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How to Be Less Annoying: 10 Habits That Irritate Others

Audrey's desire to help others understand human behavior led her to study psychology. She specialises in Self-Limited Thinking.

How to identify your annoying habits

How to identify your annoying habits

Are You Guilty of These Annoying Habits?

How do we know if we annoy a person? We don't set out to provoke others. Well, I know of a family member who does deliberately and with full intent. For the rest of us, the tips listed below may be helpful.

How to Stop Being Annoying

  • Don't interrupt. Allow the other person enough time to finish talking. Even when you need to speak your point of view, hold your tongue until the other party is through talking.
  • Try to be less harmful. Look at that proverbial half glass of water as half full instead of half empty. Having a negative attitude is draining on the other person. It tends to "suck" the energy right out of a person.
  • Be a good listener. Let the other person know you've heard what they have said. Ask questions and use facial expressions. (Another person) " I get so tired of screaming kids. I go crazy. (Your reply) " I hear you saying you would like some quiet time for yourself." In this example, the listener avoids two crucial points:
  • Try to fix the problem.
  • We are not allowing the other person to win an argument. One sure way of annoying another person is to defend your opinion when you think it's right. Are we so insecure we have to be right all the time?
  • Use good old-fashioned manners. Remember "Thank you" and "Please." Such a small gesture, but oh, how powerful. And while thinking about it, add "excuse me" to the list.
  • Don't make everything about you. This can turn people off. Just listen instead. Avoid turning the conversation to yourself. The only time this is appropriate is when we're asked for advice.
  • Try to address behaviors that bother you as soon as they happen. Avoid letting things fester. Be nice about it. If you can add humor, even better.
  • Be genuine and be yourself. Then If people find you annoying, find other people.
  • Please refrain from talking about people behind their backs. This is a sure way to lose the trust of others. Gossiping also shows a lack of high character.
  • I am chewing food with my mouth open. This is one of the most significant bad habits that turn others off. Learn to eat with your mouth closed.
  • Avoid bragging about yourself. Remain humble. Humility means we no longer need to feel more special than someone else to prove our value.
  • Constant complaining can drain energy from the listener. Complaining is the opposite of gratitude. When we show appreciation, we increase our ability to celebrate the success of others.
  • Road rage. When we yell at other drivers, does it help the situation? You know the answer to this. Never!
  • Don't post political rants on Facebook. Have you unfriended someone because of a political post? Eighteen percent of adults said they had blocked, unfriended, or hidden updates from a friend because of a political position.
  • Don't abandon your shopping carts next to cars or where accidents can occur. Runaway shopping carts cause injuries and damage to innocent shoppers and their vehicles. Make it a habit to return your shopping cart to the proper place.
  • Definitely don't pop your gum out loud. This annoying habit drives me up the wall.
  • Please don't play your music too loud. Whether it's coming from your car or a nearby neighbor, have the decency to keep all music low enough in volume to avoid disturbing others. Primarily be concerned with those who need their sleep.
  • Avoid making promises and not following through. Person 1. "Please empty the trash container."Person 2."Okay." Person 1. (An hour later.) "Have you emptied the trash?" Person 2. "No. I'll do it in a minute." Person 1. Later in the day. "You haven't emptied the trash!" Person 2. "Oh, yeah, I'll get right to it."

Synonyms for "Annoy"

Looking up the word annoy in the dictionary this is what I found:

  • Irritate
  • Bother
  • Provoke
  • Harass
  • Weary
  • Exasperate
  • Displease
  • Trouble
  • Disturb

Now, who wants to be guilty of all the above and lose friends? (Family has to put up with you but friends do not.)

Two Sounds That Annoy Yours Truly

If your friends begin to avoid you (and it isn't your bad breath), you had better start changing your ways. Not entirely - just your annoying habits. An example might be:

  • Chewing gum - (my biggest pet peeve.) If you are a gum popper or cracker and can't control yourself, then stop chewing gum when you're in public. Puhleeze! (Note: please is not misspelled. This spelling is my way of stressing my point.)
  • If your nasal passages need clearing out and you're in a restaurant, have the common courtesy to blow your nose outside the restaurant or in the bathroom. Many a good meal has gone to waste because of this awful sound.

Note: Forgiveness is implied for anyone's feelings that have been ruffled.

In most states using your cell phone while driving is breaking the law.  This should also apply to: While eating, at the theater and while greeting a person.

In most states using your cell phone while driving is breaking the law. This should also apply to: While eating, at the theater and while greeting a person.

Six Leading Annoying Habits

There are habits that others have that are very annoying to someone else. Often the transgressor has no idea that his actions are bringing a person to the boiling point. Here are six on the list of the world's worst habits:

  1. Slurping food and other noises stemming from eating.
  2. Failing to turn off cell phones in a movie.
  3. Not picking up dog poop when walking the dog.
  4. Driving slow in the fast lane on the freeway.
  5. Using your cell phone at the dinner table.
  6. Clearing your throat in public.

What kinds of annoyances drive you up the wall?

