Monday, 10 Nov, 2008 Science

Researchers Figure Out the Most Irritating Things


A nation wide survey, showed that the top three of the most irritating things reported by 4400 Australians are telemarketing calls, bad drivers and poor customer service. The list presented by the Australian Psychological Society also features barking dogs and having to wait in line, which however, were surpassed it terms of irritation by spam email, inconsiderate use of the cell phone and speech recognition answering services.

According to the results of the survey, the number of irritations on a daily basis registered a significant increase over the past five years. The list of most common daily hassles included 32 examples and people were free to choose those that irritated them the most.

A universal irritation was considered to be the inconsiderate behavior, which includes: dinner-time telemarketing calls, listening to a robot on the phone instead of a real individual, poor customer service, unsafe driving to get ahead of traffic, car space rivalry or jumping in line, reported Sun-Herald.

It is worth mentioning that respondents that were over 40 reported being irritated more about technology, violence on the television and in real life and bad language.

Experts from the Australian Psychological Society said that the reaction of a person to stress may negatively influence one's health, increasing blood pressure and leading to problems in relationship and nervousness.

Most participants said that they didn't try to get revenge or turn their irritation into physical or verbal aggressiveness. They tried to be passive, hoping to talk themselves through the circumstances, communicate with another person or try to think out a way to evade the situation.

Researchers say that the most effective way to handle an irritating circumstance is to state the need of another person, then state your personal need and after that try to find a common point of view in order to meet the needs of every individual.

"Being assertive is not generally a skill that comes naturally to us and requires effort and training but helps to ensure a "win-win" outcome," said one of the researchers.

The survey showed that most people (36 percent of respondents) used humor as a tool to control irritation, 32 percent tried to take deep breaths and remain calm, 28 percent of the respondents talked themselves through the situation, 27 percent of people attempted to talk to another person, 23 percent tried to figure out a way of avoiding getting in a similar situation again and 21 percent tried doing some exercises.

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