You’re Not Alone: Common Pet Peeves

6 minute read

By Jordana Weiss

Sharing space with people takes more work than we sometimes admit. After all, dealing with others can take willpower. While everyone’s pet peeves differ to some degree, some are very common. Start a search today to learn about common pet peeves.

Everyone has their own particular pet peeves, and not blowing up at someone chewing with their mouth open or using their sleeve to wipe their nose is an act of self-control. With this in mind, here are a few common pet peeves.

Mouth breathing

Ok, this is an obvious one. People who breathe primarily through their mouth instead of their nose are incredibly irritating because of the increased noise and frequent halitosis that seem to be common among mouth breathers.

Breathing through the mouth is common among people with nostril or facial deformities and is generally not something you can control. Even though it might not be a controllable condition, it is still super annoying.

People who take up multiple seats

There is something very obnoxious about someone who takes up multiple seats in public areas. Unconsciously, it says to passersby that they have more right to the space than other people.

Another term for this is “manspreading.” Coined because many times it is a man who takes up more room than he has a right to. These men feel the need to spread their legs in order to make more room for themselves. Funny enough, they all seem to love taking public transit.

Slow walkers

Everyone’s been there. Stuck behind someone slow when you’re trying to walk at a normal pace along the sidewalk. These people seem to think that the public sidewalk is no different than their own house and move at their own pace instead of matching the speed of foot traffic. The only way to avoid slow walkers is to become adept at ducking and dodging around them.

People who leave the toilet paper roll empty

Come on! How hard is it to reach into the cupboard and replace the toilet paper if you’ve used the last square? There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to do your business and discovering that there’s no toilet paper left on the roll.

In public restrooms, this is unavoidable, but when it’s a member of your own family that commits the offense, maybe they need to be reminded of common courtesies.


Many people say that lateness runs in families; that people who grow up together all go through life at the same pace. While it may be tempting to use this excuse to explain away your chronic lateness, the reality is that lateness is simply valuing your time more than any other persons and can be fixed with a bit of advance planning and respect.

Loud gum chewing

Gum definitely has its uses. It can freshen your breath when you’ve just eaten a whole pile of onions and are nowhere near a toothbrush. However, it gets irritating quickly when people put a piece of gum into their mouth, then proceed to chomp and pop the gum loudly for the next hour. No one else needs to see your gum after you put it into your mouth.

Clipping nails in public

Clipping your nails makes more of a mess than you realize. The little cuttings are sharp, and unless they’re carefully corralled, tend to go flying once they’re clipped away from the nail.

People who clip their nails in public may be trying to do it without being noticed, but the characteristic clipping noise is a dead giveaway. Clipping your nails should be done at home — preferably in the bathroom — and nowhere else.

Line cutters

Another type of cutter — but one who is more than just annoying — line cutters are simply rude. Everyone is aware of the social contract of a line. Cutting in when you haven’t been waiting as long as everyone else is just not polite. It’s like saying to everyone else in the line that your life is more important and special than theirs.


There’s nothing worse than someone interrupting you time and time again. It’s incredibly inconsiderate and signals that they don’t actually take what you have to say seriously. The next time someone interrupts you in a conversation, simply wait for them to finish and say, “May I finish what I was saying? You interrupted me earlier.” Any sensible person will apologize and settle down with the interruptions for at least a little bit.

Listening to loud music in public

One downside of living in a city is that people spend so much time in public spaces on the journey between home and work. This leads to people pushing the boundaries of what a private space is.

One of the most annoying ways people do this is when they listen to their music without headphones or loud enough that you can hear it even with their headphones on. It’s obnoxious and rude to assume that everyone has the same taste in music as you do.

Using the reply-all button for every email

There are definitely uses for the reply-all button such as a group email where you’re discussing plans that everyone needs to be involved in. However, there are many times when a group email is only sent to avoid the sender having to hit send a hundred separate times. In this situation, hitting reply-all bounces your inane response to every single person who got the original email. This is at best annoying and could potentially be very embarrassing depending on the contents of your reply.

Public displays of affection

Seeing couples holding hands or walking arm-in-arm together is a lovely thing to witness. What’s not so lovely are those couples who take it a step too far, and spend their time swapping spit or putting their hands in places that should never be fondled in public. We get it, you love each other — now calm the heck down.

Close talkers

Everyone’s met a few of these in their lives. People who feel the need to stand deep in your personal space in order to have a normal conversation. There’s not a whole lot you can do once you’ve gotten into a conversation with a close-talker, unless you want to point it out to them.

Your only choice is to tough it out or subtly back up until you feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, many close talkers are unable to get the message and will continue getting up in your personal space until you’re able to walk away.

Impatient toe-tappers

The people who feel the need to tap their foot or drum their fingers on their leg in a waiting room are a special kind of annoying people. It’s not enough that they have to wait. They have to telegraph to everyone around them that they’re impatient and not happy to have to be sitting around. Like they’re the only ones that have ever had to wait for anything before.

Constant phone checkers

In our modern world, people are never without their phones. It can really mess up someone’s day if they happen to forget their phone at home. While it’s nice to always be connected, many people take it too far by continually checking their phones, even when they’re hanging out with friends or mid-conversation. It’s rude and signals that you don’t actually value the time that you’re spending together.

Crying children on airplanes

Sitting near a crying child on an airplane can potential ruin a flight. It’s frustrating, but sometimes kids just can’t help it. The pressure irritates their ears or they’re exhausted and hungry just like the rest of us. You can minimize the irritation by plugging in your headphones, and using music or white noise to drown out the crying.

Not using a turn signal

This isn’t just annoying — it’s also dangerous. How hard is it to remember to flick it on when you turn? Stop being lazy and get proactive. It could save someone’s life.


Inconsiderate people who leave trash lying around are the worst. They seem to not care about either the environment or the people around them. The next time someone leaves their tray at a cafeteria table or walks away from a bus seat without taking their trash, helpfully point out to them what they left behind.

Jordana Weiss