6 Tips to Help an Annoying Person

The following 6 points will not only help you to stop being annoying to others but will open the door to more quality friendships:

1. Stay humble and teachable. No one likes bragging and arrogance. Check your ego by omitting the word "I" as much as possible, especially when you should be listening to another person.

2. Watch your tone of voice. You don't want to come off as cranky or condescending. Keep your voice warm using medium tones. Avoid screeching and loud talking.

3. Avoid constant complaining. Everyone has problems of one kind or another. We benefit from friendships that lift us, not bring us down. Control your urge to complain. And put a lid on gossiping.

4. Be entirely responsible for your actions. Stop blaming others for your behavior and circumstances. Be accountable and change your thinking as well as your attitude.

5. Exhibit Compassion and Sympathy. Show understanding and kindness. Learn to become a better listener to convey support.

6. You cannot change other people. Accept this fact in all relationships. They are what they are, and you are what you are. If a person desires to change - they will without your help.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

— Noel Coward

Enlightening With Humor

A Quick Review and Pep Talk

I am most grateful to all of you who were confident and secure that this article couldn't apply to you but humored me by being here. You have read and reached the conclusion for which I toast you. As humans, we all encounter being annoyed, including me. I usually remove myself from the disturbance when my blood starts to boil. Exercising and playing a Bach Invention on the piano is a healthy way to escape the annoyance.

I suggest that all readers who earnestly desire to improve their relationships return and review the abovementioned steps. You can give more to others when you have given more to develop your character.

You were sharing your goal with a friend who will help you may be helpful. No one achieves success alone. Even Columbus didn't discover the New World on his own. And Einstein didn't develop the theory of relativity in a vacuum.

Questions & Answers

Question: I’m annoying as in I joke around too much because I feel as if everyone’s having a good time, but there’s a point where I need to stop joking and be more serious. I often forget that point and continue joking around while my friends slowly start to get annoyed at me. How do I stop this?

Answer: You've answered your own question! Tone down the joking. You really don't need the extra attention which is why you overdo it.

Question: How do I get my friend to talk to me?

Answer: Give your friend time. If this person is truly a friend, he/she will eventually come around.

Question: What do I do if my annoyance is a cause of something like Asperger’s syndrome?

Answer: Respecting yourself is the first order of business. The difficulty in expressing emotions in a way that people outside the autistic spectrum can understand isn't always easy and can lead to ongoing challenges in personal relationships, both big and small. Those that get annoyed with you, need to learn all they can about AS. They should become more informed about what a person with Asperger's is going through. Others may need to alter their own behavior. If they can't do this and they still get annoyed with you, look elsewhere for friends. There are plenty of loving, kind and understanding people who will not get annoyed.

Question: I'm annoying because I'm mentally ill, how do I prevent my mental illness from getting in the way of day-to-day life?

Answer: Mental illness can make you feel like you’re losing control of you. You don’t know who you truly are because this disease controls you and takes over your emotions, therefore it's important to know how to care for all aspects of your life. Sharing your feelings, frustrations, and experiences with a qualified therapist can be helpful. Be patient with yourself, find an activity you really like, and surround yourself with loving people.

Question: I can be a bit impulsive sometimes and that causes me to speak my mind, but it comes out wrong and people get the wrong message. How do I fix my impulsive speech?

Answer: I commend you for sharing this question. There are many reasons that others may interpret what you say wrongly. Sometimes, others are simply distracted if their mind wanders. Here are possibly other reasons:

1. Make sure you have their complete attention before speaking.

2. Sometimes others are strong-willed and unable to be open to another viewpoint.

3. Maybe the person is fatigued, both mentally and physically.

4. They could be emotionally upset.

5. Try making eye contact.

6. Avoid interrupting.

7. Be a better listener.

Question: Everyone in my class calls me annoying. What shall I do?

Answer: Most of us can be annoying at one time or the other. Maybe it's time to self-evaluate. Try adjusting the way you interact with the people around you. Pay close attention to the way you speak to people. Be a good listener by listening more and talk less. I know you can make these changes and it will pay off!

Question: Is texting someone too much annoying?

Answer: It depends on the person as well as how many times you text this person. It also depends on plain good manners for texting. Words can be misinterpreted, messages can be incomplete and above all avoid being long-winded. You can also simply ask the person if you are overdoing it.

Question: I sometimes get too angry at little things and this is what annoys my friends. Is there a way I can calm myself down and not get frustrated easily?

Answer: This is a problem for many people, so you have plenty of company. However, anger can be controlled and when it is, we become free. I read a book years ago by Ruiz and learned something that literally changed my life. "Never take anything personally." If you work on this, you will live a happier existence. In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, "“Nothing other people do is because of you. It’s because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. when we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, Keep calm by taking three deep breaths letting the air out slowly. Visualize yourself calm in a beautiful setting. Clear the inner dialogue in your head.

Question: How can I be cool without being annoying?

Answer: In my opinion, we are the coolest when we are ourselves. Being honest, kind and helpful to others is never annoying Always live in such a way that others will respect you. Do more listening and less talking.

© 2013 Audrey Hunt