The answer is yes, at least according to a new poll by Harris Interactive. Between March 12th and March 17th, Harris asked 2,234 adults about their pet peeves, and not surprisingly, there were plenty.
So what's bugging us? Let's have a look at the numbers:
In one of the most decisive responses of this poll, a vast majority of Americans say they're most annoyed by parents letting their children run wild or be disruptive in public places (86%), while 14% are most annoyed by people who give unsolicited parenting advice to strangers. Those in households with children are more likely than those without (25% vs. 10%, respectively) to say the unsolicited advisors most bother them, though three-fourths of even this group still points to the non-parenting parents (75%) as most annoying.
I'm on board with "kids running wild and being disruptive" pet peeve. As a kid, when we were dining out, or just out doing other things, leaving the table and running around the restaurant (or store, etc.) was pretty much akin to demanding a smack. I'm slow to pick up on some things, but I got that message loud and clear. It's also one of those (somewhat rare) things my parents did that I applied my own kids when they were younger (my daughter still adheres to the rule, but my son is off at college in another state, so I guess he's the campus cops' problem now). Unsolicited parenting advice doesn't bug me nearly as much, as long as the advice-giver understands they're being ignored.
Some other findings:
- Eight in ten Americans each indicate being most annoyed by people who are chronically late and those who are slobs (80% each), while two in ten each say it's the watch-watchers (those who are intolerant of even infrequent or slight lateness) and the "clean freaks" (20% each) who most set them off.
- Two-thirds of Americans (65%) say travelers who misuse the overhead bins (by putting all their items overhead or using a bin in a different section of the plane, for example) annoy them the most, while one-third (35%) are most annoyed with travelers who recline their seats in the coach cabin.
- As for road-bound travelling annoyances, Americans are more split on whether tailgaters (53%) or slow drivers who stay in the passing lane (47%) are the more grievous offenders, with the tailgaters taking the annoyance crown by a slim margin.
- Nearly two-thirds of Americans say people who have loud conversations on their mobile phones in public places annoy them most (65%), over people who repeatedly check their mobile phones while having an in-person conversation (with 35% saying these are the ones who most annoy them).
- Six in ten Americans (60%) are most annoyed by emails written ALL IN CAPS, while being too brief or terse in an email is a graver offense to four in ten (40%). Americans are more split on reply-related annoyances, with overuse of "reply all" on emails (51%) edging out those who simply don't reply to emails (49%) by the statistical equivalent of a photo finish.
- Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words… can really bug the heck out of us, when used improperly; 57% of Americans say misuse of common words annoys them most, while 43% are most annoyed by unsolicited grammar or wording "editors."
- And, far more Americans say openly rude people (85%) get their goat than select passive aggressive people (15%) for this dubious honor.
Finally, with Mother's Day coming up, let's hear from some moms: