Know Any Annoying People? – Learn 8 ways to handle them.

Have you ever been in the company of someone and before long you find yourself wondering, “Why in the world do they act like that?” They are oblivious of course that their behavior might be considered as irritating or downright maddening to others. Unwittingly, they forge ahead regardless of the bewildered looks on others faces. 

Now, no two people are alike and sometimes after meeting certain people we just thank our lucky stars that that statement is true because sometimes, one is really enough! “You know what I mean?” All jesting aside though, we are all unique individuals. Even identical twins though they share the same genetics, grow up in the same house, read the same books, watch the same TV programs, attend the same school, church, etc., turn out with two completely separate personalities. Certainly, the world would be a boring place if everyone was the same…or exactly like us!

Consequently, along with each of us being unique with our own personality we also come with individualized habits. And sometimes those habits that seem perfectly normal to us can really drive others up a wall and vice versa. We can easily identify irritating behaviors others have that bug us but it’s a little trickier to recognize our own habits that may annoy someone else—that is unless someone has told us. Take a look at a few of the most irritating habits in general listed below: 


  • Eating with your mouth open or talking with food in your mouth 
  • Being a “know-it-all”
  • Correcting others on everything
  • Being rude (cutting in line, not saying, “Thank you” or “You’re welcome”)
  • Always turning a conversation around to be about them
  • Being habitually late
  • Interrupting during conversations
  • Having to be right all the time
  • Personal space invading (talking within inches from your face)
  • Noisy eating
  • Repetitive noises (pen clicking, finger tapping, nose sniffing, throat clearing, drink slurping, snoring, etc.) 

Really, the list could go on and on. Let’s face it. Sometimes human behavior can be so annoying. I don’t think most people actually set out to irritate others. It just happens. Yes, some people seem to have more irritating traits than others but if we are honest with ourselves we all have quirks that rub someone the wrong way at times.

So, what do we do about it? I’ll admit, I’ve had to swallow the urge to shout, “STOP IT” on many occasions exercising my better judgment (thank goodness)! That kind of outburst would probably not be helpful at all. But really, if you can find ways to cope with the annoyance (or annoyer) it will benefit your peace of mind as well as your health too. 


1.“Chillax” and take a breath. Chances are, when irritated you are probably breathing fast and shallow. So make yourself take a deep breath and calmly count to ten exhaling slowly. This can actually reduce some of the stress you might be feeling. If you can, walk away from the person or situation that is annoying you and focus on your breathing. Visualizing a pleasant memory can be helpful in getting you back in the right state of mind.

2.  Control your body language. Eye rolling, frowns, glaring, huffing, crossed arms and other expressive body language convey annoyance, anger, and sometimes contempt. As much as possible, try to maintain a calm demeanor.

3.  Determine if it really matters. In the big scheme of things do the little annoyances in life really mean anything in the long run? Are you going to let the co-worker who has to be right all the time consume your thoughts to the point where it affects your quality of life? Is it really worth it to “sweat the small stuff?” Instead, focus on the things in life you can change instead of wasting your energies on trying to  change other people. Life is short, “Let it go!”

4.  Consider your bar of expectations. Are you being unreasonable in how you think others should act? While you might consider certain kinds of behavior as being “common standards of decency” others might not agree with you. Certainly, if your bar of expectation is set to a high level, then you will probably find more opportunities to get annoyed when others don’t live up to those expectations.

5.  Question yourself if the problem is actually with you and not them. Sometimes the reason we find something or someone annoying is because it reminds us of ourselves. Ouch! This can be especially true with parents and children or siblings. Sometimes when we see in others our own habits we try to distance ourselves from either the person or thing by getting annoyed or angry. We don’t want to believe that’s who we are. So, again, “Ouch!”

6.  Confront only if you must. If you value your relationship with the other person and you simply cannot stand the behavior any longer approach the individual in a calm manner and consider your words carefully. Be truthful but tactful. Listen to what the other person has to say. Take time to think about your answer. Keep your emotions in check to lessen the chances of the conversation turning into an argument. 

7.  Look for the good. The next time you find yourself getting really annoyed with someone try looking for and focusing on some good quality they have instead of the annoying behavior.  Don’t immediately assume they are trying to annoy you. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

8. Don’t get mad, get funny. Do you know how many comedians make a living making people laugh about the annoyances in life? We laugh because it is so relatable. So whatever the annoyance, finding a tiny grain of humor in the situation will go a long way in defusing the spark of anger and annoyance that would otherwise want to rise up. 

So, there you have it. Everyone has their fair share of habits and unfortunately some individuals will never realize they irritate other people—ever. Some just don’t care. Have you ever asked yourself if you have any annoying habits? We could all do with a little self-reflection at times. It’s easy to give ourselves an excuse when exhibiting a bad habit but then somehow want to attribute the habits of others as a character defect. While we shouldn’t have to change the very core of who we are just to please other people, we can all be a little more self-aware and mindful of how others feel and react to what we say or do.

Maybe you are always asking yourself why you seem to get so easily irritated with others or that everything in life seems to annoy you. On the other hand maybe you have gotten feedback from others that you annoy people and you don’t know why. Either way, if it is affecting your general mood and happiness it would be beneficial to come in and talk about it. If so, please call me, (Kris Henderson) at 616-516-1570 or schedule an appointment online. Together we will find the underlying cause and put a plan in place to put you on a new and better path.