But, while communication is beneficial, it can be aggravating to have a meeting in the middle of a busy workday with information that could have been shared through a simple email. 

38.  Owners who don’t pick up after their dogs.

One of the most annoying things is taking your dog for a walk in a dog park or at an RV park, and you step in someone else's dog poop.  Although owners are asked to pick up after their dogs in most public places, they don't always adhere to the rules.  Really, it's just common courtesy.

39.  Hitting reply all on company emails.

A company's district manager sends emails to each manager in his district and asks for a sales update for each business unit.  He expects each office to send a report and a course of action to boost sales for the rest of the work day. 

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It is annoying when someone waits to call you at the midnight hour to talk about your day and share the latest gossip. 

Managers manage their offices and often respond to hundreds of emails daily.  So, what gets annoying is when some managers send their report back to the district manager by hitting ‘reply all.' 

When they do this, every manager gets a copy of the report.  It is distracting and shows a lack of computer etiquette and literacy.

40.  Yawning Loudly.

We all get tired, and we all yawn.  Everyone doesn’t have to hear it.

41.  Double Dipping.

No one wants to share chips and dip, and someone double dips.  It makes you cringe to think of someone putting a chip back into a shared bowl of dip after it has been in their mouths.  Yuck!

42.  Food stealing in the breakroom.

It is so annoying when you take your lunch to work and put it in the refrigerator in the breakroom, only for a co-worker to find it and eat it.  If the food doesn't belong to you, don't eat it.  In fact, you shouldn't even touch it. 

43.  Uncomfortable staring.

It is so unnerving to be in a room, and as you look around, you find someone staring at you.  If it is for a brief moment, it is one thing.  Still, when it is consistent, the staring becomes uncomfortable and, in some cases, creepy.

44.  Negative talk.

Most of us love to be around positive and uplifting people.  However, what is annoying is when we are around someone negative all the time.  No matter the subject, they have nothing good to say about it. 

45.  Someone talking in the third person.

So many of us find it weirdly irritating when someone speaks of themselves in the third person. 

46.  Not washing hands after using the restroom.

Unfortunately, this is a disgusting habit that many people have.  We have all gone into a public restroom, heard someone flush the toilet, walk out of the stall, bypass the sink and walk out of the bathroom without washing their hands.  Just the thought of it grosses me out.

47.  People who talk to you while you are praying.

It is not only a pet peeve, but it makes you feel disrespected when you're at the church sanctuary praying, and a person walks up and tries to converse with you.  My head is down, and my eyes closed do not give the indication that I want to talk to anyone but God. 

48.  People who give you unsolicited advice.

It is very bothersome when someone listens in on your conversation and interjects themselves into the mix only to offer unsolicited advice.  It would be better to ask if you can offer advice since you couldn't help but overhear the conversation instead of forcing it on someone. 

49.  Unflushed toilets.

Public restrooms already give most of us the heebie-jeebies without going into a restroom stall and finding that the person before us failed to flush. 

50.  Slow-moving cashiers.

Everyone moves at a different speed.  But what is most infuriating is when a cashier carries on a lengthy conversation with the customer they are waiting on.  The customer is trying to get out of the way for those of us behind them.  It's sad when customers are more concerned with keeping the line moving than the cashier.

51.  Saying I’m fine when you’re clearly not.

It is challenging and frustrating to be there for someone you care about who is not honest with you about how they feel.  Unfortunately, in relationships, many people want their significant others to ‘figure it out' when it would be more productive to say what is on your heart and eliminate the guessing game.

52.  Acting differently around certain people.

People who act one way around you and another in public or with their family are confusing and annoying.  Just be who you are.

53.  Oversharing things from private conversations in public.

No one wants to hear things they shared in private blurted out in a public setting or amid anyone who was not in the room when the conversation took place. 

54.  Rudeness in general.

One of the most awkward situations to be in is one where you feel you have to apologize for your rude friend or spouse.  Rudeness is never ok. 

55.  Bad personal hygiene.

If you are going out in public and plan to be near others, it is best to make sure you have showered, brushed your teeth, and put on some deodorant at the very least.  Being in close quarters with someone giving off an awful smell

 is rough.

56.  Public displays of over-affection.

It is nice to see a couple in love that holds hands and kisses in public.  However, there is an unpleasant point of over-affection where the couple just needs to ‘get a room.'

57.  People who smoke cigarettes.

Cigarette smoke smells awful and is harmful to the smoker and twice as bad for those around them.  

58.  Dishonesty and being untrustworthy.

We all like to surround ourselves with people we can depend on and who are honest with us.  But unfortunately, no one has time for people who are dishonest and untrustworthy.

59.  Creepy men who try flirting.

Some men will say whatever comes to mind when flirting.  However, it is not always appropriate.  Rule of thumb, don't say anything to her that you wouldn't want another man to say to your mom, wife, or daughter.

60.  Over-aggressive salespeople.

Some people visit retail stores, shops, and car dealerships just to look around.  It could be for some retail therapy or to pass the time.  But, unfortunately, being an over-aggressive salesperson in one of these places ruins the experience and, in some cases, the possibility of a sale. 

61.  People who talk while chewing their food.

Have you ever gone out to eat with someone, and they shared a compelling story with you while their mouth was full of food. 

But, unfortunately, you can't get into the story because all you can see is a mouth full of half-eaten food and morsels falling out of their mouths as they talk and chew.  I'm sorry, but the story can wait.

62.  People who call late at night just to talk.

Your close friends and family know that you go to bed early in the evening because you have an early schedule the following day.  However, it is annoying when someone waits to call you at the midnight hour to talk about your day and share the latest gossip. 

63.  Those who say, “don’t take this personally” before getting personal.

When you hear those words, ‘don't take this personally,' you already know that a personal shot will be taken.  So why say it?

64.  People who send private messages on social media and misspell your name.

Social media profiles are pages we set up for ourselves to connect with others.  It is a pet peeve of many for someone to get on our pages, where the spelling of our names is displayed, and still misspell it.  Sheesh.

65.  People who call you when they know you are busy at work.

It is annoying to be on your 9-5 job, and someone who knows you well always seems to call you during work hours. 

The phone call usually demands an immediate favor or asks a question.  In most cases, the favor or pressing question could wait until the end of the shift.

66.  When people stop by your job and say, ‘I hope you’re not busy.’

It is a little aggravating when someone stops by to see you at your job only to say, ‘I hope you're not busy.’  The whole time you are thinking ‘I am at work, what do you think I do here?’

67.  People who pinch children's cheeks.

I had to post this for children everywhere with big chubby cheeks as I had.  But, here is something you need to know, we don't like to have our cheeks pinched by every Tom, Dick, Harry, or Bertha.  It hurts!  So, stop it!

68.  People who tell you details about a movie before you get a chance to watch it.

Have you ever told someone that you were going to the movies to see a popular film and they proceeded to say every detail of it because they have already seen it?  Yes, that is a pet peeve of mine too!

69.  Putting toilet paper on the roll the wrong way.

This is a debate almost as strong as a political one.  Which way does the toilet paper go on the roll?  Either way, you do it, someone is going to be annoyed.

70.  People who ask our opinions but never listen.

We all have those people who come to us for advice but never listen to our advice.  So why ask?

71.  When tractor-trailer trucks drive side by side slowly and hold up traffic on the freeway.

It is very frustrating to be held up on the freeway by tractor-trailer trucks that hog all the lanes and ride side by side.  There are fast and slow lanes for a reason.

72.  Passengers who mess with the car stereo.

Passengers listen up.  You are along for the ride.  You are not the captain of the ship, so keep your hands off the radio.

73.  People who name-drop to make themselves sound like a big deal.

Have you ever been at work and a customer comes in and makes it a point to let you know that they know the manager? 

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Nothing is more annoying than someone talking loudly on their cell phone while on public places.

Before long, they tell you that they play golf with the mayor and have lunch every week with the police chief.  We don't care. 

74.  People who talk loud for no reason.

It is so annoying to be in a noisy, crowded place, and suddenly a person comes into the building and talks so loudly everyone can hear what they are saying. 

They want to be the center of attention but usually come across loud and obnoxious.

75.  Those who overstay their welcome.

It is nice to have friends or family over to hang out every now and then.  What gets bothersome is when everyone leaves but one person. 

That person sees you yawning and nodding off to sleep off and on, yet they continue to sit there and visit.  The party is over now, and it is time for all to go home. 

76.  Group texts.

Why?  Group texts were supposed to be a way of communicating with multiple people without having to repeat themselves. 

However, all the people copied in the text begin replying to the text and carrying on conversations that you no longer want to be a part of.  And there is no way to get out of it without blocking the people in the text chain.

77.  When fast food restaurants mess up your order.

If people spend their hard-earned money on food, they want what they ordered.  Clearly, the receipt shows that you asked for a double cheeseburger, so why is there a fish sandwich in the bag?  We all make mistakes, but it is an epidemic and a pet peeve worth mentioning.

78. Someone who helps themselves off your plate without asking. 

People who casually steal food from your plate can be super annoying. Not all of us are comfortable sharing our food, and it’s the worst manners to simply help yourself to someone else’s food. 

Having someone take food from your plate can seriously ruin your appetite, and there are hygiene issues to consider too.

79. “Hey, I was busy talking!”

When you are mid-conversation and someone comes up to you and then takes over the conversation or talks right over you, it can be a slap in the face. It says that your opinion or what you were about to say isn’t worth their patience or respect.  

80. Marketing gimmicks in public spaces

Ever been in a shop and been unable to get to something on a shelf or struggled to move past sales people blocking your way? Its super annoying to have people physically block your access, and then having them try to force a sample or sale on you can be even worse. When you tell them you’re not interested, they give you the stink-eye for telling them you don’t have time. That can be a real pain in the you know where. 

Shops often have limited space, and blockages by sales reps with their little samples or pamphlets are exacerbating. 

81. It’s your dog, clean up, please!

Parks are spaces where people want to enjoy nature, without the whiff of your pooch’s poop. It’s super annoying to walk in the park and step in someone’s dog’s doo-doo. By law, dog owners are supposed to pick up their pooch’s leavings. If they don’t, it’s the same as if someone left their kid’s diapers all over the sidewalk. 

Likewise, if you are a pet owner, it can be really peeving to have a stranger try to “talk” to your dog, especially if they use their baby voice.  

82. “Stop trying to be cool, gramps!”

There are certain generational terms and phrases that are best reserved for the youth. And, what you used as “cool” words in your youth won’t be cool now. For younger people (and those who are older but socially aware), hearing someone use outdated words like “dude” or “kiff” can be extra irritating.

Even worse, if the person using this dated slang believes themselves to be really amazing, it’s a real kicker.  

Another variation of this is when people try to use cultural slurs or slang to try and impress someone from a different culture – like when you start talking with a Mexican accent or slowing down what you say just because you are speaking to someone from Mexican (or Hispanic) descent. 

83. Getting the reply-all emails. 

It’s OK when your boss sends out a company announcement to everyone, but when everyone starts responding “thanks” or “OK, cool” in a reply-all, it can get annoying really quickly. You can’t even click an “unsubscribe” button on those emails. They just continue to fill your inbox and irritate you with their ping-ping-ping notifications. 

Or how about when your coworker CC’s your boss on every single mail they send you? 

84. Blocking the elevator’s door and not moving out of the way. 

It sometimes feels like people just don’t have any manners and this pet peeve is a huge annoyance. When you’re in the elevator and the doors open, then your way is blocked by people engaged in conversation or simply standing there, and you struggle to maneuver out of the elevator. 

Instead of simply moving out of the way, the people just stand there, without a care in the world (or an ounce of manners).

85. A “thumbs up” or “OK” text response. 

Do you share your inner thoughts or send a heartfelt message to your significant other, parent, or a close friend, and then you get a thumbs up emoji or a simple OK as a response? 

That is never OK, and the person also doesn’t seem to get how that is a pet peeve when you try and explain to them that you need a proper response – minimum a complete sentence. 

86. Being on a call with customer service. 

I really procrastinate when I have to call the customer service center of a company. I just hate it when the message “your call is important to us” comes on, but then you have to hear how you are number 102 in the queue and listen to ads, service announcements, and two hours of elevator music. 

It’s the worst, and I’m sure you’ve wanted to hang up many times while waiting, right?  

87. Splitting the bill equally when your date/friend ate way more. 

Have you been on a date with your lover or a friend, and they order the most expensive meal (plus dessert and an appetizer!) and drinks? And then the audacity when they want to split the bill 50-50 with you? 

I mean, come on. There’s no way that’s fair, and it’s even worse when you only planned to spend X on your meal because that’s what you budgeted (and maybe all you have to spend)? Now you’ve got to fork out more money.

Final Thoughts on Pet Peeves List

Personally, I feel I have got too much fulfillment in writing this article.  There has been something therapeutic about sharing this list of pet peeves (or maybe I take some things too personally).   However, I have felt like a voice for the everyday person to let all the offenders know that their actions have gotten on our nerves

If we are honest, we all do some things on the list that may make our friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers uncomfortable.  However, in a world that has become increasingly selfish and inconsiderate, may we see this as an opportunity to be more self-aware and positive and pay attention to how our actions affect those around us.

Lastly, let's make an effort to be more thoughtful in the things we say and do and how we treat others.

And if you're looking for more articles about relationships, be sure to check out these blog posts:

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